What would you do if you didn’t have clean air to breathe? The people of St. James Parish, Louisiana have had to live that reality for decades as a result of toxic pollution from plastic production plants. Watch as Sharon Lavigne, 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize recipient, illustrates the fight to save their community.
Sharon Lavigne was born and raised in St. James Parish, Louisiana, commonly known as Cancer Alley because of extremely high rates of cancer in the community due to petrochemical manufacturing. She runs a faith-based organization, RISE St. James, has testified before Congress, and in 2019 successfully stopped the construction of a $1.25 billion plastics manufacturing plant alongside the Mississippi River.
The world we need
The World We Need is a new book offering a vivid look at the people protecting America’s communities against environmental degradation and racism. The Story of Stuff Project is partnering with Grist and The New Press to produce a short video series highlighting four phenomenal activists, the second of whom is Sharon Lavigne, founder of RISE St. James. Find more about the people in the book at theworldweneed.com and learn how you can support RISE on their website, stopformosa.org.