Slide Copyright Jenny Labalme. Permission granted
to Clean Water for North Carolina in 2022

40 Years of Environmental Justice: 2022 September Events

“40 Years of Environmental Justice:

Birth in Warren County to Today & Beyond”

Hosted by Clean Water for NC with Panelists:  Angella DunstonRev. William (Bill) Kearney,  Danielle Koonce Ghanja O'Flaherty

Friday, September 30, 2022
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (EST)
RSVP HERE

FREE webinar to wrap up the September commemorations of the 40th Anniversary of Warren County Protests.

This event will look at the birthing the EJ movement, where we are today, and the future.  Our guest speakers have decades of direct experience in the EJ movement and will share their experiences, lessons learned, and what work still remains for the future of EJ in Warren County, North Carolina, and Beyond.

Please visit our Eventbrite page for more details and to RSVP!


About Our Webinar and More on LOTS of Events Throughout September!

This year commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the birth of the Environmental Justice (EJ) movement! The terms “environmental racism” and “environmental justice” were coined during the 1982 protests in Warren County, NC, when a grassroots effort worked to block a cancer-causing PCB-laced landfill in the Afton community of Warren County with a supermajority of African-American residents. The proposed landfill was announced in 1978 and after four years of mounting scientific and legal challenges, the courts nonetheless allowed the applicable permits.  In 1982, residents protested for seven weeks and many participated in civil disobedience to block the trucks from bringing the toxic waste, leading to over 500 arrests, and so a movement was officially born.  The state still dumped the PCBs and a long history ensued.

For the month of September, several organizations have pulled together in hosting events and education to commemorate this momentous event that catapulted a movement and has carried through to our work today.  The main event is hosted by Warren County Environmental Action Team the weekend of September 17th & 18th in Warrenton, and Clean Water for North Carolina is offering a wrap-around finale on September 30th.

See below the flyer for details and links for each of these events and more!


Wed. 9/14 @ 1-2pm
The Birth of a Movement: A 40th Anniversary Retrospective” Webinar with Dollie Burwell, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., and the Rev. William Kearney

Hosted by United Church of Christ

  • Location: Online/Virtual only (see link below)
  • Description:
    • This September will mark the 40th anniversary of the Warren County protests that would ripple outward around the world with far reaching impacts that continue until today. A wealth of insight and inspiration is to be found in this critical moment of history during which leaders grounded in their faith played an integral and significant role. In this webinar, we will hear from three persons who were an important part of the protests: Dollie Burwell, the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., and the Rev. William Kearney.
    • NOTE: Even if you cannot make the webinar at its scheduled time, still sign-up, and they will send you a link to a recording of it.
    • For more information and to register, visit UCC’s Event page

Thur. 9/15 @ 1:30pm
We Birthed the Movement: The Warren County PCB Landfill Protests, 1978-1982” Art Exhibit

Hosted by UNC Chapel Hill Wilson Library

  • Location: UNC Chapel Hill Wilson Library
  • Description:
    • This exhibition is open July 25-December 22, 2022, showcasing four years of how a group of concerned citizens in Afton (Warren County) responded to the state’s plan to build a toxic landfill laced with cancer-causing PCBs in their community, mounting legal and scientific challenges to what they deemed an act of “toxic aggression.”
    • It was curated in collaboration with protest participants, eyewitnesses, and those who continue to organize for justice in Warren County. The exhibit centers their voices and stories in the retelling.
    • For more information, visit: UNC’s Exhibit Page

Thur. 9/15 @ 5:30-7pm
Environmental Justice: Past, Present and Future” Conversation with Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. and Catherine Coleman Flowers

Hosted by Duke University

  • Location: Duke University Chapel & Online
  • Description:
    • Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. in conversation with Catherine Coleman Flowers. The Robert R. Wilson Distinguished Lecture will feature the Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., who is credited for coining the term "environmental racism," which he declared from his prison cell after being arrested during the protests. Chavis will discuss the past, present and future of environmental justice with Catherine Coleman Flowers, activist and recent McArthur Genius Grant awardee.
    • For more information and to register, visit Duke’s event page

Sat 9/17 @ 8am-2pm
“We Birthed the Movement: 40 Years of Environmental Justice” A 40th Anniversary Commemoration

Hosted by Warren County Environmental Action Team & Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church

  • Location: Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church, 244 Parktown Road, Warrenton, NC 27589
  • Description:
    • A day of commemoration and celebration of the fact that Warren County birthed the EJ movement - acknowledging our legacy as we form partnerships to move forward toward equity and justice.
    • Schedule:
      • 8:00-8:45am Registration/Check-in
      • 8:45-9:30am Ceremony: Passing of the Torch
      • 9:30-11:30am Commemorative March, Prayer of Reconciliation, Music, and Activities
      • 11:30am-2pm Catered lunch Program/Rally
    • For more information, visit WCEAT’s Facebook page

Sun 9/18 @ 2-4pm
Community Healing Worship Service

Hosted by Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church

  • Location: Coley Springs Missionary Baptist Church, 244 Parktown Road, Warrenton, NC 27589
  • Description:
    • The African American church (Coley Springs Missionary Baptist) has historically been on the frontline in our fight for social and now environmental justice - the community healing worship service will again center our faith communities in Warren County and beyond fight for justice.
    • For more information, visit WCEAT’s Facebook page

Tue 9/20 @ 5pm-8pm
Downtown Warrenton & Warren County Jail Museum EJ Tour

Hosted by Warren County Environmental Action Team

  • Location: Meet @ 200 block of East Macon Street, Warrenton, NC 27589
  • Description: This will be a grand tour that is broken down into three 1-hour sessions scheduled as follows:
    • 5-6pm: Guided tour of downtown Warrenton
    • 6-7pm: Session w politicians, music, general information about EJ movement
    • 7-8pm: Historical Jail Museum
    • The final session will include remarks from folks who participated in the protest and the jailer who was present when protestors were arrested.  It will also include an update on future plans for the jail.
    • For more information, visit WCEAT’s Facebook page

Sat. 9/24 @ 6:30-9pm
Fourth Annual Freedom Fund Banquet with Dr. Timothy B. Tyson

Hosted by Warren Co. NAACP in collaboration with Warren County Environmental Action Team

  • Update: Changed from in-person to livestream
  • Description:
    • A wonderful in-person program was planned this year with the theme “Back Together Again.” But the pandemic is not over and cases continue to spike in Warren County. In an effort to keep everyone safe, a memorable virtual event is being planned that will feature live and recorded performances.
    • The banquet will be livestreamed from Warren County Community Center. We will celebrate: 1) being “Back Together Again” virtually and 2) the collaborative efforts of Warren County NAACP and those who sparked the Warren County Environmental Justice Movement 40 years ago. A commemorative edition program book will give special recognition to the unsung warriors of the Warren County Environmental Justice Movement in 1982.
    • For more information and how to purchase tickets to the livestreamed event, visit: Warren County NAACP’s Facebook page

Fri. 9/30 @ 12pm
“40 Years of Environmental Justice: Birth in Warren County to Today & Beyond” Webinar

Panelists:  Angella Dunston,  Rev. William (Bill) Kearney,  Danielle Koonce &  Ghanja O'Flaherty

Hosted by Clean Water for North Carolina

  • Location: FREE Online/Virtual only (see link below)
  • Description:
    • A FREE webinar commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Warren County Protests: birthing the EJ movement, where we are today, and the future.
    • To register, visit our Eventbrite page

 


Select the “40th Anniversary of EJ” designation for proceeds to benefit speaker organizations who participate in Clean Water for NC's September 30th Webinar

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