Busboys and Poets - 14th & V, Washington, D.C.
October 13, 2022
In its third successful storytelling salon, People over Plastic convened a packed room full of activists, artists, residents and supporters for a revealing conversation at D.C.’s iconic BusBoys and Poets bookstore. The event was moderated by artist and innovator Michelle Antoinette Nelson, a seasoned entertainer and the founder of Brown and Healthy - a global initiative focused on community engagement and wellness curation led by people of color.
Lorena Quiroz of Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity in Jackson, MS, who shared what it was like to welcome new immigrants from Guatemala to her community at a time when there was no water for drinking or cooking, all while fighting for a resolution to Jackson’s water crisis – from releasing funds to pushing back on efforts to blame city leaders of color. The organization she founded engages area immigrants – many of whom have fled climate change as well as violence at home – in local civic affairs.
Frankie Orona of Society of Native Nations, who spoke about the role of fossil fuels in plastics manufacturing and his experiences fighting the impacts of the industry and the fracking that supports it in the San Antonio area and traditionally Native lands throughout the Gulf South. He described learning that 85 percent of Corpus Christi’s water was being used by industry and our collective responsibility to future generations.
Shashawnda Campbell of South Baltimore Community Land Trust, who shared about pervasive respiratory problems, mold in homes, and other issues linked to decades of pollution and waste incineration in her community. As a high school student, she led a successful 5-year effort to shut down a massive incinerator project just a mile from her school; now she pushes for zero waste solutions city-wide.
Student Poet Nageen Rameez delivered a rousing, chilling, beautiful poem "Environmental Education.” Her powerful words wove a narrative of flooding in Pakistan, clean air, college, family, and the Global North and South.