What a night it was! Long-time and new friends joined Lois Gibbs in New York City to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Love Canal. The event also honored and celebrated Lois for her legacy and leadership as the founder of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ).
It was a truly celebratory evening. You could feel real energy in the room as everyone enjoyed the warm company and delicious food. It was a night to recognize how far we’ve come since the days of Love Canal and to reflect on the elements that have powered change in the past three decades.
In line with the celebratory theme, there were no lectures or speeches; a brief clip of the Love Canal segment in the documentary A Fierce Green Fire, The Battle for A Living Planet was shown. There was giggling at some scenes; boos at those that showed anti-environmental attacks, like when Ronald Reagan alleged that “the environmentalist won’t be happy until they turn the Whitehouse into a bird’s nest.” And of course, there was a lot of applause when Lois challenged President Carter and the U.S. government by taking the EPA representatives hostage. It was a fun fifteen minutes of viewing.
CHEJ and Lois certainly felt proud to be recognized and introduced by our special guests Chevy and Jayni Chase. The evening was also a successful fundraiser for CHEJ, bringing new critical resources to support the work of CHEJ’s Leadership Training Academy. The event is the first in a series that will be held this year across the country, commemorating the Love Canal anniversary and raising funds to train and mentor the next generation of grassroots leaders through the Academy.
A big thanks goes out to our host committee for their planning and support, especially to our co-chairs Sarah Stranahan and Cara McCaffrey. Their hard work has set a very high bar. Thank you to all who came and to our sponsors. Your support and involvement will have a lasting positive impact in the communities in which we serve.
CTEH: The Fox in the Chicken Coop
By Hunter Marion. On March 12, 2023, ProPublica published an article in which CHEJ’s Science Director, toxicologist Stephen Lester, was commented as saying that “[Norfolk