As many of our members and organizers live in or families still live in the south and westside impacted by environmental racism and pollution, we have seen significant wins like the organizing to shut down Kelly Air Force Base and to bring attention to the contamination buried in the soil and leaked in Leon Creek. The neighborhood around Quintana Road to Rodriguez Park is still dealing with the effects of years of neglect and contamination both chemical and biological such as SAWS sewage leaks. SWU Community Organizer & Associate Director, Sandra Garcia shared her family's story with the pollution in the area which lead to many calls from community members sharing their own stories of illness and indifference from elected officials and utility companies.
With new leadership in place, we are thankful for the support of City Councilwoman Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia (D-4), who listened and helped us find a space to share this information with the community. We held an townhall style event at the South San Antonio Community Center to explore in depth what folks were noticing. We started with a panel with community members: Sandra Garcia of SWU, community organizer Debbie Hernandez, speaking on toxic sand pollution from fracking trucks and recycling centers and Dr. Adelita Cantu, an important voice on the intersections of environmental impacts and our health.
Watch the conversation: >> HERE <<
After the panel, we invited local healers from the SanArte Healing Collective and the 7th Generation Doulas to offer different traditional therapies to ensure that we’re taking time to grieve and heal the anger of environmental racism these conversations can pull up. For several years, Southwest Workers Union has incorporated traditional medicine into our organizing method, from our Solidarity Clinics to the medicinal garden in the Roots of Change garden, healing is an important part of organizing, especially in current times while we watch the withering of colonial capitalism are being shaken to their core by communities across the world. It is important that we not only uplift the work of healers but we look for meaningful ways we can teach and learn from our community healing itself.
To Read the article on Leon Creek click the link:
For a snapshot summary of work check below: