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Acknowledgment of coloniality

EJAV acknowledges the histories of oppression and violence in and beyond Virginia

We strive to build EJAV with a decolonial mindset. As such, we acknowledge that labeling this archive as an environmental justice archive of Virginia carries the legacy of coloniality. The region we refer to is comprised of the unceded lands of diverse Indigenous nations such as the Chickahominy, the Nansemond, the Monacan, the Pamunkey, the Rappahannock, the Nottoway, the Patawomeck, and the Mattaponi, all currently colonially occupied by the State of Virginia. Moreover, the Commonwealth of Virginia is indebted to the forced labor of many generations of enslaved Africans. By speaking of Virginia, we acknowledge the histories of oppression and violence suffered by the victims of coloniality and colonization.

We understand and acknowledge our past and present roles in colonial, oppressive, and epistemic violence and the nature of archives as key components of imperialism. We aim, however, to guide the work of our community and the materials contained in EJAV toward a future of decolonial commonality. In employing the name Virginia as a geographical referent to contextualize this archive, we hope to bring together diverse voices around environmental justice, particularly those who have been historically marginalized in the region. Furthermore, our focus on environmental justice requires that we challenge Western and oppressive discourses around environmental infrastructure and resources and turn, instead, to the work, actions, and knowledge of the victims of environmental injustice.