Notable upcoming events and other announcements

Environmental Justice February Film Series

Watch and discuss

three Environmental Justice films

presented by FracTracker Alliance

Three soul-stirring films.

Dozens of communities separated by space, but connected in their struggles, from the hollers of West Virginia, to the industrial sacrifice zones of Philadelphia, to the Canadian plains, to the heart of the Amazonian jungle.

Immerse yourself in tales of resistance, resilience, and unity, as powerful characters fight for their right to thrive.

Then, digest the epic stories, discuss with other viewers, and connect with the inspiring individuals you’ve seen on screen directly in live Q&A sessions. 

We’ll provide discussion prompts and additional resources that you can use to type your thoughts in the discussion group,* or use with your friends and family Or, sit back and relax as you follow what others have to say.

Registration is offered on a sliding scale – meaning you pay what you want. You can even select the free option if you’d like.

*group details will be sent to you after registration



Browse the Films

On the Fenceline: A Fight for Clean Air

Watch the film on your own time, then attend the Live Q&A
Thursday, February 25th, 7pm




On the Fenceline: A Fight for Clean Air is a portrait of a resilient community and an urgent call for justice. After living on the fenceline of the east coast’s largest oil refinery and suffering from cancer, asthma, and COPD, residents have come together to fight for their right to breathe.

We follow Carol White and Sonya Sanders as they introduce us to the health problems created by the 150-year-old oil refinery in South Philadelphia. They are a part of an organization called Philly Thrive that is fighting to expose the health issues plaguing the community due to years of toxic air pollution. An explosion in June of 2019 caused the refinery to file for bankruptcy. With the refinery shut down, Philly Thrive rallies together to protest against the reopening of the site as an oil refinery.

Your optional donations will benefit FracTracker Alliance, On the Fenceline, and Philly Thrive in their efforts to promote environmental justice in fenceline and frontline communities, and protect their right to breathe.

Watch the film on your own time, then attend the Live Q&A

Thursday, February 25th, 7pm ET

After reserving your ticket, you will receive a link to watch the film any time between February 15th – February 27th. You will also receive an invitation to the live Q&A session on February 25th at 7pm ET, featuring:

Rodney Ray – film protagonist; Philly Thrive activist. Rodney is a community leader and a life-long resident of Grays Ferry, Philadelphia. He was formerly employed as a foreman at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions gasoline refinery.

Kristen Harrison, Cinematographer / Editor. Kristen can be found with a camera in her hand at most hours of the day. She is the former photo editor with The Ithacan and former photo intern at The Morning Call. Previous film works include “At the Table,” a short documentary on the life of Father Divine and the work of the International Peace Mission Movement.

Alisha Tamarchenko, Cinematographer / Editor. Through her work, Alisha explores the dynamics of change through stories of people confronting and shifting unsustainable ways of living. She has produced and directed three other short documentaries. “Bruce & Daryl” follows the relationship of an older gay couple as they navigate aging and loss. “Beyond the Waiting Room” tackles the mental health challenges of the veterinary profession. “eCoexist” documents the work of a sustainability organization in Pune, India. Her work has screened in Ithaca, Dallas, Alaska and the UK.

HARD ROAD OF HOPE

We’re extending the availability of Hard Road of Hope to the end of February!

Donate to access the film and the Live Q&A that took place on Thursday, February 11th, 7pm

All proceeds go to Environmental Justice initiatives led by the filmmakers and FracTracker.




This documentary from Act Out’s Eleanor Goldfield takes you into the often forgotten hills and hollers of West Virginia, where a radical past inspires a resilient present and builds towards a better future. More than a microcosm of capitalist oppression and corruption, West Virginia stands as an example of radical resolve – in the face of dying King Coal and rising King Fracking.

“Hard Road of Hope” amplifies the voices of these forgotten and proud rednecks – the ones carrying the torch from the first rednecks who tied on red bandanas and marched for their basic human rights. It seeks to hold a mirror up to all sacrifice zones, to the isolated folks in pain across the nation. This is an American story, an American history – and for the future of all the people who call this place home, this is the path we must all walk if we want to thrive, and indeed, survive.

