Industrial toxic emissions on the South Baltimore Peninsula are among the highest in the nation. Because of the concentration of factories and other chemical industries in their neighborhoods, residents face elevated rates of lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses in addition to heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular disease, all of which can lead to premature death. For more than a decade, student organizers stood up to unequal land use practices and the proposed construction of an incinerator and instead initiated new waste management strategies. As a Baltimore resident and activist-scholar, Nicole Fabricant documents how young organizers came to envision, design, and create a more just and sustainable Baltimore.
Nicole Fabricant is Professor of Anthropology at Towson University in Maryland. She is the author of Mobilizing Bolivia's Displaced: Indigenous Politics and the Struggle over Land _and is co-executive editor of the NACLA _Report on the Americas.
Lawrence T. Brown is a scholar, equity scientist, and Afrofuturist. From 2013-2019, he served as a professor at Morgan State University. His first book The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America was published in 2021. He now directs the Black Butterfly Academy, an educational consulting firm.
Shashawnda Campbell is a community leader and activist for Environmental Justice. As a student at Ben Franklin High School in South Baltimore, Shashawnda co-founded “Free Your Voice”, a student led group that worked for 5 years to shut down the largest incinerator proposal in US history set to be built less than a mile away from their school. Shashawnda has since helped develop the South Baltimore Community Land Trust to create community-led development without displacement, permanently affordable housing, and zero waste infrastructure. A lifelong Baltimore resident, Shashawnda is committed to the implementation of Baltimore’s Fair Development Plan for Zero Waste to help lead her City through a just transition that respects our lives and our planet.