Founders of the Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative, a Black-led non-profit in Baltimore, will showcase their 3 short films highlighting how environmental racism impacts Black communities in Maryland with a panel discussion following the films. Descriptions of the films are below:
Highway to Nowhere: It’s a legendary story in Baltimore, one that launched the career of the U.S. Senate’s longest serving woman lawmaker: Barbara Mikulski stopped the highway that would have divided Baltimore. And surely, the feisty activist deserves credit for saving Federal Hill, Fells Point and Leakin Park from the bulldozers. But Mikulski couldn’t prevent what happened first; that the city destroyed a middle-class Black neighborhood on the West Side with a highway that literally went nowhere. Supposed to be a conduit to connect Interstate 70 with the city, engineers designed a sunken, 1.39 mile highway with overpasses that seem to connect nothing. The city abandoned the road project, but not before destroying 971 homes and uprooting thousands of lives, leaving them with increased pollution, a lack of green space, and blight all around. Now, the federal government is providing money to right the wrongs of the Highway to Nowhere. Can it be done in a way that repairs what the residents lost?
Eroding History: Black communities in the United States got the lowest land on which to build their communities, and they are going to be the most vulnerable when the floods come. It’s happening already. Laws, customs and practices continue to discriminate against Black Marylanders, and that’s causing a major erosion not just of land but of tight-know communities that date back to after the Civil War. What will become of them?
Smithville: Luther Cornish is 91, and he is one of three remaining residents of Smithville. A marsh is encroaching on the cemetery where his family members are buried, and he is worried that the graves will soon be inundated with saltwater. What’s the hope for communities like Smithville, and how many more might there be?
Messina is sponsoring a free shuttle service for students to and from this event. Shuttles will pick-up students from the Library and will run on a continuous loop starting at 5 p.m., dropping off in front of the Senator Theatre.
Sponsored by Messina
A theme-wide event