Friday, July 13, 2018

Gainesville Community Activist & Student Leaders Participate in Toxic Tour Experience

Students Travel from Gainesville to Learn about Environmental Justice 

Nkwanda Jah, noted leader and activist in the Gainesville community, brought her Environmental Ambassadors students to Apopka on Thursday, July 12 to experience the Lake Apopka Toxic Tour and to hear the heartfelt stories of community leader, Linda Lee. The Environmental Ambassadors program has given young high school students in Gainesville incredible opportunities to see, learn about and experience the environment and issues affecting their environment, and the Toxic Tour has been an exciting and eye-opening field trip as part of their overall experience for the past several years. Seven students, two adult leaders, and two other volunteers/supporters joined the toxic tour on a hot Florida summer day, visiting the old Duda Farms properties and driving past a small labor camp and a Superfund site. Standing in the relentless sun, at the entrance to the Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area hiking/biking trail, the students thought about just how hard it would be to be working in the fields and greenhouses under such high temperatures and humidity, as they loaded into the air conditioned van to drive to the next location.
Asking insightful questions and learning about environmental and racial injustices, the students were captivated by Linda Lee, who demonstrated to them the orange picking sack and talked about the dangers and hazards orange pickers have in order to harvest the fruit we take for granted every day. While the tour was cut short by mechanical problems with the van, the students are planning to read Fed Up, to get a deeper insight into the reality of farmworkers who fed America for generations. 
Nkwanda Jah

If you are connected with a community organization or a school group and are interested in doing a toxic tour please contact

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