FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2023
Contact: Alicia Mercedes, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its decision to provide $115 million to support water infrastructure investments within the City of Jackson. The long-term investment from the federal government comes on the heels of a disastrous water crisis that left thousands of Jackson residents without safe drinking water as a result of neglectful state policies.
"Let me be clear - there is no racial justice without environmental justice. That's why the NAACP is overjoyed by today's announcement from the EPA. The decision to finally invest in Jackson's infrastructure is a long overdue win made possible by the Association's tireless advocacy efforts in collaboration with Jackson residents and our allies on the ground," said NAACP President & CEO, Derrick Johnson. "We thank EPA Administrator Regan and the Biden Administration for stepping up when our state leaders refused to. While this journey is far from over, this investment represents a pivotal step towards clean drinking water for all. It's a great day to be in Jackson."
Over the past year, the NAACP has worked closely with leaders and residents in Jackson to address the State of Mississippi's gross mishandling of the water crisis and the history of inequities that caused it. In September 2022, the NAACP filed a Title VI Complaint for Investigation of the state's discriminatory allotment of federal funds which resulted in a federal civil rights investigation.
"Far too often, governmental leadership has failed to make tangible environmental investments in our communities, resulting in devastating, and sometimes tragic outcomes for Black families," said NAACP Director of Environmental and Climate Justice, Abre' Conner. "The announcement of this funding from the EPA makes it clear that the Biden Administration is committed to finding innovative ways to demonstrate what investments in places like Jackson should entail. The fight for clean water is far from over, but today's news provides a beacon of hope for our future."
Late last year, Abre' testified before Congress, providing expert analysis of the neglect and disinvestment in Jackson and the broader, national implications of infrastructure failures. NAACP leaders continue to monitor the recovery process in collaboration with Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and EPA Administrator Michael Regan and ensure that the community is aware of the progress and decisions made.
The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.