Something is wrong when a five-digit number can accurately predict how long an American will live, how much money they have, and how likely they are to go to college. Zip codes capture this because some communities in America face a disproportionate amount of inequalities. Too often, people of color, the elderly, or indigenous people are saddled with the weight of injustice.
In these communities we also see the heart of America’s social movements.
It’s here that issues like climate, housing, mass criminalization, good jobs, and reproductive justice intersect. The threat of sea level rise in Miami is displacing low-income residents as wealthier people retreat from ocean views to higher land. In Louisiana, Black, brown and indigenous communities are more likely to live near fossil fuel power plants, causing a host of health challenges from asthma to cancer. They’re also more likely to live in places without emergency escape plans, like communities at the end of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline who are hung out to dry when storms come.