Archives for posts with tag: environmental activism


March 22, 2012 was World Water Day. See how North Carolina citizens came together to protect their waters from coal ash.

It’s no secret that coal is our dirtiest energy source. However, what many people don’t know is that as coal burns, many of its most toxic elements, including heavy metals like arsenic, mercury and chromium, are concentrated in the ash that remains and the sludge that’s scrubbed from smokestacks. This by-product is called coal ash. It’s the second largest industrial waste stream in United States and is essentially unregulated.

Peggy Shepard 

Peggy Shepard is executive director and co-founder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Founded in 1988, WE ACT was New York’s first environmental justice organization created to improve environmental health and quality of life in communities of color.

In this portion of my interview, she discusses some of the challenges and rewards of environmental activism, as she responds to the prompts listed below.

(Duration 14:22)


Part 7 – Environmental Activism

  1. What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles to reform and most significant challenges to reformers? 00:40
  2. Why is community involvement and mobilization important? 03:00
  3. Why do you think community organizing has died out? 05:20
  4. What are some consequences of not having meaningful community movements? 07:00
  5. Why do you suppose so many people are apathetic with regard to environmental health risks? 08:30
  6. Does the global focus of many mainstream environmental groups contribute to the public apathy toward more local environmental justice concerns? 10:00
  7. What can we do to promote environmental health and environmental justice in our own communities? 11:00

Go to Part 8 – “Five Favorites”.

Title Duration
Part 1 – Early Career 10:30
Part 2 – The Origins of WE ACT 8:24
Part 3 – The Work of WE ACT 11:02
Part 4 – Environmental Health & Justice 6:29
Part 5 – Collaborating with Scientists 7:51
Part 6 – Policy Reforms 10:15
Part 7 – Environmental Activism 14:22
Part 8 – Five Favorites 5:45
Full Interview 66:41

Visit Peggy Shepard’s main Upstream page.

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