Climate, Mind and Behavior Episode Five: Lois Marie Gibbs

By Eleanor Bennett

Welcome to episode five of the Climate, Mind and Behavior Podcast. Each episode, we’ll explore groundbreaking intersections between climate change, resilience, contemplative practice and human behavior.

Lois Marie Gibbs is a renowned environmental justice activist and author. You may also know her as the champion of the love canal disaster and the mother of the superfund. In 1980, the superfund was enacted by Congress after Gibbs and her community achieved a victory in relocating over 800 families living near a 20,000 ton toxic dumpsite, known as Love Canal in Niagra Falls, New York. In 1981, in the wake of love canal, Gibbs founded the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) in Falls Church, Virginia. Today, CHEJ helps over 300, rural working class communities tackle local issues like fracking, toxic chemical waste and climate change.

Gibbs spoke at the United Nations Headquarters in New York this Spring with a group of mothers fighting on the ground for clean air, water and the well-being of their children in Flint, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri. I met Gibbs outside the UN doors moments before she was scheduled to speak.

To learn more about Lois Marie Gibbs and CHEJ, visit their website, CHEJ.org. The theme music for this episode is composed by Natalie Merchant. You can find her music on iTunes and learn more about her environmental justice activism on her website, NatalieMerchant.com. The photograph for this episode was provided by CHEJ. It was taken when the young residents in Love Canal joined the protest.

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