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For Immediate Release - November 7, 2023
Dr. Robert D. Bullard To Lead Rapid Response Team Of National Leaders, Experts And Technical Advisors To Visit Elba, Alabama Shiloh Community.
The Rapid Response Team will tour the Shiloh community, listen to residents’ concerns and work with them on possible solutions to the flooding, infrastructure and natural gas pipeline problem.
Houston, TX Tuesday November 7, 2023 – “The Father of Environmental Justice”, professor Robert D. Bullard, and a Rapid Response Team (RRT) of national leaders, experts and technical advisors will be visiting his hometown, Elba, Alabama, for a second community-led tour and listening session on November 9, 2023. The mostly Black Shiloh community has been plagued with flooding for more than five years. It’s a problem residents believe was caused by the 2018 expansion and elevation of U.S. Highway 84 into a four-lane road—placing the community in a bowl to protect the road from flooding.
An in-depth investigation by ABC News uncovered glaring disparities and differential treatment of Shiloh’s Black property owners compared to White property owners along the stretch of the new highway. Their analysis confirmed that there is minimal flood risk to Shiloh properties, with less than a one percent chance of flooding over the next five years, due to natural events such as heavy downpours or overflowing streams. A recent flood risk model estimates only thirteen-percent of the properties in the census tract neighborhood that includes Shiloh are at significant risk for flooding. FEMA data shows there are no flood hazard zones requiring property owners to have flood insurance. The Shiloh community is now facing a greater risk of flooding, water and sewer problems, foundations and structural damage to homes due to sinking land, and potential cancellation of their property insurance. In addition, residents face growing risk from a natural gas pipeline placed a few feet from their homes.
The November 9th visit will start with a Press Statement and Community Tour at 12:30pm CST in Shiloh, AL (Location: 14632 US Highway 84 Elba, AL 36323), which will be followed by a Community Listening Session from 2:00pm to 4:30 pm CST in New Brockton, AL (Location: 130 Vester Cole St, New Brockton, AL 36351). The RRT will listen to Shiloh residents’ concerns, priorities and needs and work with them to match this information with potential solutions—funding opportunities that align with Justice40, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Groups that have confirmed to attend the one-day Shiloh meeting include: Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at TSU (Houston), Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (New Orleans), HBCU-CBO Gulf Coast Equity Consortium (Alabama, Texas and Louisiana), HBCU Environmental and Climate Justice Screening Tool (HCEJST) Team (Tennessee), National Black Environmental Justice Network (Texas and Louisiana), Organization of Human Rights & Democracy (Atlanta), Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (Alabama), People’s Justice Council (Alabama), People Against Neighborhood Industrial Contamination (Alabama), Shift7, Clean, Healthy, Educated Safe and Sustainable Community (Alabama), NAACP (Alabama), National Wildlife Federation (Washington, DC), Southern Environmental Law Center (Alabama), Earthjustice (Houston), Environmental Protection Network (Washington, DC), Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition (Alabama), Chisholm Legacy Project and Organized Uplifting Resources Strategies (South Carolina).
Media planning to attend in person are encouraged to RSVP by 12 P.M. on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. RSVP to David Castillo at David.Castillo@tsu.edu.
About the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice
The Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University was launched in 2021 to address long standing issues of systemic inequality and structural racism that cause disproportionate pain, suffering and death in Black and other people of color communities. The Bullard Center works to promote environmental, climate, economic, energy, transportation, food and water and health justice. Texas Southern University is a student-centered comprehensive doctoral university committed to ensuring equality, offering innovative programs that are responsive to its urban setting, and transforming diverse students into lifelong learners, engaged citizens, and creative leaders in their local, national, and global communities.