USA – On the heels of massive climate legislation passing in Congress, a dirty pipeline bill proposed by Senator Joe Manchin threatens to severely weaken the governmental safeguards in place to prevent community and environmental harm from many types of projects, and threatens to legislate extraordinary measures to complete the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) a pet project of Senator Manchin.
MVP is a proposed, unwanted, unnecessary 303-mile-long fracked gas pipeline that is steamrolling its way through Virginia and West Virginia.
On Thursday, September 8, 2022 the Stop MVP coalition and People vs. Fossil Fuels coalition will convene in Washington, D.C. for ‘No Sacrifice Zones: Appalachian Resistance Comes to DC,’ to stop the MVP, show massive public opposition to Manchin’s dirty deal, unite the Appalachian frontlines and show how all sacrifice zones are connected so all of our voices and stories can be heard.
WHAT: No Sacrifice Zones: Appalachian Resistance Comes to DC – Lobby Day and Public Rally
WHEN & WHERE: Thursday, September 8, 2022, lobbying throughout the day, public rally at 5:00 PM ET at Robert A Taft Memorial Carillon (intersections New Jersey Ave and Constitution Ave)• 101 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20510 US
WHO: The Stop MVP coalition and People vs. Fossil Fuels coalition. Community leaders on the frontlines of the fight for Appalachia’s just future, and other frontline and environmental justice leaders fighting alongside us.
WHY: We are done being sacrifice zones, and we must stop this bill and MVP! We want to build community between intersectional Appalachian resistance organizations and have their voices heard! We must protect bedrock environmental laws and public input. We are in solidarity with all frontlines of the climate crisis.
John Beard, Founder, Chairman, CEO of Port Arthur Community Action Network
After working in the oil industry for 38 years, Beard turned to holding the industry accountable and became a community advocate in his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas. He founded the Port Arthur Community Action Network to fight for health and safety protections in an area teeming with refineries, export terminals, petrochemical plants — and cancer. In the past year Beard has emerged as an environmental justice leader on the national and world stage. He was one of the frontline leaders of October’s historic People Vs. Fossil Fuels week of action in Washington, which saw thousands demanding that President Biden stop approvals of fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency.
Sharon Lavigne, Founder, Rise St. James
In September 2019, Sharon Lavigne, a special education teacher turned environmental justice advocate, successfully stopped the construction of a US$1.25 billion plastics manufacturing plant alongside the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, Louisiana. Lavigne mobilized grassroots opposition to the project, educated community members, and organized peaceful protests to defend her predominantly African American community. The plant would have generated one million pounds of liquid hazardous waste annually, in a region already contending with known carcinogens and toxic air pollution.
Roishetta Ozane, Organizer, SW Louisiana, SE Texas, Healthy Gulf
Roishetta is Healthy Gulf’s Community Organizer for Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas bringing communities together to stop the buildout of petrochemical and fracked gas export facilities in the region. She is serving as a She Leads Fellow for the Power Coalition where she empowers other women of color to go out into their communities and make positive change. She is the founder of The Vessel Project of Louisiana, a small mutual aid organization located in Southwest Louisiana that was founded in the aftermath of several federally declared natural disasters that ravaged Southwest Louisiana.
Russell Chisholm, Mountain Valley Watch Coordinator, Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights Coalition (POWHR)
Russell is a fierce opponent of the Mountain Valley Pipeline based out of Newport, Virginia. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Protect Our Water, Heritage Rights Coalition. He began organizing against the MVP seven years ago when the pipeline was first proposed on his community’s land. He has since emerged as a leading voice and key spokesperson in the fight to protect West Virginia and Virginia’s land, water, rights, and committees.
Co-Founder, Seven Directions of Service
Crystal Cavalier-Keck is the co-founder of Seven Directions of Service with her husband. She is a citizen of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation in Burlington, NC. She is the Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee for the NAACP, a board member of the Haw River Assembly and a member of the 2020 Fall Cohort of the Sierra Club’s Gender Equity and Environment Program and Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) Accelerator for Grassroots Women Environmental Leaders.
Crystal is currently working on her Doctorate at the University of Dayton and dissertation on Social Justice of Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Gas/Oil Pipelines in frontline communities. Crystal is also an expert in her field of Strategic Intelligence, Political Campaigns, and Public Administration. She has conducted training along and around the East Coast on Coordinated Tribal/Community Response for emergency management, through natural, cyber, or man-made disasters.
