That’s when all of Hannah’s questions began to intersect. She saw that people affected by pig waste in their groundwater were usually people of color. She discovered that families and communities of color who suffered from resulting reproductive and respiratory issues usually didn’t have the resources to advocate for themselves.
Instead of separate issues, an unfair criminal justice system, environmental abuse, racism, and whiteness started to come together as less of coincidence and more like a system.
Hannah is a believer in signs. She knew that discovering these links was a sign, but she wasn’t sure what it meant yet.
Then one day in a glass fishbowl-like biology lab, Hannah’s college was put on active shooter lockdown. She and the other lab students pulled down the shades and huddled in the dark. Her mother texted, panicked because she saw it on the news. Hannah quickly responded and shut off the phone so it wouldn’t alert the shooter that people were in the lab. Noises echoed in the hallway. Hannah focused on breathing, all the while thinking, “I never thought it would happen to me.”
That day they survived, but a few years later, Hannah received another sign.