It’s a Hard Road of Hope, a pot-holed, precarious and puddled path past the Kings of coal and gas, but they keep walking. We would do well to walk with them for a while – and listen.

Your optional donations will benefit FracTracker Alliance, Hard Road of Hope, and Keeper of the Mountains, an organization that educates and inspires people to work for healthier, more sustainable communities and an end to dependency on fossil fuels, mountaintop removal, and other forms of extraction.

We’re extending the availability of Hard Road of Hope until the end of February! Donate to access the film any time and the recorded the Q&A discussion.

The discussion took place on February 11th, moderated by Ted Auch, Great Lakes Coordinator, FracTracker Alliance, with panelists:


Eleanor Goldfield is a creative creative radical, journalist and filmmaker.

Her work focuses on radical and censored issues via photo, video and written journalism, as well as artistic mediums including music, poetry and visual art. She is the host of the podcast, Act Out, co-host of the podcast Common Censored along with Lee Camp, and co-host of the podcast Silver Threads along with carla bergman. 

Her award-winning documentary film, “Hard Road Of Hope” is about West Virginia as both resource colony and radical inspiration.

She also assists in frontline action organizing and trainings.

 


Paul Corbit Brown, president of Keepers of the Mountain​. Paul has dedicated most of his life to environmental and human rights photography. To date, Paul gives Kayford Tours, travels to educate others about the adverse effects of Mountain Top Removal, and speaks internationally at shareholders meetings on the importance of divestment.

Four Indigenous leaders embark on an extraordinary trans-continental adventure from the Canadian Boreal forests to deep into the heart of the Amazonian jungle to unite the peoples of North and South America and deepen the meaning of “Climate Justice.” 

The Condor & The Eagle documentary offers a glimpse into a developing spiritual renaissance as the film four protagonists learn from each other’s long legacy of resistance to colonialism and its extractive economy. Their path through the jungle takes them on an unexpectedly challenging and liberating journey, which will forever change their attachment to the Earth and one another.

The donations collected will support FracTracker Alliance and the film impact campaign “No More Sacrificed Communities” and be used to keep supporting the incredibly important work of our film protagonists. Please give generously according to your financial situation.

Screening and Discussion

Thursday, February 18th, 7pm

Come together virtually to watch the award-winning documentary, “The Condor & The Eagle” and follow-up discussion featuring protagonists from the film:

Patricia Gualinga. Patricia has played an important role in the fight for indigenous rights. Gualinga is a spokeswoman for many environmental projects. Gualinga works to protect the Kichwa People of Sarayaku community from human rights violations resulting from oil extraction projects by Chinese companies on their land. She is a spokesperson for the indigenous-led proposal ‘Kawsak Sacha’, or ‘Living Forest’, that calls for legal protection of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Casey Camp-Horinek. Because of Casey’s work the Ponca Nation is the first Tribe in the State of Oklahoma to adopt the Rights of Nature Statute, and to pass a moratorium on Fracking on Tribal Lands. Casey was also instrumental in the drafting, and adoption of the first ever International Indigenous Women’s Treaty protecting the Rights of Nature.
Melina Laboucan-Massimo. Cree from Northern Alberta, Co-Founder of Indigenous Climate Action where she is the Program Director, and Founder of Sacred Earth Solar. She is the host of TV series Power to the People. Facing firsthand impacts of the Alberta tar sands in her traditional territory, Melina has been a vocal advocate for Indigenous rights. For over a decade, Melina worked as a Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada and the Indigenous Environmental Network internationally.

Yudith Azareth Nieto, Film Protagonist – Yudith is a queer Mexican-American artist, interpreter, and organizer, enjoying spending time in the bayous of Louisiana working on projects like CRY YOU ONE, Amor y Solidaridad, a solidarity house in support of undocumented Transwomen, and recently BanchaLenguas, a Language Justice interpreters collective. Currently, she is part of the core leadership circle for Another Gulf Is Possible and a youth organizer with Los Jardines Institute. For over five years, Yudith has been fighting for the rights of her fenceline community in Manchester, Houston in collaboration with T.E.J.A.S and was named one of Grist.org 50 Fixers of 2018.

