GenX: Reaching The Underserved Community

Jul 6, 2017

The new organization Clean Cape Fear held its second “Water Wednesday” event Wednesday evening  at the Coastline Convention Center. They met to discuss communicating the news of GenX and other compounds in the water supply, to the poor and otherwise underserved people of the region. About 145 people were in attendance.

English and Spanish speakers alike were on hand to discuss better ways to get the news out about GenX, to more people in the community. To those without Internet access, those who don’t buy the newspaper, and those who don’t speak English.

“Tonight’s goal is to try and reach out to members of our community that might have been overlooked in the initial communications on GenX and other toxins in the water.”

Emily Donovan is a member of the volunteer group Clean Cape Fear, and helped organize the event.

Also on hand was Deborah Dicks Maxwell, the president of New Hanover County’s chapter of the NAACP. She pushed elected officials to increase their efforts to inform underrepresented citizens about the water issue.

“So this time because it’s not a NIMBY issue, not in my backyard, it’s in everybody’s backyard, they are going to have to truly respond. Because whether you make $5 or $500,000, you drink the same water.”

“Like they say in the Bible, ‘my people should perish for lack of knowledge’ and that’s definitely the case right now.”

Elected officials at the event included Margaret Haynes, Wilmington’s mayor pro tem, and New Hanover County Commissioner Rob Zapple, who told the audience that county officials were working hard on this issue.

Clean Cape Fear plans to hold more Water Wednesdays in the future.

Note: Rob Zapple is a member of WHQR’s governing body, Friends of Public Radio.