Past Event

Cancer Alley and Environmental Racism

April 11, 2024
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
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Climate Museum, 105 Wooster Street, New York

Event Description

In Cancer Alley, an 85-mile stretch of land along the banks of the Mississippi River, fully 25% of US petrochemical production occurs. The region is inhabited by descendants of the Black communities who were enslaved on Louisiana sugar plantations. The toxic load of this industrial concentration is deeply unjust: in some of the towns founded by Black communities after emancipation, residents today suffer a risk of cancer caused by air pollution 50 times higher than the national average. 

Cancer Alley—a region spotlighted in the Museum’s current exhibition—is an acute example of a “sacrifice zone,” and like most sacrifice zones in the U.S., it is defined by racism. Fossil fuel and petrochemical companies believe residents deserve less and assume they can’t fight back against the proliferation of toxic heavy industry. 

Join a discussion of work by the Descendants Project fighting environmental racism and advancing a positive future for Black descendant communities living in Cancer Alley, their inspiring success partnering with the Center for Constitutional Rights to overturn an illegal rezoning ordinance and block construction of new heavy industry on residential land and historic burial grounds, and lessons learned from the frontlines of the fight for climate and environmental justice.

Event Information

Free and open to the public; registration required. For more information, please email [email protected]

Hosted by the Climate Museum