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tv   After Words Catherine Flowers Waste  CSPAN  September 2, 2021 8:01pm-9:03pm EDT

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>> weekends on c-span2, intellectual peace. every saturday, american history tv documents american stories and sundays, book tv brings the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies and more including comcast. >> you think it's just a community center? it's way more than that. >> comcast partners with 1000 community centers to create wi-fi enabled lists of students from low income families can get the tools they need to be ready for anything. ♪♪ >> next on book tvs "afterwards", catherine, founder is hundred and rural enterprise environmental reflecting on her efforts to improve water and sanitation conditions interviewed by senior editor
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with relevant pop nonfiction authors about the. they are available as podcasts. >> catherine, first i would like to say a huge congratulations on your mcarthur grab announced recently. >> thank you. >> amazing accomplishment. i've come up around the same time as this book which we are going to discuss today. i am curious, you have been working in the county now for 20 years or so. what made now the right time for this book and what made you rock want to write it? >> it's very interesting. i voice wanted to write a book. those who have known me for a
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long time i've been talking about writing since high school. book just felt right for me to do it. i started writing it last year had no idea the events that are going to happen in 2020 but i thought 2020 this is the growth of the book needed to be out there. i had no idea the historical part would be in my favor in terms of making it wants receptive, it may have been at another time so i felt that it was time to write it and tell the story. >> what is the key message you want to convey and who is the key audience you had in mind? >> i have the option of writing
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an academic book or reach a mass audience. i wanted to reach a mass audience. i wanted to write it in such a way coming from my country girl perspective, a way that it can communicate with everyone and everyone can see themselves in it and no matter where you're from or new york city, you can make different. >> that's an important message. much of the book takes place in alabama which i believe are currently. i'm curious, can you speak a little bit about the region which you've known for decades and of course your specific connection to it. >> is located between osama and montgomery. it's about 714 square miles,
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small towns, the largest being in the southern part of the county. the major interstate highway through the, interstate 65 north and south difficult, you'd probably go through that county. if you're on 65, the other famous one people most know about is the march that goes through lowndes county. in addition, lowndes county is tied to slavery. i've associated with the newport justice initiative and it's recorded racial in mount county, at least nine. there are probably even more, most of which are probably not documented but montgomery is when they entered the international slave trade from montgomery became a hub of the
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domestic slave trade. people would be brought in by rail or river to montgomery and a lot of those people which i am descended soft, ended up in lowndes county. the interesting part about this history is that i'm learning more recently starting to hear from some people who are actually descended from the slave owners who have reached out as well. i believe the history of the region makes it so compelling and this dory even more compelling right now at this particular time. >> you mentioned earlier about the importance of the year 2020, how the events of 2020 served as a backdrop for the book so i am curious, what is the situation
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in lowndes county related to covid-19? the racial protests we saw throughout the summer that has been a remarkable year, in good ways and bad. i am curious how they weather that. >> in terms of covid-19, lowndes county is the highest capitol death in the state of alabama. there have been lots of people that have passed on and in some cases, more than one immediate family member because of intersections of poverty living in small homes small mobile homes where they can isolate or people able, who had to go to work and they are working on
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low-paying jobs to support their families and they got in from work and brought it home. there is a really intense impact on lowndes county. in terms of their history of racial justice, i think it's timely the story right now because lowndes county at one time because of what existed, it's significant during the voting rights movement, it is significant stuff to this year, the lowndes county freedom organization, sharecroppers kicked off the property when they departed. the freedom organization in the black panther, people associated with the black panther party but actually started in lowndes county. all of these lowndes county
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became the perfect place to emanate because of happened prior to 2020 but 2020 has shown us all of these disparities and has magnified it in such a way with covid that it can't be ignored i think the book may have had a different perspective option had it not been for george floyd, a murder that she should never have happened. likewise, covid should not have an impact on the communities most vulnerable but it puts us in a position where we have to do something about it. >> the roots of a lot of -- you have an early view about when you moved to lowndes county in 1950 and you write about your parents and the people who would
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come by your house and ask for advice among members of the civil rights movement that were sort of in your orbit even when you are young. can you talk about that? i know you mentioned black panther starting from lowndes county but could you tell us about that early history? >> i call my parents jailhouse lawyer. everybody would come by our house and give advice from a bit of background about my parents, my father was a korean veteran. he talked about the fact that my father was in the military, he went in the military shortly after the end of world war ii so he is impacted by what he saw in
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germany and that had a lot to do with his value for the u.s. constitution and as a result, he said he spent five years, four months and 17 days in the military and he was going to enjoy every privilege and benefit that went along with defending u.s. constitution fighting tierney are brought so he flew a flight everyday, we had a flight in front of our house and my brother would say he's a real patriot. i don't know if some problem subs patriots today but he was and felt everybody should have had access to those rights no matter who they were and fought for them. as a result, a lot of people would come to our home. my mother was an organizer, she was a quieter person but very welcoming anyone who came to our home, so we had a lot of people
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who would come through just to give an example, one person i met, willie, people know him now as mikasa but he was the first with black power. he was probably similar to who he was to doctor martin luther king junior so i met him when i was very young and we continued to state in touch to this day. there is another household very influential, the jackson household. the jackson family, a family that gave -- none of our coordinating committee was on their property. whenever people would come to town from the actavis or
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whoever, they would make it to the jackson house and the jackson's would invite my parents to come and they would take me so i have the opportunity to meet all of these people, having no idea at the time the impact they were having on my life but it was very significant. >> it seems like the first instance on the path to where you are now where you started started to show the actavis group had taken hold, he wrote an article for a newsletter about the training school where you attended high school. you credit that piece changing your life, can you tell us a little bit about the article and what you set out to document?