Bryan Parras. Film Protagonist – Xicano Houston, TX – Healthy Communities Organizer with Sierra Club and Co-Founder of t.e.j.a.s. He is a longtime environmental justice advocate based in Houston, TX. He co-founded the Librotraficante movement, serves as an Advisor to the Gulf Coast Fund, and sits on the board of the Environmental Support Center. Bryan was recently awarded a Gulf Coast Fellowship and has been working to help organizations use media for education, organizing, and advocacy.

Here’s how to get the most out of the FracTracker EJ February film series:

  • Browse the films being offered and choose your own adventure.
  • Secure your tickets to one, two, or all three of the films by following the links under each film. You must secure the tickets for each film separately because they are hosted on different platforms.
  • Tickets are offered at a sliding scale – meaning you pay what you want. You can even select the free option if you’d like.
  • We’ll email you with the link to watch the film. Two of the films are available for you to watch on your own time before the live Q&A sessions. One of the films is a live screening followed by a panel featuring the film’s protagonists.
  • Join the discussion group to interact with other viewers. We’ll provide discussion prompts and additional resources to inspire and motivate you to make the most of what you’ve just experienced through the films. Group details will be sent out to you upon registration.
  • Attend the Q&A sessions and dialogue directly with the filmmakers and film protagonists. They’re eager to connect with you! Or feel free to just sit back and relax as you watch the live events.

Environmental Health Fellowship Opening – Summer 2021

This paid, remote fellowship will provide a graduate student with the opportunity to deepen their academic understanding of environmental issues affecting the heavily-fracked region of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The fellow will work in close collaboration with their FracTracker supervisor and their academic advisor.

This position was developed in partnership with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and The Heinz Endowments.

 

Fellowship Details

Title: FracTracker Alliance Environmental Health Fellow
Eligibility: Current graduate students
Fellowship Period: 12 weeks (6/7/21 – 8/27/21)
Application Deadline:  April 2nd, 2020
Compensation: $15/hour, 37.5 hours per week
Location: Remote, reporting to the Pittsburgh FracTracker office

Fellowship Description

This paid, remote fellowship will provide a graduate student with the opportunity to deepen their academic understanding of environmental issues affecting the heavily-fracked region around Southwestern Pennsylvania. The fellow will work in close collaboration with their FracTracker supervisor and their academic advisor.

FracTracker Alliance is a national, Pennsylvania-based environmental nonprofit organization that provides visual and technical tools to protect communities from the impacts of unconventional oil and gas development. FracTracker is a premier resource on unconventional oil and gas issues in the United States, and has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, the LA Times, The Guardian, USA Today, and more. The organization has received over 1.25 million visitors on www.fractracker.org, where FracTracker staff regularly contribute maps and articles on pressing unconventional oil and gas issues.  

Fellows will perform research and geo-spatial data collection, processing, and analysis with a focus on environmental health issues associated with oil, gas, and petrochemical development. Specific projects and research interests will be identified by the fellow in consultation with FracTracker staff and the fellow’s graduate program advisor. While multiple projects might be undertaken, a signature capstone project and blog post on the FracTracker website will be the primary foci of the experience. The fellow will also have the opportunity to present their work to various audiences in the format of their choice.

This position is not eligible for health benefits, but approved travel expenses for relevant research, meetings, and fieldwork will be reimbursed. This remote position reports to the Pittsburgh FracTracker office. Depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be possible to conduct some meetings in person.

This position was developed in partnership with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and The Heinz Endowments with the goal to bring high quality environmental and public health students to the region; to strengthen the region’s public health capacity to address issues impacting environmental, health, equity and sustainability outcomes; and to provide highly meaningful experience for students with strong academic backgrounds and in consultation with academic advisement.

