“My neighborhood is going after me. Williams, who was 32 when diagnosed with thyroid cancer, stated that the neighborhood in which she grew up is likely to be her last.
Williams suspects that Williams is responsible for living near the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.
The Navy used the site during World War II to build ships. It also served as a site for a radiological research laboratory.
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Bradley Angel, executive director at Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, stated that radiation from years of testing was dumped and neglected.
Angel has dedicated his entire life to helping communities around the shipyard.
When his mother and several other women in the community were diagnosed with cancer, he became interested in environmental justice.
Greenpeace was his first job. He started working with communities that were affected by pollution. Then, in 1997, Greenaction was founded. It is a community-led organization that focuses primarily on the effects of racism, injustice, and pollution on vulnerable communities.
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“While many government agencies claim they support environmental justice and continue to pollute communities, they do not. Angel stated that Greenaction is working with community members to fight those fights.
Angel is helping to educate Bayview residents about the dangers associated with living near the shipyard.
Hunter’s Point was cleaned up by Greenaction after their persistence. Angel is concerned that the hazardous waste being buried near the shoreline could be disturbed by rising sea levels and leech into the community.
Leotis Martin, Bayview-Hunters Point Mothers and Fathers Community founder, feels the pain of the area’s environmental contamination.
“I had a mother who died from cancer. My twin brother died from an enlarged heart. A nephew who died from sickle cell disease. All of this is pain. Martin said, “They hurt.”
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Greenaction has mobilized communities across the country over its 25-year history.
It was able to successfully close a hazardous waste facility in East Palo Alto.
It was able, in Chandler, Arizona, to shut down a hazardous waste facility and medical waste incinerator that were operating on the Gila River Indian Reservation.
Greenaction also worked in Utah with Goshute tribal members in defeating a proposal to store nukes in tribal land.
“How come that both California licensed hazardous waste dumps are in Spanish-speaking farmworker villages? North of San Francisco, there are chemical plants and refineries with a long-standing African-American community right up to the fence line. Angel explained that Earth Day is a time to pay attention to the communities where people live and die.
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