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The Response

Jun 9, 2020


Three years ago this week, an avoidable fire ripped through a London public housing apartment resulting in 72 deaths, most of which were people of color. 

Today, we’re reposting this episode of The Response from 2019 because it covers a prime example of how structural racism has permeated many aspects of society around the globe. 

Racism doesn’t stop with a discriminatory (in)justice system. It rears its ugly head in reduced quality of education, health care, access to finance, salaries, housing… the list goes on.  

Be sure to listen to the end (or scroll down to the bottom of the transcript) for a short update on where things stand in this evolving story.

The Response revisits a disaster that has its roots in inequality, austerity, and institutional racism. On June 14, 2017, a fire started in a 24-story public housing apartment building in West London called Grenfell Tower. The fire raged all night and reduced the building to a shell. Seventy-two people lost their lives, making the Grenfell Fire the United Kingdom’s deadliest disaster since World War II (up until the COVID-19 Pandemic).

Through the voices of survivors, their families, and others who were impacted, the episode examines the events that led up to the Grenfell Tower fire and explores how the community has responded. What has the healing process looked like for survivors and the bereaved? How has the community come together to increase its resilience while simultaneously fighting for justice and accountability? And what is being done to ensure that something like this never, ever happens again?