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[laughter] >> i had that invited to be part of a local weekly television show called focus. it's now a city council person here named tracy larkins and on the show i was invited because i wrote poetry. i thought that's why i was invited but i was there and recited my poetry and they asked about my school, i didn't know my schools reputation was a bad reputation. there was someone in the audience, her name, paley weaver went on to become one of the founders of the law center approached me and asked me if i would write an article for newsletter she is doing about my school and i wrote the article and i talked about the fact that i wanted a quality education and how the principal has shown a
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movie about school hours and of course we went to see it because it was a movie i've seen in montgomery in theaters without apparent been present at the time. it was at least r-rated. from that, we got a call from two organizers with the american service committee in montgomery and they asked to see me, they asked parents to see me and asked me -- they serve tello about my school and the article gave me a copy of this alabama code about education and asked me to read it and taught me how to document every violation i saw at my school and that began
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my active career, learning how to change things. >> then you carry back into college with your work for alabama state university and it was an interesting spot where they were looking to merge with a couple of other schools and you became active in the effort to help retain its identity. i am curious, i would love to hear more about your relationship about that particular school because it seems like you went there initially and left and came back and it seems to have been an important place much like lowndes county itself where you would find yourself coming back. >> alabama state university has a rich history in this area and activism.
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a lot of people involved in modern-day civil rights movement emanated from alabama state university and attended alabama state university, professors and students were quite active. for the flyers distributed printed alabama university so alabama state university is important to me because some of the professors there profound influence on my life that's where i was introduced to african-american history. i became a history major because of that mostly. that's what i was introduced to franklin, i still have a copy of it because of alabama state university so when there was an
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effort to merge the universities, i sprung into action and didn't even think about it. but i have influential people in my life. joe read, his son is just elected first black mayor of montgomery. he talked about a lot of the things, by history but also understands the policy part which i didn't understand as a student at that time. all i knew was my role as an activist, i organized a march to save alabama university. i pulled together a group of my friends initially and we started organizing, the time when i came, i was in the hospital, that's when we had our first meeting. at saint jude where i was in the hospital at the time. we pulled together a group of students and more people got involved and that included a
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young man named randy anderson, a veteran who returned to montgomery, his father was an airman and we pulled together students with the largest march the days of the civil rights movement and we also organized not only students from alabama state university but we went around the state and organized students from other ac hughes who showed up, it was very momentous and for me it was rewarding as a young person to see that many people come together to try to save his legacy. >> that's amazing. through that, you met people like doctor larry and james orange, i happened to live in atlanta a mile and a half away from the martin luther king birthplace and museum.
