Local National Black Leadership Caucus hosts GenX forum

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Discussion about GenX continued Tuesday night as one organization led a series of forums they call ‘Crimes Against Humanity.’ The forum was the first of a seven on their list. Tonight’s event targeted the lack of communication over what the area has been experiencing with GenX.

The New Hanover County Chapter of the National Black Leadership Caucus hosted Tuesday’s forum in Downtown Wilmington. Throughout the meeting many of the same questions we have already heard were asked, but still no solid answers.

Which means the community is still where they were nearly 40 days ago, when the troubles all began.

“You see a lot of the same people who attend all the meetings, ya know. It’s almost like preaching to the choir, so we do need to get out and knock on doors and let our neighbors know what’s going on and that’s what I plan to do,” concerned resident, Joyce said.

The forum focused on communication, reaching minorities, and accountability.

“Also to hold our public officials accountable. Not only on the local level but also on state level with our Governor,” New Hanover County National Black Leadership Caucus Chair, Sonya Patrick said.

The forum not only targeted local and state leaders,  but also focused on finding ways to hold Chemours and DuPont responsible.

“Making sure that when companies are releasing certain things from their businesses, they have to make sure that it’s totally safe,” panelist, Kojo Nantambu said. “Not questionably safe, not maybe safe, but they know for a fact that it is safe. And it shouldn’t take putting something in the water that might hurt people, or somebody getting sick to find out that it is truly safe.”

One of the eight panelists, Kojo Nantambu, says meeting about it is not enough anymore, it is time to take legal action against the companies accountable for GenX.

“It’s us that has to pay for it,” Nantambu said. “We’re suffering because we don’t how much longer this is going to be in the water and to what extent it’s going to harm us as the community.”

So in the meantime, Nantambu says something needs to be done for those who can’t afford clean water.

“What if a mother has five children, what do she do? She can’t buy water for five children,” Joyce said.

Nantambu says they also need help from the local government.

“Some kind of vehicle, some kind of organizational structure to make sure that they’re get into the minority communities. And make sure that those people know and understand what they’re facing and how serious this could be. It may not be dangerous yet, we don’t know. But they need to find out,” Nantambu said.

The National Black Leadership Caucus is hosting a bottled water drive every fourth Tuesday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Taylor Homes in Wilmington. Organizers say it is just one step in their fight to reach everyone in the community.

Also on the panel tonight aside from Nantambu, Kemp Burdette, Earl Sheridan, Jim Flechtner, Ronald Sparks, Beth Kline-Markesino, Mark Coyle, and Glen Thearling.

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover

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