Flowers and microphone at Tchoupitoulas Chapel, Reserve, Louisiana. Illustration by Kora Fortun.
Our next stop is the Tchoupitoulas Chapel, a frequent meeting place for Concerned Citizens of St. John’s, an activist group that came together after learning that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA) had determined that residents of the area were at higher risk of cancer than anywhere else in the country. Robert Taylor, a founding member of the group, says that the area has been designated a sacrifice zone, and that this is ungodly. Together with advocacy groups and community scientists, the Concerned Citizens fight against a large Denka/DuPont plant that has been emitting chloroprene since 1968. One of the goals is to relocate of the nearby high school.
In this collection, we’ll document and support groups that are working to improve health and the environment in southern Louisiana, recognizing the essential role of churches in environmental justice organizing.