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 and the AL’s Black Belt need safer jobs with living wages, 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 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 and over the years, BBC has addressed many community problems with community-led solutions. BBC has worked on issues at the local, state, and federal level. 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 politics and government affairs. BBC’s leaders have various experiences in the field of politics and community goverance. BBC has partnered with organizations to create programs for political education and “know your rights” trainings, organize events for voter registration and voter restoration, and document political misconduct.

BBC Community Defense Fund:

BBC’s 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, impacted landowners, and disenfranchised citizens. 

BBC Community Health Network:

BBC’s founding members were very concerned about their health and the lack of health resources in Uniontown and AL’s Black Belt. Many BBC members have various experiences in the fields of health, community care, and healing. In 2016, BBC 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, and visited four family farms. 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:

BBC’s led by majority women and many 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 formal 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 allows more women the ability to join together for programs in economics, arts, family health, and leadership development.

BBC Youth Program:

BBC Officers and members want their children to have a safe and healthy Uniontown. From 2016-2017, 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 in education, healthy activities, and leadership development.

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

  • On February 7th, 2017, the Arrowhead  Landfill withdrew its $30 million dollar lawsuit intended to threaten and scare 4 Uniontown residents.

  • The settlement agreement is here. A joint statement from all parties to the case is here: https://www.aclu.org/letter/joint-statement-parties-dismissal-lawsuit

  • On February 10th, 2017, the Alabama  Department of Environmental Management  (ADEM) renewed and approved the landfills permit for another 5 years.

  • On March 1st, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency dismissed the Uniontown residents’ civil rights complaint against ADEM.

  • BBC seeks the halt of trespass and desecration in New Hope Cemetery by state, landfill, and any contract workers. BBC will support the families’ efforts to protect New Hope Cemetery.

  • BBC desires the immediate halt of toxic gas releases at the landfill.

  • BBC works towards NO coal ash in Uniontown. Coal ash is dangerous and toxic. BBC does not want toxic wastewater, leachate, from the landfill dumped into the City’s sewer system.

UPDATES on OUR GOALS for Clean Water & Working Sanitation:

  • Right now, sewage is overflowing in Uniontown and the community needs immediate support to protect landowners and the downstream population.
  • BBC asks the City to build a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant for a healthy Uniontown. BBC does not want any increase to consumer rates or shut offs to residential water.
  • The Mayor, City Council, and  Sentell Engineering are not responding to citizens’ concerns. BBC seeks the firing of Sentell and an investigation of the past $4.8 Million USDA project.
  • BBC ask Harvest Select to stop exceeding limits of wastewater discharge into the City’s collection system. BBC wants Harvest Select to pay for their fare share of a new, mechanical treatment plant.
  • The City and Sentell Engineering are planning to dump toxic waste from the landfill and cheese plant in the City’s wastewater system near R.C. Hatch without proper input from the public.
  • Contact ADEM’s Director (llefleur@adem.alabama.gov) and Chief of Water (gld@adem.alabama.gov ) and share Uniontown needs a new state-of-the-art system without toxic leachate.
  • Contact the Uniontown City Council at (334) 628-2011 and demand they construct a new system without waste from the landfill or cheese plant.