As negotiations on the international treaty begin this Monday until June 2, Jo Banner, an activist, co-founder of the descendants project, had a conversation with Houmi AHAMED-MIKIDACHE on the challenges facing her community related to plastic pollution in Louisiana, in the South of the United of America. The descendants project is an organization committed to eliminate discrimination, the narrative violence from slavery to colonialism and helps black community in Louisiana to preserve and protect their health, land and lives. Jo Banner is attending the Global plastic treaty negotiations in Paris.
Listen to your voice with Jo Banner.
Read some excerpts of the podcast “Your Voice with Joe Banner”
Radio Era Environnement: Hi, I am Houmi AHAMED-MIKIDACHE. Today you listen to your voice, the voice of the expert on radio Era Environnement with Jo Banner, co-founder of The Descendants Project, an organization committed to eliminate discrimination, the narrative violence of plantation from slavery to colonialism, and how to preserve and protect the health, land and lives of the black community in Louisiana, in the south of the United States of America, a region known today as Cancer Alley know,for the extreme risk of cancer and death due to pollution.
Radio Era Environnement: Hi. Good afternoon, Jo. . How are you?
Jo Banner: Doing well.
Radio Era Environnement: Well, thank you for accepting our invitation. What is the link of your organization and plastic waste?
Jo Banner: We make our voices heard all over the world because this is an international problem that we’re facing, that we have companies that come from everywhere because they know the lax government. They know the lax rules that Louisiana has. And now we have been exploited just as our communities were exploited by enslavement of Africans and brought in America. The same thing is going on is just the same as the same type of exploitation. In many instances, the plantations, the plants are the same ground as the former plantations. So why we’re here (In Paris) is to understand that if those companies are here playing on this level, that our communities need to be there too. We also need to be here making our voices heard. My hometown is located in the middle of Cancer Alley in Louisiana, so we suffer from the upstream impacts, mainly of the plastic production and the amount of chemicals just in the air and amount of pollution that’s out there. So yeah, it’s really had a negative impact to our our health. I participated in this because this is an opportunity to really highlight the harms that communities on the frontline, as is coal face and the production of plastic is not just a a nuisance or inconvenience, it’s really a matter of life or death for a lot of communities like mine.
Interview by Houmi Ahamed-Mikidache