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these people are legends here. to walk amongst them when you are relatively young adult, how did that influence you in your work now? >> the way it influences me now is passing on what i have two young people. james called everybody a leader and he was a big leader so i think doctor larry and his staff and osborne and dolphin who took me under their wing when i was very young was outstanding. i met james in selma, i had no idea who he was. i was with a gentleman named leon, i was sitting with leon at the time and gage was sitting
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nearby, they were there for them voting rights right and we became friends and stayed in contact through the years but i have doctor larry prior to this because of the work i was doing because they supported us. we established a chapter, we establish a chapter at the university so to be around these folks, i had no idea they were bigger than life. more recent times i've realized james was very instrumental, what happened in the montgomery merge, he never talked about it. he was very humble. every time he saw me anywhere, i remember i saw him in washington for one of the marchers on washington, one of the anniversaries and he was standing behind this area they had blocked off for the dignitaries and he said come
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here, baby that's what he always called me. he was always that kind of person and reverend lowery was probably one reason why i spoke english a little better because he was always correcting me. [laughter] but i've gotten to the age now where i can look back and reflect and realize these are all these moments. i feel very fortunate to have been around them and to have learned from them. >> and it seems like when you left college and became a teacher, those types of connections and ability to expose students to leaders and
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people out in the world to make change seemed important to you. i was really struck by the experience you tried -- you went through great pain to put together for your students taking middle schoolers from d.c. to the 25th anniversary of the montgomery march or north carolina to bill clinton's inauguration. i am curious when you were thinking about that as an educator, what was driving you to create those moments for the students? >> to see history and action, i think young people sometimes it's hard for them -- we talk about other things that happen they need to know about american history but to actually see how
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activism can make a difference, to actually see people -- we were talking about the constitution, to see the impact of it but also to be around people who could have an influence on them. we went went to the 25th anniversary montgomery march from we have a chance to meet a lot of people. because we had a bus for our students there, a charter bus, the older people on the march, we get them on the bus while students were marching because it was cooler and a lot of them couldn't make that mark walk again. one person met a woman named annie cooper, if anybody saw the movie selma, oprah winfrey later in the movie but annie cooper shared with them her story and
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the children became so in love with her, they start calling her grandma. some continue to write her even after but we never knew the historical figure she was so i just said it was important for my students to have the opportunity to go to selma, to meet people there, their assignment was to meet somebody who participated in the original march and write about them. and they did and now a lot of those students are now in their 40s and they reach out to me. i remember one student reached out to me and told me when obama ran for president, he went and volunteered and worked in his office, campaign office. he said the reason i did that was because i thought about selma and this was a student i had taken in when he was in the eighth grade.
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when you plant these seeds, you don't know until years later the impact. regarding the election, it's very important for them because to go to the country in operation, i had promised, i interviewed at that school prior to the election and one thing, no matter who wins, there were three people running, bill clinton bush -- matter who won that year, i was going to take the students to the inauguration and i feel it was the opportunity for them to learn what the electoral college was and how it worked and also an opportunity for them to see the process in terms of transition. bill clinton one and i wrote the book, i went to washington during my christmas break and volunteered at their
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inauguration headquarters. it was the navy yard and volunteered their and crop the opportunity, i was invited to come back as a hostess for the arkansas fall, the ticket that year but it gave me access to information about everything else, to take my students. >> is a lot, it's interesting the book as i was reading it, it felt like it had two specific sections. one where you were sort of coming of age going through a series of informative experiences and really traveling and living extensively throughout the eastern half of the u.s. and i guess also in oklahoma and it was a very
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personal journey for the first half of it and we learn about your parents and your husband into the accident he suffered and then your advocacy for him and then when we get to 2000, shortly after your dad passes, you are still the vehicle for the story but it becomes much more about lowndes county and the people who live there and we don't hear again about your husband's or taylor. without a conscious decision, did you see yourself switching from the making of catherine flowers to your work in lawrence county as you are fighting?
