The Common Good

Jesus People Against Pollution: 'People Should Not Still Be in Formaldehyde Trailers'

090707-charlotte-keys1Charlotte Keys, of Jesus People Against Pollution in Columbia, Mississippi, who was interviewed in our March issue, updated us last week when she was in Washington, D.C., to meet with policymakers in the Environmental Protection Agency, Congress, and others about environmental injustice in rural Mississippi communities. "People should not still be living in FEMA formaldehyde trailers -- nor should those trailers be sold to them with the mass amount of contamination that has been proven to be in those trailers," she told Sojourners.

090707-fema-trailer"The purpose of the Washington, D.C., meeting was for [advocates'] attorney, Ivan Burghard, and myself to bring to light the key issues that are impacting communities' quality of living: issues of injustice -- environmental health, housing, education, economic. I feel that the meetings were helpful and we're looking forward to collaborating with them on how to effect the changes needed to deal with the communities' outstanding housing and environmental health care issues. Some of the issues are related to the before-Katrina/Rita damage and [some to] after-Katrina/Rita problems and injustices. Mississippi rural communities have not been given the full attention of the government in relation to equal distribution of resources and assistance to correct these problems."

After a busy week of meetings and preaching in Washington, Evangelist Keys was flying home to a family funeral. "I feel that the cancer death of my cousin Juanita Maxwell -- and there are many more classmates of mine with cancer in our community -- is related to the environmental degradation of the community," she said.

Elizabeth Palmberg is an assistant editor of Sojourners.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories


Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)