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Environmental Racism: Three Case Studies

All are welcome to join us as we explore topics related to “Environmental Racism: Three Case Studies.” The topics are independent, so attend any or all of them. Meetings are held over Zoom; no registration is required and you can join any of them at bit.ly/FPCPAEnvironmentalRacism.

Topics and dates are:

  • Oct. 12: Fouling Indigenous Sacred Land in Santa Clara County
  • Oct. 19: Plastics Pollution in “Cancer Alley,” Louisiana
  • Oct. 26: Flint: The Poisoning of an American City

With a special webinar on Wed. Oct. 14, noon-1 PM
Triple Threat: Where Plastics, Climate and Racism Meet: A webinar with Delia Ridge Creamer. For a recording of the webinar, go to https://youtu.be/ls7ErNsPyQc

To get more out of the Environmental Racism classes, please do some homework ahead of time! Here are fuller descriptions and suggested homework:

October 12: Fouling Indigenous Sacred Land in Santa Clara County, led by Pat Kinney

Juristac (Huris-tak) lies at the heart of the ancestral lands of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band near Gilroy, California. For thousands of years, Mutsun ancestors lived and held sacred ceremonies at this location in the southern foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, near the modern boundaries of Santa Clara, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. 

The cultural landscape encompassing Juristac is known today as the Sargent Ranch. An investor group based in San Diego purchased the land at a bankruptcy auction and is currently seeking to develop a 320-acre open pit sand and gravel mining operation on the property. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band vehemently opposes the proposed mining project and is asking the public to join in standing for the protection of their sacred grounds. These lands also have ecological significance. 

Watch a four-minute film about the campaign, featuring Valentin Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, at: https://youtube.com/watch?v=YrVBSCvb1lw

Some calls to act:

  • Learn more and spread the word. The website www.protectjuristac.org has a wealth of resources. You can sign a petition there and find out about upcoming events. 
  • Donate to Amah Mutsun Land Trust: https://www.amahmutsunlandtrust.org/donate  Note that one of their buildings containing $15K worth of tools was recently destroyed by the CZU Complex fire. The Juristac/Sargent Hills region was spared. 
October 19: Plastics Pollution in “Cancer Alley,” Louisiana, led by Shirley Eglington

While we are drowning in single use plastics, the fossil fuel industry plans to increase plastic production by 40 percent over the next decade. These oil giants are rapidly building petrochemical plants to turn fracked gas into plastic. We will look at Formosa Plastic’s plan to build a massive facility in Saint James Parish, LA, the effects it would have on this largely Black community, and how that community is fighting back.

To prepare, please tune into or watch the recording of Bruce’s conversation with Delia Ridge Creamer of the Center for Biological Diversity on his October 14 noon Webinar (see description above.)

Read  https://www.desmogblog.com/2020/01/07/formosa-sunshine-plastics-sharon-lavigne-environmental-justice

Read https://talkpoverty.org/2020/01/09/environmental-racism-black-communities-louisiana/

October 26Flint: The Poisoning of an American City, led by filmmaker David Barnhart of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

From a review: Water is one of our most valuable resources, something that’s most apparent than when it’s compromised in cases like the Flint Water Crisis in Michigan. The crisis has been ongoing and unresolved for some time, and it’s worthy of attention until it is resolved, which is why David Barnhart’s documentary Flint: The Poisoning of an American City is such a vital movie. It’s a call to action, an education, and a reminder of the human faces being affected day to day.

We will be joined by:

Lisa Horne, Social Worker and Counselor, Flint MI
Lisa Horne is the Director of Community Ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Flint. She received her Master of Social Work from Eastern Michigan University and served as a Medical Social Worker for Ascension Health for 14 years and a counselor for both Job Corps and the First Presbyterian Church of Flint.

Pastor Gregory Timmons, Calvary United Methodist Church, Flint MI
Gregory Timmons is pastor of Calvary United Methodist Church, Flint. A mission-oriented leader with 25 years of organizational strategy in his background, he has served corporate, religious, non-profit, health care, and community wellness organizations. Since the start of the Flint Water Crisis, he has led UMC’s recovery programs and help centers to support the people of Flint. He has been an active member of the local steering committee surrounding Flint: The Poisoning of an American City and appears in the documentary. His wife is the Reverent Faith Timmons of Bethel United Methodist Church. They are parents of a 12-year old son Greg II and a 6-year old daughter Olivia.

David Barnhart is an award-winning producer, director, and filmmaker working with the PC(USA) and is committed to Story as a means to facilitate community engagement. His recent documentaries, “Trigger: The Ripple Effects of Gun Violence,” “To Breathe Free,” and “Locked in a Box: Immigration Detention” have received awards and been screened at festivals across the country. Trigger, which examines the ripple effect that one shooting has on an individual, family, community, and society, had the distinguished honor of being selected for the Martin Luther King Jr. D.R.E.A.M Film Series. His most recent award-winning feature documentary, “Flint: The Poisoning of an American City” explores the critical question of how this could happen in the United States and how Flint should serve as a warning for the rest of the country. He is currently in production on a follow up to Trigger that looks at how different individuals are responding to the epidemic of gun violence, and a new docuseries, “Trouble the Water” that focuses on race and racism. Barnhart is the proud and tired father of twins. He and his wife Elsie live in Atlanta, GA.

We will receive a link to view this 90-minute documentary before the class via our Thursday Email. For now, you can visit http://flintpoisoning.com