Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League 

June 15, 2015


Alabama Activists to Speak At Coal Ash Forum in Sanford
What: Press Conference and Forum
When: Press Conference: June 18, 2015, 6:00 PM, Forum, June 18, 2015 7:00 PM
Where: Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 1713 Colon Road Sanford, NC

Activists from Uniontown, Alabama will be speaking at a press conference and coal ash forum June 18, 2015. Uniontown, in Perry County Alabama is where the coal ash from the Kingston, TN. TVA spill was disposed of. This action is the basis of a Title VI civil-rights complaint filed against the Alabama Department of Environmental Management on behalf of area residents. Esther Calhoun, President of Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice and Adam Johnston, Alliance Coordinator for Alabama Rivers are making the long trip to North Carolina in solidarity with Lee and Chatham Counties. The panel will also feature John Cross from Chatham County and Lynette Hampton from Lee County. The counties have been targeted by Duke Energy for the disposal of up to 20 million tons of coal ash.

Guest Speakers:
Esther Calhoun: President of Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, Esther was born and raised in Uniontown and spent the majority of her adult life in Indiana where she worked in the medical field. Esther moved home to take care of family only to find Uniontown in a terrible situation with poverty, unemployment, and severe environmental burdens. After her family suffered an experience of police brutality, she has been an active voice in community leadership & development, human & civil rights, and an activist for justice at all levels of life. Esther dedicates her love and kindness to her community and everyone fighting for freedom and justice.

Adam Johnston: Alliance Coordinator for Al Rivers Alliance, he is an Alabama native, born and raised in the beautiful, northern portion of the Black Warrior watershed along Clear Creek. Adam graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Upon graduation, Adam joined the U.S. Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu to serve their Department of Forestry as a grassroots organizer in natural resource management. After completing his service, Adam returned home to Alabama and worked for several years at Camp McDowell's Environmental Center. Adam now works to build, unite, and support the network of more than 50 grassroots watershed guardian organizations in Alabama.

Adam and Esther will be available for telephone or in-person interviews. Contact Therese Vick at (919) 345-3673.