Feby and the Toxic Tour

Feby Boediarto is a junior at Pitzer College studying Environmental Analysis.  She is interested in the intersection of environmentalism, entrepreneurship, and technologies.  Her new emerging passion is in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which looks at geographic data and spatiality in a specific area.  In her free time, she loves to cook and watch That 70s Show.

20 miles inland, we found ourselves surrounded by desert hills.  The sun beamed on the top of our heads as a salty wind passed by. We were at the fence line of what used to be a toxic waste dump in the 50s.   


This semester, my Environmental Justice class drove to Jurupa Valley, a 25 minute commute from Pitzer College.  As the students entered the city limits, I experienced a surge of feelings within minutes.  After reading literature on environmental justice and racism issues, it was astonishing yet heart wrenching to actually witness the texts we’ve been studying.  We saw a diverse and beautiful community in the midst of a sterile and industrial landscape. We heard the hundreds of trucks pass by one intersection.  We smelled the sulfur, weighing our lungs and hearts heavy.  


The tour was a great example of the core values that Pitzer possesses- for instance social justice issues and interdisciplinary learning.  From this tour, I’ve witnessed a fusion of social issues like race, gender, and even worker’s rights, all-encompassing under the umbrella of ‘environmental justice.’ If you are someone who craves to learn about a world outside of a classroom, and sees an education as an avenue to create solutions, then Pitzer is for you.  That is what I love about Pitzer.


Image: Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Image: Kurt Miller/ The Press Enterprise

Posted by Feby Boediarto ’17, Environmental Analysis

Boediarto, Feby