1. THERE’S NO RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
  2. ecoWURD Earth Day Summit
  3. ecoWURD Earth Day Summit 2020 Press Release
  4. Too Much Food At Farms, Too Little Food At Stores
  5. THE LINK BETWEEN AIR POLLUTION & COVID-19
  6. CORONAVIRUS REVEALS WHY ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IS STILL THE CRITICAL ISSUE OF OUR TIME
  7. FROM KATRINA TO CORONAVIRUS, WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
  8. COVID-19 SHOWS A BIGGER IMPACT WHERE BLACK PEOPLE LIVE
  9. THE CORONAVIRUS CONVERSATION HAS GOT TO GET A LOT MORE INCLUSIVE THAN THIS
  10. MEDIA’S CLIMATE CHANGE COVERAGE KEEPS BLACK PEOPLE OUT OF IT
  11. “WE DON’T HAVE A CULTURE OF PREPAREDNESS”
  12. PHILADELPHIA HAS A FOOD ECONOMY
  13. HOW URBAN AGRICULTURE CAN IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY IN U.S. CITIES
  14. MAPPING THE LINK BETWEEN INCARCERATION & FOOD INSECURITY
  15. PHILLY’S JAILS ARE, LITERALLY, MAKING PEOPLE SICK
  16. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit 2019
  17. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit
  18. “We Can’t Breathe: Zulene Mayfield’s Lifelong War with Waste ‘Managers’”
  19. “Is The Black Press Reporting on Environmental Issues?” by David Love
  20. “The Dangerous Connection Between Climate Change & Food” an interview with Jacqueline Patterson and Adrienne Hollis
  21. “An Oil Refinery Explosion That Was Never Isolated” by Charles Ellison
  22. “Philly Should Be Going ‘Community Solar'” an interview w/ PA Rep. Donna Bullock
  23. “Is The Litter Index Enough?” an interview w/ Nic Esposito
  24. “How Sugarcane Fires in Florida Are Making Black People Sick” an interview w/ Frank Biden
  25. Philly Farm Social – Video and Pictures
  26. #PHILLYFARMSOCIAL GETS REAL IN THE FIELD
  27. THE LACK OF DIVERSE LEADERS IN THE GREEN SPACE Environmental Advocacy Organizations – especially the “Big Green” – Really Need More Black & Brown People in Senior Positions
  28. PLASTIC BAG BANS CAN BACKFIRE … WHEN YOU HAVE OTHER PLASTICS TO CHOOSE FROM
  29. WE REALLY NEED POLITICAL STRATEGISTS LEADING ON CLIMATE CHANGE – NOT ACADEMICS
  30. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS IN A MUCH MORE CLIMATIC WORLD
  31. A SMALL GERMANTOWN NON-PROFIT “TRADES FOR A DIFFERENCE”
  32. IS PHILLY BLAMING ITS TRASH & RECYCLING CRISIS ON BLACK PEOPLE?
  33. BUT WHAT DOES THE GREEN NEW DEAL MEAN FOR BLACK PEOPLE?
  34. HOW GREEN IS PHILLY’S “GREENWORKS” PLAN?
  35. The Future of Work in Philly’s Green Economy event recap #ecoWURD #phillyisgreen
  36. Bike-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just for wealthy white cyclists
  37. RENAMING “GENTRIFICATION”
  38. FOUR GOVERNORS, ONE URBAN WATERSHED IN NEED OF ACTION
  39. JUST HOW BAD IS THE AIR HURTING PHILLY’S BLACK FAMILIES?
  40. EcoWURD Presents:The Future of Work in Philly’s Green Economy
  41. IF YOU ARE LOW-INCOME OR HOMELESS, THE POLAR VORTEX IS LIKE A FORM OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
  42. NOT JUST FLINT: THE WATER CRISIS IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
  43. DO THE TRAINS STOP RUNNING? THE SHUTDOWN’S IMPACT ON MASS TRANSIT
  44. BLACK WOMEN & THE TROUBLE WITH BABY POWDER
  45. A WHITE COLLAR CRIME VICTIMIZING NICETOWN