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>> i think i wrote it to help people understand how i got there and it was important to tell a part of the story started off as a normal person. it evolved, it was almost like serendipity the way things happen. i was still a mom and by that time we were divorced but the story shifted because my activism kind of took off. lowndes county to me is like a family member, to but it's a family member that's always been there because of the love i have for the county my father instilled in me and have so many relatives because that's where a lot of family is. so i thought it was important for people to see my evolution
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took me back to where i started. >> and bears a few little nuggets in the book were you mention the book jonathan and how that struck you personally. he mentioned that sometime quietly wanting to be an astronaut. you know you have this adventurer within you and yet your story came full circle back to where you were as a young person. i am curious how -- it's become extremely focused in the last 20 years, i am curious how that whole work went for you. [laughter] >> well, i still have a love for nasa and space travel and hopefully one day i get a chance to have that experience but i
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think evolution itself was natural because of the other events i had no control of. having the opportunity to take everything i've learned and apply it to help deal with that problem so in terms of my lustful adventure, i still have that. the activism is more of a heartfelt thing. the things i've gravitated toward, i believe like lowndes county more or less because i am from lowndes county. i have the opportunity and privilege to live other places and when i went back and saw things had not changed much, i also still had relationships
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that i still have relationships i've had since i was a child that pretty much gave me the information i needed to connect with my activism to try to bring about change. in mount county i learned how to listen and listening is a key part to activism. a lot of people don't listen and they go in with what they think are the answers and talk to local folks. they need to be able to understand the dynamics of what is really going on instead of what they've been told by politicians and they write a narrative so that arc that brought me back there and got me connected with the fight for
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sanitation justice, i could not have predicted that. i did not predict that, i didn't think i would be dealing with waste in particular but here we are. >> and you came back to beat an economic development. >> yes. >> in the book, you tell a story about senator elizabeth warren diagnosing what was going on in lowndes county. it seemed to parallel your early arrival there in terms of being epic to sum up why the area wasn't finding new businesses to come in. as you are working on economic development issues, you start to
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realize the literal steps of the sanitation issue. i'm curious, can you explain that awakening where you come to solve this problem and then you realize there are so many more underlying issues related to poverty and race. >> one of the things i found, first of all it was very hard. for some people with preconceived notions about lowndes county government or had access, they were implicit bias to determine, i didn't know what to call it as implicit bias but that's what i came to understand it works. decide who should get access to it should.
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i still today because the business community can get access to funding or they try to wrap it in that package and give it to them, they can get the economic welfare from the government but when it comes to residents, they are left to their own devices and that's a failed paradigm. what i had been told initially, if you have businesses coming to the area, it will bring jobs in the community will drive lift them up of poverty but it doesn't happen because we don't unpeeled and undo systemic racism has created these situations in the first place. the reasons the situations were created was to keep the labor cheap because they are used to having three labor during slavery and it manifest or evolved in so many different ways over the years so you can still get cheap labor. if they want it, they have to
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pay property if they want cheap labor so they are denied access to infrastructure, they can bring other kinds of jobs that could raise the standards of living and also raise the money that people could have divided things like better homes, pay for education for their children, put money into the school system and all a lot part of a successful paradigm but i think the conflict i had at that time from and i love elizabeth warren, the conflict at that time she was the same thing as i had earlier but it didn't work for her. economic development elected officials usually bring in
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landfield, chemical plants and other types of plants to poison the environment it would poison the people, too. they were already suffering from health care disparity so it's the paradigm of where they think it's okay to sacrifice these communities and that is one of the things we have to change and hopefully people can see that in the book and one reason i tell the story that way because we've unpacked layers to get that way. some of it was intentional. >> you've mentioned you love elizabeth warren, she's obviously an ally of your work now. perhaps more surprising to readers might be an ally you have early on when you go back to alabama, former attorney general jeff sessions. also you worked closely with bob
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woodson who i believe also was mcarthur but is a conservative and i'm curious, there unlikely characters reading and i think everybody was watching this probably has a good idea jeff sessions is less apartments are woodson so if you could tell us about him but also what it's like to work with people whose political beliefs may be didn't square with yours but you are able to find collaborative common goals with. >> growing up in the state that's now very red and has been for a long time, i have learned to navigate in this situation
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with mr. whitson, i met him after bush was elected president and west imbibed from the young man said -- he was working for jc at that time. he's from a community similar to blount county, eufaula oklahoma so i was invited to the faith-based event and i went. after the summit, something he said spoke to me. i have seen him on television when they were trying to decide who the president was and he was speaking on behalf of the bush campaign so i went, i saw him leave the stage and i followed him and i started talking to him and asking him if he would come to lowndes county to help me and i told him what his trying to do.
