Date: Thursday, March 23
Time: 2-3:30 pm PT | 5-6:30 pm ET
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All people deserve access to safe drinking water. As part of the UN 2023 Water Conference, we are highlighting the need to keep plastic—and its toxic impacts—out of our water systems. Plastics are a health threat at every stage of their existence and are a critical environmental injustice issue disproportionately harming rural, low-income, and communities of color on the front lines of plastic production and disposal. That’s why plastic is not the solution for replacing the toxic lead pipes that currently deliver water into the homes of 22 million people in the United States. With $15 billion designated for lead pipe replacement over the next 5 years, this is the time to influence how the federal and local government use these funds to provide toxic-free drinking water without plastic.
During our March 23 webinar, we will discuss the health hazards of single-use plastic bottles and plastic pipes such as those made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). We’ll recommend options for safe, non-plastic drinking water solutions during lead pipe replacement as well as tips and resources to ensure community water sources remain free of pollutants. These solutions are applicable not only for lead-impacted communities, but also the growing number of communities impacted by PFAs, microplastics, and other chemicals that commonly contaminate water resources. Tune in to learn ways to keep your family safe with filtered, toxic-free water.
Joining us will be Brandi Williams, Good Trouble Department Civil and Human Rights & Fields Campaign Director, Hip Hop Caucus; Sharon Lavigne, founder of Rise St. James and 2021 recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize; Judith Enck, President of Beyond Plastics and former Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Dr. Terrence Collins, Professor of Green Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University; and Erica Cirino, Plastic Pollution Coalition Communications Manager and author of Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis. The webinar will be moderated by Madison Dennis, Filtered Not Bottled Campaign Coordinator, Plastic Pollution Coalition.
Erica Cirino is the Communications Manager of Plastic Pollution Coalition and author of Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis (Island Press, 2021). In the book, she documents plastic across ecosystems and elements; shares stories from the primarily Black, Brown, Indigenous, rural, and low-income communities that are disproportionately harmed by industrial pollution and injustice globally; and uncovers strategies that work to prevent plastic from causing further devastation to our planet and its inhabitants. Erica has spent the last decade working as a science writer, author, and artist exploring the intersection of the human and nonhuman worlds, and she is best known for her widely published photojournalistic works that cut through plastic industry misinformation to deliver the often shocking and difficult truths about plastic—the most ubiquitous and insidious man-made material on Earth.
Dr. Terrence Collins is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Green Chemistry and Director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University. The Institute is dedicated to “the intellectual growth and technical education of a new generation of ethically aware professionals who understand and practice science in the pursuit of sustainability—from the molecular level on up.” Terrence earned his undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Auckland with postdoctoral work at Stanford University. He has authored/co-authored over 250 publications, delivered over 600 public lectures, and holds over 20 career awards. He developed the first Chemistry and Sustainability university class in 1992, and believes that “achieving a sustainable global chemical enterprise is first and foremost a human character challenge.”
Judith Enck is the Founder and CEO of Beyond Plastics and former Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama, where she oversaw environmental protections in New York, New Jersey, eight Indian Nations, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She founded Beyond Plastics in 2019 with a mission to end plastic pollution through education, advocacy, and institutional change. She is a Senior Fellow and visiting faculty member at Bennington College, where she currently teaches classes on plastic pollution. Previously, Judith served as Deputy Secretary for the Environment in the New York Governor’s Office, Policy Advisor to the New York State Attorney General, Senior Environmental Associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group, and Executive Director for Environmental Advocates of New York. Judith is a past President of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and a regular contributor to public affairs discussions.
Sharon Lavigne is the Founding Director of Rise St. James, a faith-based organization focused on preventing worsening pollution from and expansion of the petrochemical industry. An environmental justice activist based in Louisiana, Sharon’s work focuses on combating petrochemical complexes and their negative health impacts on local populations in her state as well as others that comprise Cancer Alley. She is the 2022 recipient of the Laetare Medal, the highest honor for American Catholics, and a 2021 recipient of the Goldman Environmental Prize. She has testified before Congress and is also a collaborator on the Coalition Against Death Alley, a regional environmental justice group. She is also a plaintiff in White Hat v. Landry, an environmental justice case, focused on changes in Louisiana Oil and Gas law.
Brandi “Bea” Williams serves as the Civil and Human Rights, Good Trouble Department Field Campaigns Director for the Hip Hop Caucus. She is an award-winning and accredited public relations professional turned broker for change who uses her diverse public relations background to negotiate opportunities, equity, and liberation for Black people. Brandi’s advocacy ranges from environmental sustainability to education and mental health. Recently, Brandi earned the Eatmon Award, which is given annually to a person dedicated to educating Black voters. Brandi received her certification as a health coach and launched SoulMed, a holistic health collaborative for Black women. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and trauma, domestic violence, and anxiety and depression, she believes health is a radical act of social justice that can help change the trajectory of outcomes for Black people. As such, Brandi is dedicated to ensuring Black people have access to one of the most basic human rights—clean water.