NC’s role in the environmental justice movement

NC's role in the environmental justice movement

By Will Atwater

Forty years ago, Warren County kicked off a movement that would have a decades-long impact.

We discussed this topic with Reverend Bill Kearney, the associate minister and health ministry coordinator at Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church and the United Shiloh Baptist Church Association in Warren County. Kearney volunteered the morning of the first environmental justice protest, greeting people and directing volunteers.

We also spoke with Warren County resident, Angella Dunston, who was there for the first march as well as the 40-year anniversary march, where she and others walked two miles from Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church to the former toxic waste site.

Thirdly, Jenny Labalme joined us to discuss the photographs she took of the 1982 protests, one of which has become an iconic visual symbol of environmental justice. Lebalme was a Duke University senior at the time.

NC Health News environmental health reporter, Will Atwater, moderated the panel.

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Will Atwater has spent the past decade working with educators, artists and community-based organizations as a short-form documentary and promotional video producer. A native North Carolinian, Will grew…
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