Joye Braun, Wanbli Wiyan Ka’win, National Pipelines Campaign Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network
Eagle Feather Woman is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Joye was was one of the first campers at Sacred Stone Camp, moved to Oceti Sakowin Camp, and was at Blackhoop or Seven Generations Camp during eviction of the camps. Joye’s history of community activism includes the long fought campaign against the Keystone XL the project resurrected at the same time DAPL was renewed and continues to threaten her homelands. She is also making stands to protect the Sacred Black Hills, her Ancestral sacred lands against Fracking, Uranium and Gold mining. Joye travels extensively and speaks throughout the northern plains and participates in Indigenous gatherings in the U.S. and Canada speaking about the negative impacts the extractive economy has on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the abuses taking place in the oil patch, pipeline work, and communities where man-camps bring drugs, human trafficking, and increase crime rates wherever they are located. She is a wife, mother and grandmother.
Katherine Ferguson, Interim Executive Director, Community Organizer, Our Future West Virginia
Kathy Ferguson is a community advocate from the unincorporated district of Institute; championing racial, social, environmental, economic and restorative justice causes. She brings 25 years of social service work experience within the criminal justice system to our organization. As an organizer she will continue to demonstrate a clear commitment to helping those who are in most need and giving voice to those who are disenfranchised. Kathy is a believer in social justice and equality for all, dedicating both her professional and personal time towards this end.
Anthony Rogers-Wright, Director of Environmental Justice, NYLPI
Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright serves as NYLPI’s Director of Environmental Justice. In this capacity, he guides and coordinates the organization’s EJ strategy, litigation, organizing and advocacy initiatives. Prior to joining NYLPI, Anthony was the Policy Coordinator and Green New Deal Policy Lead with the Climate Justice Alliance, where he assisted with developing and promulgating local, State, and federal organizing and policy strategy for the alliance’s 74 grassroots, frontline-led organizations across the country. A veteran of social justice campaigns, Anthony helped lead the effort to make the former Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative the first health insurance provider in the state’s history to remove transgender exclusions from all of their policies in 2012. He has acted as a policy advisor for numerous candidates for elected office including Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign in 2020, and Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaigns in 2020 and 2016 when he represented the campaign during testimony to the DNC Platform Committee. Anthony was selected as one of the Grist.org “50 Environmentalists You’ll Be Talking About” in 2016.
Naadiya Hutchinson, Government Affairs Manager, WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
Based in WE ACT’s Federal Policy Office in Washington, DC, she ensures that government agencies and elected officials learn about and are mobilized to act on environmental justice issues and concerns. Naadiya got her Masters of Health Science from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Environmental Health, where she focused on environmental justice and gentrification. She aims to decrease environmental inequities and ensure a just transition in legacy to her family and community that have suffered for decades.
Justin J. Pearson, President & Founder, Memphis Community Against Pollution (MCAP)
Justin J. Pearson is the fourth son of five boys born to teenage parents in Memphis, Tennessee. Justin J. graduated from Mitchell High School as Valedictorian and Bowdoin College in 2017 majoring in both Government & Legal Studies and Education Studies. Justin J. is also a leader of Memphis Community Against Pollution and co-founder of Memphis Community Against the Pipeline (MCAP) which is a Black-led environmental justice organization that successfully defeated a multi-billion dollar company’s crude oil pipeline project. He is the Co-Lead and the Strategic Advisor for the Mid South Mobilization Committee of the Poor People’s Campaign: National Call for Moral Revival. He currently lives in Memphis and also works at the headquarters of Year Up in Boston, Massachusetts. He is focused on social, racial, and economic justice as Special Assistant to the CEO of Year Up – a national program helping 18 – 24-year-olds gain training and entry-level jobs. Justin J. Pearson has an unwavering commitment to justice and dedicates his life to this endless pursuit.
James Hiatt, Southwest Louisiana Coordinator for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade
James has over a decade of experience working in the petrochemical industry – as a ship agent, a dock worker, a tank farm operator, and a laboratory analyst. He has seen and experienced the cognitive dissonance many workers feel between earning a living and the negative impacts on health and the environment that come from these industries. James has deep roots in Southwest Louisiana, having been born in Sulphur and raised in Lake Charles. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from McNeese State University. He completed a two-year Contemplative spirituality program in 2019 at the Living School for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His great joys in life include spending time with his family and friends, traveling, music, and working towards a more just and loving world.
Jeremiah Joseph, community member from a mining-impacted community in California
Jeremiah is 38 years of age, and was grown and ripened on the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation. He currently works as a Cultural Resource Protector and Land Restoration Specialist, protecting ancestral lands at Conglomerate Mesa from the impacts of gold mining.
Cheyenna Morgan, member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indian and a descendant of the Oglala Lakota Tribe
Cheyenna grew up in a small town in eastern Oklahoma on Tsalagi land, Stilwell, Oklahoma. Cheyenna is with Ikiya Collective, Ikiya Collective is a frontline-led group of femme, queer, two-spirit Black, Indigenous, and people of the global majority organizing in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico who believe through direct action another world is possible.
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