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The Response podcast: Inequality, structural racism, and the fight for justice after the Grenfell Tower fire

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On June 14, 2017, a fire started in a 24-story public housing apartment 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 Tower fire the United Kingdom’s deadliest disaster since World War II.

In this episode of The Response, we examine the events that led up to the Grenfell Tower fire and learn how the community has responded through the voices of survivors, their families, and others who were impacted. We meet 13-year-old Grenfell Tower resident Neila Elguenuni; rescue worker Pedro Ramos who was on the fire response team; local community organizer Joe Delaney who was activated by the tragedy; and many other community members who have come together to increase their resilience while simultaneously fighting for justice and accountability.

Up until now on our podcast, we have focused on incidents that could be considered “natural” disasters — things like hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes. But as we’ve learned throughout the series, the word “natural” is a bit misleading as most of these incidents are exacerbated and transformed into catastrophic disasters because of a complex array of social factors. In this episode, we focus on a disaster that was not only exacerbated by pre-existing inequalities — but one that was entirely created by them.

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