  46. IN NORTH CAROLINA, CLIMATE CHANGE & VOTER SUPPRESSION WORKED HAND-IN-HAND
  47. LOW-INCOME NEIGHBORHOODS WOULD GAIN THE MOST FROM GREEN ROOFS
  48. YOUR OWN HOOD: CLOSING THE GENERATIONAL GREEN DIVIDE IN BLACK PHILADELPHIA
  49. THE PRICE OF WATER: LITERAL & FIGURATIVE THIRST AT WORK
  50. THAT CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT TRUMP DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SEE? YEAH, WELL, IT’S THE LAW
  51. RACIAL & ETHNIC MINORITIES ARE MORE VULNERABLE TO WILDFIRES
  52. NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTTS Philly Has a Cigarette Butt Problem
  53. HOW SUSTAINABLE CAN PHILLY GET?
  54. USING AFROFUTURISM TO BUILD THE KIND OF WORLD YOU WANT
  55. UNCOVERING PHILLY’S HIDDEN TOXIC DANGERS …
  56. WILL THE ENVIRONMENT DRIVE VOTERS TO THE POLLS? (PART I)
  57. ARE PHILLY SCHOOLS READY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?
  58. 🎧 SEPTA CREATES A GAS PROBLEM IN NORTH PHILLY
  59. 🎧 BREAKING THE GREEN RETAIL CEILING
  60. That’s Nasty: The Cost of Trash in Philly
  61. 🎧 How Can You Solarize Philly?
  62. 🎧 “The Environment Should Be an Active, Living Experience”
  63. Philly’s Lead Crisis Is Larger Than Flint’s
  64. Despite What You Heard, Black Millennials Do Care About the Environment
  65. Hurricanes Always Hurt Black Folks the Most
  66. Are You Going to Drink That?
  67. The Origins of ecoWURD
  68. We Seriously Need More Black Climate Disaster Films
  69. 🎧 Why Should Philly Care About a Pipeline?
  70. 🎧 Not Just Hotter Days Ahead… Costly Ones Too
  71. Philly’s Big and Dangerous Hot Mess
Thursday, June 4, 2020
  1. THERE’S NO RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
  2. ecoWURD Earth Day Summit
  3. ecoWURD Earth Day Summit 2020 Press Release
  4. Too Much Food At Farms, Too Little Food At Stores
  5. THE LINK BETWEEN AIR POLLUTION & COVID-19
  6. CORONAVIRUS REVEALS WHY ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IS STILL THE CRITICAL ISSUE OF OUR TIME
  7. FROM KATRINA TO CORONAVIRUS, WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
  8. COVID-19 SHOWS A BIGGER IMPACT WHERE BLACK PEOPLE LIVE
  9. THE CORONAVIRUS CONVERSATION HAS GOT TO GET A LOT MORE INCLUSIVE THAN THIS
  10. MEDIA’S CLIMATE CHANGE COVERAGE KEEPS BLACK PEOPLE OUT OF IT
  11. “WE DON’T HAVE A CULTURE OF PREPAREDNESS”
  12. PHILADELPHIA HAS A FOOD ECONOMY
  13. HOW URBAN AGRICULTURE CAN IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY IN U.S. CITIES
  14. MAPPING THE LINK BETWEEN INCARCERATION & FOOD INSECURITY
  15. PHILLY’S JAILS ARE, LITERALLY, MAKING PEOPLE SICK
  16. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit 2019
  17. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit
  18. “We Can’t Breathe: Zulene Mayfield’s Lifelong War with Waste ‘Managers’”
  19. “Is The Black Press Reporting on Environmental Issues?” by David Love
  20. “The Dangerous Connection Between Climate Change & Food” an interview with Jacqueline Patterson and Adrienne Hollis
  21. “An Oil Refinery Explosion That Was Never Isolated” by Charles Ellison
  22. “Philly Should Be Going ‘Community Solar'” an interview w/ PA Rep. Donna Bullock
  23. “Is The Litter Index Enough?” an interview w/ Nic Esposito
