OVEC Action Alert

Time of Transformation: June 2020

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Action Alert
Supporting Organized Voices and
Empowered Communities Since 1987
Jun 8, 2020 View / Comment Online

Our world is in a state of tumult as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, alongside systemic racism. While what we are witnessing has been going on in various forms for centuries, videos recorded on cell phones have been helping to expose—to those of us who before have refused to see it—the daily assaults white supremacy culture perpetrates upon Black people, as well as Indigenous, Brown, Asian, and LGBTQ+ people.

Some of the most prominent recent manifestations of white supremacy include police in Louisville killing Breonna Taylor in her bed, then white vigilantes taking the life of a jogging Black man, then a woman in Central Park weaponizing her whiteness against a black bird-watcher, and, on the very same day, police in Minneapolis murdering George Floyd in broad daylight, one police officer kneeling calmly on his neck for nearly nine minutes, while others assisted and watched as Mr. Floyd said repeatedly, “I can’t breathe.” It was a terrifying example of a modern-day lynching. 

The callous, casual murder of George Floyd by police officers who likely felt the system would protect them from prosecution became the catalyst for protests (including here in Huntington) that only continue to build, thanks to the long-term ground work laid by the Black Lives Matter movement, Color of Change, the NAACP and other Black-led groups. We, the people, are calling en masse for a final end to the often deadly injustices brought about by systemic racism and white supremacy. 

For many White people there seems to be an awakening (or yet another reminder!) that merely thinking we are not racists is not enough. There’s so much we must do in educating ourselves and one another about white privilege, white fragility, anti-blackness, structural inequality, and so much more. There are endless resources available to us online to help delve deep into anti-racist work, which we must carry out at home, in school and at work. For White environmentalists, anti-racist work is not “out of our lane.” Communities of color and low-income are the most highly polluted neighborhoods in our country, and climate change is the ultimate issue of environmental justice—or lack thereof. 

We have our calls to action: working on ourselves as we work upon the issues that lead us ever-closer to the American ideal of liberty and justice for all. 

Today is last day to register for June 9 Primary Election in West ...Go Vote, West Virginia!

Why vote: On June 5, in an New York Times op-ed, I Know Voting Feels Inadequate Right Now, Stacey Abrams writes, “Every night for more than a week, we have witnessed the anguish and anger of demonstrators, their cries punctured by politicians urging them to vote their power. Both are right. Protest to demand attention to the wrenching pain of systemic injustice. Vote because we deserve leaders who see us, who hear us and who are willing to act on our demands. Voting will not save us from harm, but silence will surely damn us all.”

The words of encouragement to vote come just in time, because, today, June 9, is West Virginia’s Primary Election Day. Today is also the general judicial election. Since there will be further voting on the judiciary in November, this is our only opportunity to elect three out of five justices to the West Virginia Supreme Court. Visit this website to read more about the judicial candidates.

We strongly encourage you to exercise your democratic right and responsibility to vote. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Have questions about your registration or polling location? Click here for more information.

Why vote? OVEC Executive Director Vivian Stockman is quoted in a June 7 Sludge article, Dark Money Pours Into West Virginia Ahead of State Supreme Court Election, “That these corporations are so secretively spending so much to try to influence our elections tell us something though—our votes are powerful. Though it is hard to overcome the noise and the negativity of the ads, it behooves those of us who want to see rapid progress toward a more just society to ignore the ads, inform ourselves, vote for the best available candidates, and then—in between judicial elections—birddog another branch of government to demand laws that protect and restore judicial independence.”

Why vote? Leslie Jones on Why Americans Need to Vote

The Power of Story How to watch 'Just Mercy' for free

We are currently experiencing a historic period of transformation as people of color and their allies come together across the nation to demand an end to racial injustice, systemic racism, and white supremacy.

For the month of June, Warner Bros. Entertainment has made Just Mercy, a film based on the life work of civil rights attorney Brian Stevenson, free to watch for anyone who is interested in learning more about about the dangers to all of us from systemic racism.

Click here to find out where to watch the film.

People Over Petro – Building a world that puts people firstTackling the A-Z Impacts of Plastics 

This summer, People Over Petro are exposing the threats posed by petrochemical facilities in the Ohio River Valley and beyond in a four-part webinar series. Join us to build a future free from plastic pollution! Click here to register for part two of the series.

Humans Are a Force of Nature… The Human Element (2018) - IMDb

More than 7,000 people viewed The Human Element during Faith Climate Action Week in April this year.

Due to popular demand, Interfaith Power & Light is offering another free opportunity to view this documentary about how environmental change is affecting the lives of everyday Americans from June 8 to June 17.

Remember to Get Counted

The United States Census of 2020 is the twenty-fourth United States Census. Your response helps to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services.

For the first time, you can choose to respond online, by phone, or by mail. Respond today.

When you take part in the Census, you take part in building power in your community. 

The 2020 Census Is Critical For Black People. Here’s Why We Need to ‘Make Black Count’



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