Africatown Hosts 60 Environmental Justice Leaders from Across North America
Environmental Injustices in Coastal Alabama Come Into Focus
JANUARY 30, 2015, AFRICATOWN, MOBILE, AL – As part of this weekend’s Extreme Energy Extraction Summit (E3S) in Biloxi, Mississippi, a busload of 60 frontline environmental justice organizers from across North America ventured to Africatown’s Whippet’s Den for a hearing of environmental justice concerns from the Coastal Alabama region. Africatown’s unique historical heritage was shared by local historians and storytellers while the out of town guests dined on a locally-prepared vegetarian lunch as part of a regional environmental bus tour organized by the E3S.
The speakers included Africatown historian Lorna Woods, City of Prichard Spokesperson Melanie Baldwin, Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition organizer Joe Womack, South Bay Community Alliance organizer Lori Bosarge, Church St. East organizer Marie Dyson, and Eight Mile concerned resident Jeremiah Hollins
Environmental topics covered included the impacts and perils of: extreme energy extraction including tar sands, mountaintop removal coal mining, deepwater offshore oil and gas drilling, and hydraulic fracturing (fracking); energy transport and storage via pipeline, rail, above ground storage tank, and seafaring tanker; climate change, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and coastal communities; collateral damage like Eight Mile’s ongoing mercaptan chemical release; disaster cleanup and recovery; and more.
MEJAC is a coalition of greater Mobile residents and civic organizations working in solidarity with our communities on the frontlines of environmental injustice to defend the inalienable rights to clean air, water, soil, as well as the human rights to health and safety. MEJAC stands for community self-determination.