  24. “How Sugarcane Fires in Florida Are Making Black People Sick” an interview w/ Frank Biden
  25. Philly Farm Social – Video and Pictures
  26. #PHILLYFARMSOCIAL GETS REAL IN THE FIELD
  27. THE LACK OF DIVERSE LEADERS IN THE GREEN SPACE Environmental Advocacy Organizations – especially the “Big Green” – Really Need More Black & Brown People in Senior Positions
  28. PLASTIC BAG BANS CAN BACKFIRE … WHEN YOU HAVE OTHER PLASTICS TO CHOOSE FROM
  29. WE REALLY NEED POLITICAL STRATEGISTS LEADING ON CLIMATE CHANGE – NOT ACADEMICS
  30. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS IN A MUCH MORE CLIMATIC WORLD
  31. A SMALL GERMANTOWN NON-PROFIT “TRADES FOR A DIFFERENCE”
  32. IS PHILLY BLAMING ITS TRASH & RECYCLING CRISIS ON BLACK PEOPLE?
  33. BUT WHAT DOES THE GREEN NEW DEAL MEAN FOR BLACK PEOPLE?
  34. HOW GREEN IS PHILLY’S “GREENWORKS” PLAN?
  35. The Future of Work in Philly’s Green Economy event recap #ecoWURD #phillyisgreen
  36. Bike-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just for wealthy white cyclists
  37. RENAMING “GENTRIFICATION”
  38. FOUR GOVERNORS, ONE URBAN WATERSHED IN NEED OF ACTION
  39. JUST HOW BAD IS THE AIR HURTING PHILLY’S BLACK FAMILIES?
  40. EcoWURD Presents:The Future of Work in Philly’s Green Economy
  41. IF YOU ARE LOW-INCOME OR HOMELESS, THE POLAR VORTEX IS LIKE A FORM OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
  42. NOT JUST FLINT: THE WATER CRISIS IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
  43. DO THE TRAINS STOP RUNNING? THE SHUTDOWN’S IMPACT ON MASS TRANSIT
  44. BLACK WOMEN & THE TROUBLE WITH BABY POWDER
  45. A WHITE COLLAR CRIME VICTIMIZING NICETOWN
  46. IN NORTH CAROLINA, CLIMATE CHANGE & VOTER SUPPRESSION WORKED HAND-IN-HAND
  47. LOW-INCOME NEIGHBORHOODS WOULD GAIN THE MOST FROM GREEN ROOFS
  48. YOUR OWN HOOD: CLOSING THE GENERATIONAL GREEN DIVIDE IN BLACK PHILADELPHIA
  49. THE PRICE OF WATER: LITERAL & FIGURATIVE THIRST AT WORK
  50. THAT CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT TRUMP DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SEE? YEAH, WELL, IT’S THE LAW
  51. RACIAL & ETHNIC MINORITIES ARE MORE VULNERABLE TO WILDFIRES
  52. NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTTS Philly Has a Cigarette Butt Problem
  53. HOW SUSTAINABLE CAN PHILLY GET?
  54. USING AFROFUTURISM TO BUILD THE KIND OF WORLD YOU WANT
  55. UNCOVERING PHILLY’S HIDDEN TOXIC DANGERS …
  56. WILL THE ENVIRONMENT DRIVE VOTERS TO THE POLLS? (PART I)
  57. ARE PHILLY SCHOOLS READY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?
  58. 🎧 SEPTA CREATES A GAS PROBLEM IN NORTH PHILLY
  59. 🎧 BREAKING THE GREEN RETAIL CEILING
  60. That’s Nasty: The Cost of Trash in Philly
  61. 🎧 How Can You Solarize Philly?
  62. 🎧 “The Environment Should Be an Active, Living Experience”
  63. Philly’s Lead Crisis Is Larger Than Flint’s
  64. Despite What You Heard, Black Millennials Do Care About the Environment
  65. Hurricanes Always Hurt Black Folks the Most
  66. Are You Going to Drink That?
  67. The Origins of ecoWURD
  68. We Seriously Need More Black Climate Disaster Films
  69. 🎧 Why Should Philly Care About a Pipeline?
  70. 🎧 Not Just Hotter Days Ahead… Costly Ones Too
  71. Philly’s Big and Dangerous Hot Mess

