Audrey Mei Yi Brown
About the author

Audrey Brown is an independent writer based in the Bay Area who works at the intersection of environment, culture, social equity, food, art and climate. She covers environmental climate justice issues for Estuary, among other topics.

Articles by Audrey Mei Yi Brown


Catching Up with Mycelium Youth Network

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Mycelium Youth Network rolled with the punch. The pandemic came as a surprise to them as much as anyone, but Mycelium pivoted quickly to online programming. Nevertheless, the transition was a bitter pill to swallow. Leading into Covid, Mycelium was poised to drastically expand the reach of its programming by teaching courses through Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), among others. They had secured the contracts and built the...
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Tending the Urban Earth and Its People

While most activities ground to a halt in the COVID-19 crisis, nature didn’t skip a beat at urban farms across the Bay Area. Urban farms meet an array of local needs, whether it’s for organic food, living wage jobs, a community center, or a place to connect with nature. With the COVID crisis, and with many American communities touched by loss and fighting racism, these needs have become even more acute. Farms, gardens, and nurseries across the Bay Area are...
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Striving for Equitable Outcomes

By Audrey Mei Yi Brown Five people of color, four of whom who were women, took center stage in a full amphitheater for a 2019 State of the Estuary conference panel discussing how to achieve more equitable outcomes in both human and estuary health. Mishal Durrani, an undergraduate researcher at UC Berkeley, observed from the audience. “As a woman of color from an underrepresented community, it was powerful to see a panel with so many women of color represented.” As...
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Youth Learn to Shift as the World Shifts

In a bright classroom in the hills of East Oakland, youth huddle in small groups building miniature rain-catchment models. Birdhouses serve as the base for a catchment system composed of a foil gutter, a straw pipe, and a Dixie cup rain barrel. Spritzes of water from a spray bottle generate rain-like condensation, which trickles through the system into the barrel. The eight middle schoolers gathered on this chilly Saturday morning are participating in a youth social-media ambassador training organized by...
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Toxic Soup Strains Silos

Headlines about falsified tests are just the latest development in a long history of frustrations for Hunters Point in San Francisco. Recently, the neighborhood has been in the news due to fraud in the cleanup of the former Navy shipyard, contaminated with radioactive waste from nuclear research. In what is now called by some the biggest case of eco-fraud in U.S. history, 97 percent of the cleanup results are in question and two supervisors have been sentenced to prison.
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The State’s Biggest Landlord Reconsiders Its Neighbors

When Mari Rose Taruc approached California environmental justice (EJ) leaders about advising the California State Lands Commission on its EJ policy, they didn’t know what she was talking about. “They were like, what does the State Lands Commission do?” recalls Taruc with a chuckle. Over the past six months, a two-way discovery has since taken place between the agency and the resulting EJ working group. Overlapping interests emerged, revealing a surprising abundance of opportunities for collaboration. The discovery is significant...
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Marin City: A Peek into that Beautiful Future?

“What does it look like in resiliency planning when community voices take the lead?” That’s the question posed by Pandora Thomas of Permaculture + Social Equity Team. P+SET has partnered with Marin City as a part of the Resilient by Design challenge and the brand of resilience espoused by the community is non-negotiably local. To build local capacity in this predominantly African-American locality, P+SET held a community course that covered permaculture design and advocacy literacy. For many communities, acceptance of...
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