18 – Sharon Lavigne – Rise St James
In this episode, Sharon Lavigne shares her experience fighting to stop petrochemical factories and other toxic industries in America’s Cancer Alley in St. James Parish, LA.
Sharon Lavigne is a recipient of the Community Sentinel Award for Environmental Stewardship, and won the 2021 Goldman prize for environmental defenders. She led a grassroots movement to delay the $9.4 billion Formosa plastic factory in her hometown.
This podcast is a project of Halt the Harm Network, which can connect you with people who are working to protect families, communities, and the environment from the harms of fracking and the oil & gas industry.
As mentioned in this episode:
Sharon Lavigne, a former special education teacher turned environmental activist, is the founder of Rise St. James, a faith-based environmental and social justice organization dedicated to protecting St. James parish from toxic, cancer causing industries. St. James parish is between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in an area that’s become known as America’s Cancer Alley. Numerous industrial complexes in this region have been attributed to causing the cancer clusters afflicting residents.
“[The Formosa Plastics Plant] is about putting wealth before health. If you have the money but you don’t have the health, then you don’t have anything. So why let more chemical plants come into St. James and pollute us anymore? People are already sick. People are dying. ”
This podcast is a project of halttheharm.net, a website that connects you with leaders, activists, researchers, economists, legal experts, and funders to protect your community from the oil & gas industry. Halt the Harm is a network of leaders who are taking action, sharing resources and information, and supporting each other’s campaigns. Find out more at halttheharm.net
The soundtrack to the Halt the Harm podcast is”One of These Days” by Eilen Jewell from her album Sea of Tears.