By Charles Ellison | ecoWURD Managing Editor

At a screening of DuBois Ashong’s dreary short thriller ‘Where the Water Runs at the 2018 Black Star Film Festival in Philly, there was a sense that Black people probably need to see more of themselves in films like this.

Ashong’s depressing, but compellingly scripted near-dystopic illustration of a contemporary world with limited water is just that kind of flick to alarm its core audience into fear and, quite possibly, action. The mix of geography, social tensions, racial constructs and nakedly helpless characters is real enough: there’s increasingly heat-battered and urban Southern California faced with what we think is an unfixable water supply crisis … until blatant inequalities in water distribution are revealed.  

Water no longer runs through faucets – depending on your neighborhood.  It becomes a frighteningly rare and precious commodity, sold in excess quantity for greener lawns, high end restaurants and car washes in affluent White communities; but only available to poorer Black and Brown residents by “kiosks” and “stations” supplied by spottily scheduled water trucks.

It all looks real and very recent.

And rather than delve into macro-policy explanations as to why water main pressure is totally cut off in very Black South Central L.A. – versus constantly flowing paid-for water in wealthier hoods and suburbs – Ashong gets the audience audibly pissed.  Movie-goers shook heads in hushed cursing at water delivery to the smug, cheddar-stocked White dude living in a mansion who receives weekly untold gallons of water delivery to keep his grass sharp while he hand-washes a Maserati in the driveway.  The injustice gradually creeps up on you. The contrast pummels eye and conscience as scenes switch to very plausible scenarios of relatable Black and Brown extras forced to stand in line for water, steal piles of discarded ice cubes, and bathe by water bottle since the tap doesn’t work.

Organized armed resistance gradually flares up throughout the region as Hannity-like radio hosts feed listeners with daily misinformation. Fed-up revolutionaries are attacking water trucks. An unwilling main character, convincingly played by actor Darryl Dunning II, stumbles into a conspiracy.

There is a larger potential in a film like ‘Where the Water Runs.’ It’s not so much its value as an artistic conversation piece over appetizers, but it’s the way in which it generates enough interest to activate mobilization.  On subjects like climate change or “global warming,” that’s always been a tough code to crack. How do you get people to not just take the environment seriously, but to take it personally?  That kind of stark inequality and hyper-segregated resource supply could happen in any major city with a large concentration of vulnerable citizens in it – such as Philadelphia, the poorest large city in the nation and a place where low income residents routinely suffer environmental challenges from constant air pollution to suffocating urban heat islands.  

Where the Water Runs poses a broader discussion on the power of video and messaging. Despite all the research, summits and discourse from scientists, experts and environmental justice advocates, sometimes all it takes is a jarring visual to make the point that troubling times are just around the corner.

But, beyond the occasional #Flint noise, are topics like the chief problem in Where the Water Runs highlighted in contemporary or popular Black discourse?  The dilemma is that while these are alarmingly critical topics, Black communities – particularly on the working to lower income socio-economic scale – don’t always appear collectively moved by them the same way they are from controversy over NFL national anthem protests or the latest social media clip of an abusive 911 call.  And if it reaches that point, in the same way that Hurricane Katrina or Flint did, it’s normally highlighted by celebrity calls to action. What can a film do?
Visual aids such as Where the Water Runs could offer an alternative form of issue advocacy combined with social chatter, especially when done by Black filmmakers and Hollywood icons as frequently as recent box-office runaway hits that have sparked pop-culture buzz around like, say, a ‘Black Panther’ or ‘Girls Trip.’ What Water Runs achieves is completely flipping the environmental disaster flick script through lead Black cast and voice in man-made disaster scenarios.  Pushing more films like this to larger mass audiences could serve as a driver towards greater awareness, especially outside of limited engagement film festivals. Going viral into individual social media feeds, hitting the local movie screens or streaming on tablets could make the issue that more relatable and urgent.