FWAF community members and volunteers attended the second annual Environmental Justice Symposium at Barry University School of Law on Friday, October 8th in Orlando. Linda Lee spoke on a panel focusing on the community members' experiences of environmental contamination in their communities and the work that they have been doing to organize for clean up and for health care. Geraldean Matthew also attended and shared comments about her own health conditions and her years of work in the Lake Apopka farmworker community. Mary Tinsley and Johanna of the Apopka Lupus support group attended, also, as well as two volunteers and a staff member.
Keynote speaker was non-other than Dr. Robert Bullard, the man known as Mr. Environmental Justice. Dr. Bullard has written 11 books and countless articles on the meaning of environmental justice, highlighting EJ communities in the United States. His seminal work in the mid-1980's with the United Church of Crist gave birth to the environmental justice movement that we know today.
The highlight for our community was the display of the Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial Quilts both at the reception at the school on Thursday evening and all throughout the symposium on Friday. The quilts were quite a hit with everyone in attendance and served as the backdrop for many photos that were taken that day.
Our sincere thanks to Barry University and the Center for Earth Jurisprudence for jointly organizing and sponsoring this important and empowering event.