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i took my students and equipment except the fact that he was a conservative it was interesting how i evolved to accept him for who he was but he agreed to help us and i found out he was very good working in neighborhoods and helping young people, a lot of the work, a lot of people don't know about it and how significant he is to these communities in terms of helping young men who have been a victim of the system being able to overcome that. i was pleasantly surprised when i found out but when he came to lowndes county the first time, he sprung into action to help us. and a lot of his friends were
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actually democrat. one of his best friends called him the bipartisanship and how people can be friends and sometimes people of different political belief systems don't talk to him. let us a rare group of people, the way i met senator sessions, they have town hall meetings in lowndes county and throughout the state senators coming back and tell them what they are doing in washington. this particular town hall meeting, i went there and he talked about these grant programs available and i raised my hand and asked, how do poor
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communities get access? he couldn't answer the question. surprisingly, he came to me "afterwards" and we talked and he said i've always been interested and concerned about this, i don't know how to do that, how do we deal with that? that's how we started and he told me he was originally from wilcox county alabama and he told me, he said my family didn't have a television in the house until i was a teen and shared experience of property which a lot of people don't talk about. i think we need to talk about that more even though some of us have made it and talk about the fact that we have that shared experience that was how jeff sessions connected. then at that time whenever we
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had meetings, he would send a representative to be there because during that time, i started getting death threats. somebody put a pipe bomb by my apartment. there ten people to be with me when i would go places and i felt it provided me with a degree of security, i would not have had that had senator sessions aid not been with me at the meeting where they had to take me seriously and a way in which they would not have before because how many u.s. senators would do that? that was the first experience working this we continue to have a friendship even after that for quite some time. >> you mentioned part of the connection was he's from the black belt so i want to take a turn toward this part of the
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story. first, i want you to explain to our viewers what it means to be part of alabama's black belt and how that relates to the sanitation issue. >> alabama's black belt consists primarily of 17 counties and most of them have a heavy consistency and they hold water. that is just one part of the story. i think the other part is we have water in a lot of these areas that are getting higher as we deal with sealevel rise but it's hard for the system to work and when the septic systems fail, they tend to either have to reach on top of the ground or
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bring it back into the home especially when the grounders saturated with water but the region is heavily populated, heavily part of any by african-americans and a lot of them don't have wastewater infrastructure in place, actually one time the department, the cabinet level department is responsible for sanitation and housing, the usda. i remember the other u.s. senator from alabama telling me once find out why alabama sending money back to washington for usda. he's not one time they came supposed to help families there, they would send it back instead of making sure there was
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infrastructure in place that we could use instead of the duper infrastructure in place, the cheapest infrastructure and the narrative becomes the people don't know how to manage it but they seldom the cheapest, most unreliable infrastructure there is and then blame it on the people they would not put the same infrastructure in more affluent communities. >> that was part of this what you call an economy how it evolved to pray on impoverished citizens in lowndes county, correct? >> yes. >> a lot of what you have done the last 15 -- 20 years is take various visitors, u.s. senators and journalists, a whole host of
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people to see people in lowndes county in 2009 we went to see a woman, i'm wondering if you will tell us about what happens when you visited her property and what it led to because it has led to a stunning discovery eight years later. >> i got a call from the person, one of the regional environmentalists for the state health department. there is a young woman in their young 20s and pregnant. there were threatening her because she didn't have this. what i did know when i went there, her family somehow scrape together i think $800 to keep her out of jail so before going
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there, i called the associated press and turk a journalist with me because i've learned sometimes you have to shed light on situations to be radioactive to keep things from happening. in this case, i felt i needed that witness and we went there and we met this same person who called me along the person who's in an environmentalist at the time. we went into her home and she explained to us she had a child who was autistic and pregnant with another one. she was only getting disability, she didn't have a disability for her child and she didn't have a big income where she could put in a septic system. the property she lived on was her mother's property and it was more than a few acres so nobody was close by.
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they probably smelled it but they weren't that close, nobody lived that close to them. i asked to see where the area was because were inside the home so we went out, she was in a single wide mobile home and we walked to the side in october which was still very warm then. there was a pig outside her back door, someone dug a pit where the sewage came from the house because her mobile home they get pvc pipes and it will go outside the home on the flush the toilet and it was right outside her back door and it was teaming with mosquitoes. i had an address, address and stockings. i had so many bites on my legs at the time and i didn't think about it right away until i
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started making out in a rash and i went to my doctor, a nurse practitioner and i told her what happened, i was around raw sewage, that had mosquitoes on it and the mosquitoes bit me and i broke out, i went to test my blood to make sure i don't have anything because i know with blood being involved on feces, what could potentially be wrong with me? all the tests came back negative and when the test results came back negative, i asked her, is it possible i could -- because american doctors are not trained to look for these are not issues you expect to find in the united states, we don't even acknowledge we have this problem. she said yes so later i saw an op-ed written in the new york
