The Lilies Project, ArtPlace America
Creative communication collaborations for environmental, racial, and health justice in Stokes County, North Carolina. A 2018-2020 focus on addressing coal ash through arts + parks. A 2015-17 focus on residents’ stories about dealing with coal ash as an issue of health and civil rights of statewide and national concern.
Celebrating Courage — Holy Spirit, Story + Song Workshop, co-led with Tracey Brown Edwards
Dan River Blessing — Five year anniversary of Dan River coal ash spill downstream; The Lilies Project artful prayer ritual and river blessing with clergy, affected community at Dan River banks in Danbury
Epiphany: Press Conference 1 + 2 for DEQ —Community members clarify costs of coal ash and their visions for full excavation + safe storage upon pond closures, in ethical public policy + industrial practices
Amen Amen Amen Amen Amen — The Life of Jester Hairston, Lilies Project Kickoff
Creative Place-Making Celebrations — Shine Your Light: A Local Talent Series (upcoming!)
Team — ArtPlace America's National Creative Place Making Fund Award period is 2018-20, led by Caroline Rutledge Armijo and local Stokes County collaborators, . (Core team member: facilitation, design, collaboration on public storytelling and community-based research).
About The Lilies Project — theliliesproject.org
Purpose: To address coal ash waste and environmental health through public parks, visual and performing arts. Further, to build and sustain community in the rural US south by celebrating Stokes County NC’s legacies of abolition, reconstruction, desegregation, and environmental health organizing that attains civil rights and racial justice against the odds, and through the power of story, song, and shared histories of change-making.
Contribution: Joining efforts in art, science, archival documentation, health information, and community-led education and advocacy to strengthen an intergenerational sense of place. Honoring powerful models of Black-led, faith-, youth- and family-led organizing to celebrate, envision, and act for environmental, health, and racial justice in the rural south.
Lilies Project Co-Hosts Poor People’s Campaign for Ecological Justice—former Vice President Al Gore, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Community Advocates for Belews Creek Steam Station Press Conference
Ecological Justice Moral Revival (2018) see min 1:39 to 1:43 and 1:45 to 1:50 for the story of Yara Allenâ€™s â€œSomebodyâ€™s Hurting Our People, and We Wonâ€™t Be Silent Anymoreâ€ â€” sung worldwide, at The Vatican, in state capitols across the US, & dedicated to Tracey Brown o/b/o her mom Annie Brown & Stokes Co. coal ash affected communities
Addressing Coal Ash as a Health + Civil Rights Concern
2015-2017 NAACP NC Collaboration — Oral Histories toward US Commission on Civil Rights Hearing
US Commission on Civil Rights 2016 Hearing, held in Walnut Cove, NC: Examining Health and Environmental Issues Related to Coal Ash Disposal in North Carolina. (Assisted Southeast Regional director in gathering community testimony for public comment, and panelist testimony throughout the day).
Audio of hearing testimony, by panelists, affected residents, community leaders.
Full transcript of 4/7/16 USCCR Hearing, with highlights on urgency of covering healthcare costs.
Publication of research: “Creative Advocacy and Oral History in Issues of Health, Cancers, and Coal Ash Disposal.” U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Federal docket submission on behalf of UNC IRB 15-2371, Breast Cancer Action, NAACP NC. May 2016 (by Marie Garlock with Stokes County Collaborators).
See final compilation of USCCR's national submission to office of U.S. President and U.S. Congress, 2016 federal report: Environmental Justice: Examining the Environmental Protection Agency Compliance and Enforcement of Title VI and E.O. 12,898.
Creative Resistance Keynote Event with Dr. Sandra Steingraber, Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, and Alliance of Carolinians Against Coal Ash (organizing committee, Breast Cancer Action collaboration with ACT), Sonja Hanes Stone Center for Black Culture and History
Maundy Thursday Press Conference for NC DEQ, emcee, collaborative design and organizing with primary speakers—affected community members communicating their 40+ years of truths to state regulatory agency tasked with making coal ash pond risk designation; advocacy for “High Risk” given potential loss of life and property were Belews Creek Steam Station dam to burst (organizer at request of Appalachian Voices, collaboration with ProgressNC)
RESEARCH-BASED CONSULTATION TO FILM + TELEVISION
“With EPA Rule Change, Worries Linger for Those Near Coal Ash.” CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, consultant to producer Nadia Kounang with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, feat. Danielle Bailey Lash, 6 min, Summer 2018
“Climate Listening Project: The Story We Want.” Consultant to film team and director Dayna Reggero, Climate Listening Project, feat. Tracey Brown Edwards, Caroline Rutledge Armijo, 7 min, Fall 2017
“America Divided: Private Money in Public Policy.” Consultant to DP and research team on health effects, environmental justice, civil rights contexts of coal ash advocacy, Working Films with EPIX (co-produced by Common, Shonda Rhimes, Norman Lear; host in NC Zach Galifianakis), 60 min, Fall 2016
CLINICAL EDUCATION EXAMPLE
"Clinical Care Implications of Environmental Health Injustices" Nov 2017 for Intensive Integration Curriculum (200 Clinical Application Phase Medical Students + Interdisciplinary Faculty, UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine)
Featuring Naeema Muhammed, Co-Founder, Director NC Environmental Justice Network; Dr. Snehal Patel, Duke University School of Medicine; Libby McClure, UNC-CH School of Public Health Epidemiology; Marie Garlock UNC-CH Communication for Health + Social Change (panelist + co-organizer with faculty)
1:00-1:24 -- clinical support for health insurance coverage
1:24-7:28 -- clinical interaction regarding coal ash information, concerns patient brought to providers
7:29-12:25 -- local context of coal ash in rural NC communities, e.g., cooling lake becomes recreation destination, sustenance fishing from contaminated lakes; coal ash from containment ponds seeps into groundwater, drinking water, etc
NC ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE PDF Complete Booklet 2017 NC Environmental Justice Issues
Explore international media presence on coal ash in Walnut Cove, Walnut Tree, Pine Hall, Stokes, NC:
3 minute short (film), At What Cost?. Stokes County NC residents near Belews Creek Steam Station
7 minute short (film), The Story We Want. Residents' organizing to improve conditions for themselves and their kids, while living near coal ash waste Climate Listening Project
6 minute special (television), CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta: EPA Coal Ash Ruling with Danielle Bailey Lash
1 hour documentary (film, television), America Divided: Private Funds Influence Public Policy, Duke Energy and NC Legislature, hosted at Belews Creek Steam Station with Tracey Brown Edwards and Zach Galifianakis
Cover article (print, web), Newsweek: Why Geographic Cancer Clusters Are Impossible to Prove — 1 of rotating covers for Cancer Special Edition, with Danielle Bailey-Lash
Article (print, web), Scientific American: Coal Ash Poisons Wells and Community Relations — on regulatory and industrial malpractice, with David Hairston and Danielle Bailey Lash
Article (print, web), The Ecologist: Coal Ash, America’s Multi-Billion Ton Toxic Legacy, on coal ash waste streams at Belews with global ramifications, with Danielle Bailey Lash, Amy Adams, Will Scott
Article (print, web), Facing South: NC Produces Flawed Study to Dismiss Cancer Cluster Fears Near Duke Energy Coal Plants — with Danielle Bailey Lash and Dr. Steve Wing of UNC Chapel Hill School of Public Health (Epidemiology)