Coming Clean, a network of 200 community, state and national organizations working to reduce the disproportionate suffering toxic chemicals impose on people of color and the poor, is deeply saddened and disappointed by the recent racist, hateful actions in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our hearts are with the victims of these attacks—whether they died or were injured directly by white supremacists, died in an accident while seeking to protect the public, or were one of the millions among us who felt the chill and horror intended by this terrorist attack. We condemn racism and all supremacist ideologies everywhere they appear, be they in the streets of Charlottesville, our institutions of government and criminal justice, and in the daily lives of those who continue to suffer their impacts.
These recent events, and their aftermath, remind us yet again that the cause of justice, with people historically and currently discriminated against in this country, is a righteous path for all to travel together. Now is the moment—and going forward is the way—for good people of all backgrounds to stand together to call out that which is abhorrent and unacceptable: the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis, White Separatists, White Nationalists, antisemitism, and any supremacist ideology which has entangled itself in the fabric of our national identity.
For 16 years, Coming Clean has been working to put power back into the hands of people who have been treated unjustly—both historically and today. Through our work to support and elevate grassroots, community voices which are all too often ignored, we’ve encountered the repugnant undercurrents of racism and intolerance time and again. While we’re no strangers to this concern, this recent terrorist attack further impacts us all. As we also feel the sting of this attack, we stand side-by-side in solidarity with every victim and the causes they make sacrifices for.
We have a lot to learn, and to gain, from the many leaders who make sacrifices while seeking to change our society’s supremacist world-views and those passionately working at the grassroots level to protect their neighborhoods. Coming Clean serves in solidarity with their struggle, supports their leadership, and rejects all bigotry and discrimination. We stand with those who have been marginalized, disenfranchised, culturally co-opted, and whose land has been stolen and gentrified.
With renewed purpose, we will continue our work to lift the voices of people directly impacted by unjust, racist and harmful toxic chemical exposures. Every day, the manufacture of chemicals and pesticides, and their use on fields and in products for sale, can cause catastrophic industrial accidents and both chronic and acute exposures that can lead to cancer, asthma, obesity, learning and developmental disorders, premature death, infertility, reduced sperm count, and pregnancy disorders—which have been shown to have a greater and more frequent impact on people of color and the poor. This must stop.
Now is the time for moral clarity, for renewed resolve, and for unequivocal condemnation of racist practices and supremacist ideologies by all public officials, institutions, and elements of our society. Only with a shared goal of recognizing the equal humanity and value of everyone among can we then move forward and heal the wounds of racism so clearly still festering in our society.
Richard Moore – Co-Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance
Michele Roberts – Co-Coordinator of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance
Judy Robinson – Executive Director of Coming Clean
Helga Garza, Agri-Cultura Network
Pamela Miller, Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Katie Huffling, RN, MS, CNM, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
Kara Brewer Boyd, Association of American Indian Farmers
Lisa Arkin, Beyond Toxics
Janette Robinson Flint, Black Women for Wellness
Charlotte Brody, RN, BlueGreen Alliance and Healthy Babies Bright Futures
Jeanne Rizzo, RN, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners
Michael Green, Center for Environmental Health
Barbara Warren, Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
Kathleen A. Curtis, LPN, Clean and Healthy New York
Robert Wendelgass, Clean Water Action
Karen Wang, Collaborative on Health and the Environment
Sharyle Patton, Commonweal
Penny Dryden, Community Housing and Empowerment Connection Inc.
Rev. David Bouie, Concerned Citizens of Crossett for Environmental Justice
Sofia Martinez, Concerned Citizens of Wagon Mound & Mora County
Jose Arce, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental and Economic Justice
Kenneth and Octavia Dryden, Delaware Concerned Residents for Environmental Justice
Judy Braiman, Empire State Consumer Project
Jeannie Economos, Farmworker Association of Florida
Lisa Archer, Friends of the Earth
Daniel Parshley, Glynn Environmental Coalition
Fran Teplitz, Green America
Arlene Blum, Green Science Policy Institute
Eric Uram, Headwater LLC
Tom Lent, Healthy Building Network
Carol Westinghouse, Informed Green Solutions
Jaydee Hanson, International Center for Technology Assessment
Richard Moore, Los Jardines Institute
Jose Bravo, The Just Transition Alliance
Monica Unseld, Kentucky Environmental Foundation
Susan Cann, MADE SAFE®
Dorothy Felix, Mossville Environmental Action Now
Gregg Suzanne McAllister, Mothers of Diversity America
Bahati Ansari, The National Racism Free Zone Institute
Amy Ziff, Nontoxic Certified
Dr. Daniel Faber, Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative
Lauren Heine, Ph.D., Northwest Green Chemistry
Pam Nixon, People Concerned About Chemical Safety
Susana Almanza, People Organized in Defense of the Earth and her Resources (PODER)
Kristin S. Schafer, Pesticide Action Network
Martha Dina Arguello, Physicians for Social Responsibility--Los Angeles
Jacque M. Garcia, MPH, Place Matters
Eboni Cochran, Rubbertown Emergency Action
Diana Lopez, Southwest Workers Union
Juan Parras, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services
Dylan Williams, Toxic Free NC
Andrew A. Rosenberg, Ph.D., Union of Concerned Scientists
Cecil Corbin-Mark, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Dr. Henry Clark, West County Toxics Coalition
Erin Switalski, Women’s Voices for the Earth
Eric Whalen; Communications Coordinator, Coming Clean; (971) 998-8786, firstname.lastname@example.org.