Statement on Racism

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Statement on Racism

Black Warrior Riverkeeper protects the Black Warrior River watershed for the sake of every person who visits or lives here.  Clean water is essential to everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, beliefs, politics, or anything else.  However, during the course of our work we often see the actions of polluters disproportionately harming African American communities across the 17-county Black Warrior River basin.  Valuing all the watershed’s inhabitants is entirely compatible with having added concern for those facing added danger.  And so it is with current events.

The killing of George Floyd — like many recent tragedies suffered by people of color — shows that even if we strive to love our neighbors equally, the threats and injustices they face are not equal.  As professionals we fight for the human right of clean water.  Likewise, we will not remain silent while the rights of Black and Brown people are brutally disregarded.

Perhaps more important than using our voices, though, is using our ears and our hearts. Our team is redoubling efforts to listen and learn from our colleagues and neighbors.  We do not pretend to be experts on racial issues.  Nevertheless, we promote clean water to ensure healthy communities, and we are concerned about all members of those communities — especially the most vulnerable.  The Black Warrior River draws its name from Chief Tushkalusa, whose indigenous people stood ground against marauding Hernando de Soto.  We stand against racism and injustice in any form.

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