Friday, August 6, 2010
The DC Youth Slam team reminded us of our diverse and urgent history.
Chris August reminded us of our deep-rooted relationship with oil.
Sonya Renee urged us to be delightful.
Kyle Dargan connected our energy crisis with China’s own.
Angela Ball read about jazz, and the music of life.
Mike Kelley and Friends played the blues, filling Eatonville with the soul of the Gulf.
Together with our raffle sponsors, ACKC, Fiddleheads, and Fabric Artisan Kathy Anderson, we raised nearly 1200 dollars for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental health and justice organization that equips residents who live in areas affected by oil refineries to monitor the air quality. The training tools they provide make residents able to hold companies accountable. They are also equipping residents to fight back against the BP Oil Spill by taking information provided by eyewitnesses and processing it into a public map that is used to facilitate transparency and accuracy in the cleanup process. Not only sightings of oil, but air quality reports, reports of dead animals or fish, and reports of odors and illness are placed on the map.
Already plagued by dead zones from the nitrogen runoff down the Mississippi, and with many places still battling back from Hurricane Katrina five years ago, the Gulf region felt another blow when the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig owned and operated by BP exploded due to poor maintenance and oversight. 11 people died, it has been over 100 days, millions of gallons of oil have poured into the Gulf of Mexico, numerous measures have failed to stop the flow of oil, and yet, this past week, another disaster sent oil into our waters as 800,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Kalamazoo river as Enbridge Inc’s pipeline leaked.
On Saturday, July 31, we stood up together to raise our voices to say that we will no longer tolerate such disasters. We celebrated the great artistic history, cultural diversity, and environmental importance of the Gulf, and we remembered the power of poetry to change our world.
Many thanks to all who attended, to our poets and musicians, our raffle donors, and our co-sponsors, IPS and Eatonville.