Apply today to:

  • Conduct independent study relevant to your coursework
  • Deepen your understanding of environmental health issues and solutions
  • Learn and Apply GIS skills
  • Obtain valuable resume-building experience
  • Make new connections in the field of environmental health through participation in a cohort of Environmental Health Fellows from partnering organizations

This position is not eligible for health benefits, but approved travel expenses for relevant research, meetings, and fieldwork will be reimbursed. This position reports to the Pittsburgh FracTracker office. Depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, fellows will likely work 100% remotely.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the fellow will revolve around their capstone project. They may also be asked to assist with daily work and time sensitive projects of the organization. Responsibilities will vary, but may include:

  • Spatial analyses and mapping using GIS software
  • Data mining, cleaning, and management
  • Field research (e.g. mobile app documentation, interviews, air or water monitoring, etc.)
  • Meetings with staff, partners, and/or experts
  • Written contributions to the FracTracker blog at www.fractracker.org
  • Translation of data into information and stories for the blog
  • Developing educational outreach materials

Qualifications

This fellowship is dedicated to current graduate students only. The candidate should possess the following qualifications:

  • Interest in protecting public health from risks associated with unconventional oil and gas and/or petrochemical development
  • Working knowledge of geographic information systems (GIS) and Microsoft Office products (especially Word and Excel)
  • Ability to assist with researching spatial data availability from internal and external sources; collect, assimilate, analyze, and interpret data and draw sound conclusions; prepare oral and written reports
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent written and oral English communication and research skills
  • Ability to tackle challenging problems with minimal guidance
  • Experience presenting data and information in creative, visually compelling ways is a plus

Completed studies in environmental or public health, environmental science, environmental policy or environmental law, environmental engineering, chemistry, biology, economics, marketing, or nonprofit management are desired, but not mandatory.

To Apply 

To apply, please fill out the form below. The application deadline is Friday, April 2nd, 2021 at 5pm. 

Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview with FracTracker staff members. First-round interviews will take place between April 12th – April 23rd.

Once the fellow has been selected, all first-round candidates will be notified regarding the result of their application by April 30th.

Second-round interviews will take place between May 3rd – May 7th, with the final candidate being selected by May 10th at the latest. All first-round candidates will be notified regarding the result of their application at that time.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Shannon Smith at smith@fractracker.org.

FracTracker is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, citizenship status, age, veteran status, or disability.

This form is currently closed for submissions.

Want to learn more about FracTracker’s internship, fellowship, and visiting scholars programs? Click here.

Brook Lenker, Matthew Kelso, and intern Gianna Calisto counting oil trains as they passed through Pittsburgh, PA

Brook Lenker, Matt Kelso, and intern Gianna Calisto counting oil trains as they passed through Pittsburgh, PA

Community Sentinel Award for Environmental Stewardship


About the Award

The Community Sentinel Award for Environmental Stewardship honors those who address the root causes of environmental injustice in the United States, with a strong focus on racial justice in the face of oil, gas, and petrochemical activity. The award recognizes the leadership of those standing up for their communities to protect the places they love. 

For too long, the oil and gas industry has wreaked havoc on our landscapes and farms with millions of miles of dangerous pipelines, invaded neighborhoods with fracked wells, choked towns with noxious petrochemical emissions, littered streams littered with throwaway plastics, and accelerated the climate crises. But hope abounds in the thousands of volunteers working in their communities and cherished places to document, report, and confront such fossil fuel harms.

To honor these environmental heroes, FracTracker Alliance created the annual Community Sentinel Award for Environmental Stewardship, now in its seventh year, to celebrate individuals whose noble actions exemplify the transformative power of caring, committed, and engaged people. In collaboration with a supportive lineup of sponsors and partners, the award is presented to multiple recipients at a festive reception before a group of fellow activists and others who champion a healthy, sustainable future. Each awardee will also receive $1,000 in recognition of their efforts.

Additionally, each year during the Community Sentinel Award ceremony, we take a moment to honor environmental heroes who passed away in the previous year with the Legacy of Heroes recognition.


Watch the full 2020 Community Sentinel Awards Ceremony




Congratulations to the 2020 Sentinels!


Edith Abeyta

Edith Abeyta of North Braddock, Pennsylvania. North Braddock Residents for Our Future. She/her pronouns

As an artist and volunteer community organizer, Edith has spent over six years fighting repeated attempts to drill in her community, a densely-populated environmental justice district already inundated with over a century of industrial pollution. She led changes to zoning code twice both in North Braddock and East Pittsburgh, which prevented drilling in 2014-2016, and again 2017-2020. In addition, she’s led successful fights against expired conditional use permits. In all her work, Edith’s approach is highly collaborative between a wide variety of stakeholders.