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times by doctor peter who had now become part of one of the spokespersons about covid because he's an infectious disease specialist and also the creator of vaccine and he wrote about tropical diseases being on our shores. i saw in this op-ed, he mentioned wastewater. so i googled him, found an e-mail address, e-mailed him, he e-mailed me right back i said when i was seen by my own experience, he e-mailed me right away. he was going to be an atlanta the next week and we met at the conference he was therefore and we talked. he said i'm going to send my scientologist there. one thing he told me, he said these are neglected diseases of poverty. he said anywhere find property in the world, he will find this disease so anyway, that's how we
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ended up doing the parasite, which we collected water and blood samples from people throughout the county and we were able -- in their lab in houston, they were able to find evidential formulas. >> how shocked were you when the result came back? think it was a third of the people tested or more? >> i was shocked there were so many but i wasn't shocked at the finding. because people have been complaining about illnesses. one of the things -- i had gone to mounds county accompanying some partners, the organization
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-- we went there to visit some of the folks but they were sick. they were in my age group and one of the persons on the trip said catherine, they look so much older but it was because they were sick. i was trying to figure out why are so many people sick? why are so many people -- it seems like when illness takes place, it gets worse and i couldn't figure out why. so this result helps me understand part of it and why there was so much asthma. a lot of people with respiratory illness so there's probably more we simply have not worked for yet. >> toward the end of the book you say a few years ago you
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would have identified yourself as an environmental justice activist but am curious what you identify yourself as now coming to the end of the interview so you've gone through this amazing last 20 years of work you've done so many things to call attention what's going on, what has that turned you into if not an environmental justice activist? >> i am a teacher activist. i've always described teaching as activism in a different way so i think my role now is to pass on what i've learned because i do believe in transitioning and transformational leadership and that is making sure people don't have to start where i started, they can take it to the next level.
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>> it is amazing how your formative experience from the first half of the book -- you can see how each one left you with a tool used in the second half of the book so i think that part how you lay it all out is really clear and impressive. the one sentence that really stuck with me -- i'll make this my final question but the one sentence that stuck out came from the first chapter of the book and it was for words long, while people wait. this comes back throughout the book, the federal civil rights
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case about the conditions in lowndes county that hadn't been responded to by february 2020, 8 years waiting for an epa grant to come through even the time it takes to do the hook work. i'm curious, those forwards in a matter of eating can sum up a lot of what is in the book so i'm curious how this makes you feel. >> it is a testament to what we have to do to solve these problems. i think the reason people waited, people get frustrated and we have to be persistent because these conditions are part of a fail economic system that excludes people whether
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they are black, white, in the south or north, whether they are on indigenous land, it excludes them from decision-making process and if they are at the end of the line at all when it comes to getting access to those things needed for a better quality of life including clean air and clean water. we have to change that. we have to change that and i think that's a good way to say part of the book but the young people to make sure we can unpack the systems that have created these conditions because we can do better. >> you've met people working for other communities throughout the country in similar circumstances facing environmental injustice similar to those, have you
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formed any working relationships where you can share best practices or -- i want to leave the viewers with a sense of hope, are you talking about what has worked on the ground, where the levers of power can be pushed effectively? >> well, we have the enterprise and environmental justice and our goal is to work with communities and collaborate with communities around the country. with them driving it, not us but what we can do is community organizers those techniques and practices supposed communities and help them understand and have access to policymakers. our third goal is to work on technology and collaborate, hopefully people from gastric to
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come up with something we can use to have access to. the problem is not just this lowndes county, or a seven county problem, it's a global problem in business opportunity to solve it. i am hopeful because i have people reaching out from around the country who want to be part of this reaching out from around the world, we got that same problem we will work together finding something that works so that is our effort, engage with young people at universities and hopefully eventually people going back to my roots, heisel and middle school who want to work on quick technologies in the scientific side. you're going to need out-of-the-box thinking because this does not work.
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also what is key in all of this engaging community's on the ground. had it not been the fact that i've listened to people in lowndes county, i would not have written the book. i would not have received this award because of the people on the ground living this situation who told me what was going on and i listened to that and i'm very hopeful that's how we find a solution. ... the conditions were on the ground and i think that puts a lot of power to clearly illustrate it to people who might be able to help you do
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something about it. so, thank you for your time. the book is quite optimistic given what it's about and how scary and horrifying some of the scenes are. >> thank you for taking the time to read this and ask these questions because at the end of the day i want people after they read the book to be hopeful because whatever we do we have to do it in a way that could have a positive impact on the generations to come, and i believe we can do that. "after words" is available as a podcast. to listen, visit
9:02 pm or search "after words" on your podcast app and watch this and all previous interviews on click the button at the top of the page. welcome to the latest in the series of the institute's training events. today i've got the pleasure


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