OUR Campaigns for Health & Justice

Economic Justice:

BBC was created to address the economic policies and practices that influence worker exploitation, poverty, and environmental violence. BBC members are workers and laborers whose families are involved in farming, small business activities, and community development. Uniontown needs safer jobs, better protection for workers, and enforced labor rights. In 2017, BBC began the “Black Belt Citizens Green Jobs Development Program” with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute. This program and its funding allowed BBC the opportunity to host economic workshops, provide opportunities for small business development, and begin planning a just transition in Uniontown with Uniontown’s residents.

Environmental Justice:

BBC is currently fighting for equal rights to clean air, clean water, and equal protection of land and sacred space. BBC is fighting against factory farms, mega-landfills, and state policies and practices that result in water pollution, toxic waste, and desecration of sacred space. BBC is managing multiple actions and campaigns towards environmental justice in Uniontown including:

  • Protecting Sacred Space from Toxic Waste;

BBC established itself to protect and defend the Uniontown community from toxic coal ash. From 2009 to 2010, over 4 million tons of toxic coal ash was dumped in Arrowhead Landfill. BBC Officers and members observed problems at the landfill including trespass and degradation inside New Hope Cemetery. Some of BBC’s members joined a current Civil Rights Complaint with Earthjustice against the Al Department of Environmental Management for its permitting of the landfill. Residents and members are working with several organization and institutions to protect residents and New Hope Cemetery from toxic waste.

  • Providing Clean Water and Working Sanitation;

BBC’s Officers, members and allies have worked for clean water and working sanitation in Uniontown for 5+ years. BBC began a human rights campaign with the support from the US Human Rights Network in 2016. BBC is advocating for the City of Uniontown to build a mechanical treatment plant and stop the daily sewage overflows. To help Uniontown achieve clean water, BBC partnered with different organizations and institutions to document access to water, wastewater failures, and industrial pollution from multiple sources.

Political Justice:

The founders of BBC believed that a true democracy was centered in people, transparency, and integrity. BBC was created to build platforms on issues for voters and candidates. BBC wanted a healthy democracy, so they formed a vehicle for community governance. BBC addressed community problems and influenced community-led solutions. BBC has worked on issues at the local, state, and federal level. BBC’s founding members were very interested in local government. BBC’s leaders have various experiences in the field of politics. BBC partnered with Project South, the Southern Movement Assembly, and several other organizations to create programs for political education, host trainings for “know your rights”, and organize events for voter registration and voter restoration.

OUR Programs for Health & Justice

BBC Assemblies and Political Forums:

BBC’s founding members were very interested in local government. BBC’s leaders have various experiences in the field of politics. BBC partnered with Project South, the Southern Movement Assembly, and several other organizations to create programs for political education, host trainings for “know your rights”, and organize events for voter registration and voter restoration.

BBC Community Defense Fund:

BBC Officers and members have worked side-by-side with lawyers and legal experts involving cases in freedom of speech, discrimination, families’ rights, protecting land, clean water, defending sacred space, and more. BBC is a community resource connecting residents to education, legal tools, and other organizations. BBC is working to protect and defend historic cemeteries, small farmers and impacted landowners, and impacted residents. 

BBC Community Health Network:

BBC’s founding members were very concerned about their health and the lack of health resources in Uniontown. Many BBC members have various experiences in the fields of health, community care, and healing. BBC has partnered with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice to develop a community health network to increase education and documentation of the environmental health conditions in Uniontown and Al’s Black Belt. The BBC Community Health Network (CHN) has connected impacted residents to organizations and institutions for mutual education, shared resources, and community empowerment.

BBC Green Jobs Development Program:

In 2017, Black Belt Citizens (BBC) began the “Black Belt Citizens Green Jobs Development Program” with support from the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and the Democracy at Work Institute to host economic workshops, visit family farms, provide opportunities for small business development, and begin planning a just transition with the area’s residents. In 2017, the Green Jobs Development Program built eight family gardens, helped one organic farmer secure a grant, hosted two workshops, visited four family farms, created one land-based business, and developed plans for weatherizing homes. In 2018, BBC hopes to build twelve gardens for twelve families. If you are interested in supporting family gardens, healthy foods, and community development in Uniontown and Alabama’s Black Belt, please contact BBC.

BBC Women’s Network:

The BBC’s founders consisted mainly of women as does the family structure of most Black Belt families. BBC has been led by majority women and some of our programs have been created just for women by women. BBC’s work has focused on family and health and for these reasons and more BBC created a Women’s program. The program provides education and events in the fields of health, leadership development, family economics, and arts and culture. This special program goes towards programming ran by women for women. This will allow more women the ability to travel together to programs for economics, arts, family health, and culture. BBC has proposals in need of support.

BBC Youth Program:

BBC Officers and members want their children to have a safe and healthy Uniontown.  In 2016, BBC took youth to programs, workshops, and conferences for opportunities and experiences to build leadership. This Black Belt Citizens Youth Program has been set up to benefit the Uniontown youth for special programs for education, culture, healthy activities, workshops and conferences, and leadership development. To conduct more youth outreach and outdoor education, BBC partnered with the Alabama Sierra Club’s Birmingham Inspiring Outdoor Connections (ICO) program. BBC has proposals in need of support.

UPDATES on OUR GOALS for Protecting Sacred Space from Toxic Waste:

  • On February 10th, 2017, the Alabama  Department of Environmental Management  (ADEM) renewed and approved the landfills permit for another 5 years.
  • BBC still demands the halt to the trespass and desecration at New Hope Cemetery by state, landfill, and any contract workers.

  • BBC is supporting the 20+ families of the landfill in their legal and communal efforts to protect New Hope Cemetery.

  • BBC demands the immediate halt of the toxic gas releases at the landfill so families may visit New Hope in health.

  • BBC demands no more coal ash in Uniontown. Coal ash is dangerous and toxic.

  • BBC demands EPA’s Civil Rights Investigation into ADEM’s permitting of Arrowhead results in situations to protect the community for past, present, and future coal ash.

  • BBC demands an immediate investigation into the state’s permitting and enforcement of Arrowhead Landfill including ADEM, EPA Region IV, and the Al Historical Commission.

UPDATES on OUR GOALS for Clean Water & Working Sanitation:

  • Right now, sewage is overflowing in Uniontown. BBC needs immediate support to document this crisis and protect landowners and downstream population.

  • BBC continues to demand the halt to the on-going plans of more sprayfield and wetland treatment methods. BBC is demanding that the City of Uniontown build a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant for a healthy Uniontown.

  • The Uniontown Mayor, City Council, and City Engineers, Sentell Engineering, are not appropriately responding to citizens’ concerns. BBC demands for an investigate and accounting of the $4.8 Million USDA project.

  • BBC demands the City of Uniontown require Harvest Select to stop exceeding limits of wastewater discharge volume into the City’s collection system. BBC demands that responsible industries pay for their fare share of a new, mechanical treatment plant.

  • Right now, the City of Uniontown, Sentell Engineering and ADEM are planning Uniontown’s wastewater future without proper input from the public. BBC demands no increase to consumer rates and no shut offs to residential water or public sewer.

  • Contact ADEM’s Director (llefleur@adem.alabama.gov) and Chief of Water (gld@adem.alabama.gov ) and demand the immediate halt of plans for more wetlands and sprayfields. Demand a new state-of-the-art system that builds a healthy future.

  • Contact the Uniontown City Council at (334) 628-2011 and demand they construct a new state-of-the-art system that builds a healthy future.