Edith has mobilized hundreds of residents to be civically engaged and make their voices heard. Recently, her work with North Braddock Residents for Our Future led to the East Pittsburgh Zoning and Hearing Board rejecting a permit appeal from Merrion Oil & Gas, the company seeking to drill a fracking well at the US Steel plant. This historical victory shows the power of unyielding grassroots organizing, and surely would not be possible without Edith’s unwavering commitment. 

Yvette Arellano

Yvette Arellano of Houston, Texas. Founder, Fenceline Watch; Board member, the Center for International Environmental Law, Backbone Campaign, Greenlatinos, and Peak Plastic Foundation. They/them pronouns

Yvette Arellano is a gulf coast organizer and emerging leader from Houston dedicated to environmental and racial justice. Yvette has served as a policy research and grassroots advocate with Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services and recently founded Fenceline Watch, a community-run effort.

In 2015, they led the campaign against H.R. 702, which opened the floodgates to U.S. crude oil exports. They were instrumental in the publication Double Jeopardy in Houston, Air Toxics and Health in the Houston Community of Manchester, and Plastic and Health: The Hidden Cost of a Plastic Planet. This report highlights the disproportionate toxic impact of the petrochemical industry on communities living on the fenceline. 

Throughout their work, Yvette emphasizes that access to clean water, air, land, and food is a fundamental human right best pursued through vigorous intersectional thinking and organizing. They understand the importance of a multi-pronged approach that embraces various advocacy methods, including policy development, litigation, research, direct actions, coalition building, and crisis response. 

Currently, Yvette is leading efforts in Houston, home of the largest petrochemical complex in the nation, to help the city’s most vulnerable communities on the petrochemical expansion fueled by plastic production.

Theresa Landrum

Theresa Landrum of Detroit, Michigan, 48217. The Original United Citizens of Southwest Detroit; 48217 Community and Environmental Health Organization; Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice; Sierra Club Detroit Chapter, MEJC Clean Air Council; Michigan PFAS action response team. She/her pronouns

A lifelong resident working in Michigan’s most polluted zip code, Theresa has educated hundreds of advocates, residents, and elected officials on the true costs of industrial pollution and environmental racism. Theresa has led a number of public pressure campaigns to decrease harmful emissions and other impacts from industrial sites such as oil refineries, coal-fired power plants, steel manufacturers, and frac sand mines. She leads countless numbers of Environmental Justice tours that educate and inspire others to take meaningful action.

Theresa is a tireless advocate for environmental justice whose efforts ensure that residents in impacted communities are rightfully recognized as experts in determining what’s best for their health and well-being.

Brenda Jo “BJ” McManama

Brenda Jo “BJ” McManama of Fairmont, West Virginia. Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Save Our Roots Campaign Organizer. She/her pronouns

Brenda Jo “BJ” has worked with Indigenous people and frontline communities to promote climate, racial, and energy justice for over 25 years. She brought Native Americans from Standing Rock and beyond to Pittsburgh, where they conducted a Water Ceremony and led a demonstration of resistance against the convention of the Marcellus Shale Coalition in October 2019. BJ also has a long history of working with state agencies in opposition to mountaintop removal and strip mining in West Virginia.

BJ has worked for the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) in different capacities for 16 years, in recent years as a campaign organizer working under the banner of Save Our Roots, an organization promoting forest protection. She also contributes to IEN’s Keep It in the Ground campaign, she is a steering committee member of the International Stop GE Tree Campaign, and serves on the POPCO steering committee as a West Virginia representative.

Throughout all of her work, and out of a deep commitment to an equitable future for all and our Next Seven Generations, BJ skillfully connects people from distant geographies and diverse backgrounds in support of those suffering from poverty and pollution of the fossil fuel and petrochemical industries.



2020 Partners & Sponsors

This event was hosted by FracTracker Alliance and Halt the Harm Network, and sponsored by The Heinz Endowments and 11th Hour Project. Partnering organizations include Breathe Project, Center for Coalfield Justice, Climate Reality, Crude Accountability, Earthworks, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services, Food & Water Watch, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, Mountain Watershed Association, Ohio River Valley Institute, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Poor People’s Campaign, Rootskeeper, Sierra Club, Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, and Young Voices for the Planet.