On the Fenceline: A Fight for Clean Air

This Sunday’s service will feature an environmental justice theme with a film followed by a discussion. The Film, “On the Fenceline: A Fight for Clean Air” is an urgent call for justice for Philadelphia’s low-income communities. After years of living on the fenceline of the east coast’s largest oil refinery and suffering from several critical health issues – including cancer, asthma, and COPD – residents have come together to stand up to CEOs and fight for their right to breathe.On June 21, 2019, an explosion at the refinery was the tipping point for the majority of residents. As the now-defunct refinery land has been put up for sale, the opportunity has finally come for community members and environmental activists to shut down operations for good.The film follows three particular members of the activist organization: Sonya Sanders, a resident who fights for a better future for both her son and sick husband, Carol White, a resident whose health was impacted by the June explosion and who lost a mother to cancer, and Rodney Ray, a former refinery laborer whose family has resided in the area for multiple generations. Viewers are put up-close and personal on the streets with Philly Thrive as this resilient community fights to keep the refinery closed for good.Throughout the film, we begin to see and understand that against all odds, communities have the power to stand up to large corporations.

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