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Flint residents hold Town Hall meeting in DC

On June 21, 2016

On Wednesday, June 22nd, residents from Flint, Michigan will travel to Washington, D.C. to share their horrific experiences of suffering under the threat of lead poison in the water system at a Town Hall Meeting at the historic Metropolitan AME Church, 1518 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. at 7 pm. (Doors to open at 6:30). The public is welcomed.

The meeting - to be broadcasted live on WPFW - is being convened by the Black Family Summit (BFS) of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW), an umbrella formation of socially conscious national Black Professional Organizations committed to building and sustaining safe, just and humane Black communities.

The goal of the gathering is to shine a spotlight on the continuing crisis in Flint and draw attention to what the organizers believe is a disturbing pattern of lead poison in the water systems of predominately Black neighborhoods and cities across the country.

Recent reports indicate that Newark, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. have problems with lead poison in sections of their water systems. Speakers at the Town Hall Meeting will site data documenting an alarming number of Black communities affected by poisoned water.

Organizers are drawing comparisons to environmental racism in terms of the disproportionate impact of lead poison in the water of Black communities. In addition to negative health effects, evidence that lead poisoning in water affects I.Q. and behavior will be presented and discussed.

Leonard Dunston, President Emeritus, National Association of Black Social Workers and Convener of the Black Family Summit, has assembled a Panel of scholars, experts and policy advocates to address the crisis in Flint and nation. They include: Dr. Patricia Newton, CEO, Black Psychiatrists of America; Dr. Mwata Kevin Washington, President, Association of Black Psychologists; Dr. Jewel Crawford, health and environmental justice advocate and Atty. Adjoa Aiyetoro, human rights and reparations advocate. Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Ranking Member, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee have also been invited to participate in the Town Hall Meeting.

Atty. Nkechi Taifa, human rights advocate, will serve as Moderator.

"We charge genocide because we are seeing the devastating toll on human life and destructive damage to Flint and Black communities across this country," said Leonard Dunston. "Whether through blatant or benign neglect, what's happening to Black families and communities is unconscionable and should be considered a crime against humanity. The Town Hall Meeting is the first step in bringing this crime to the attention of the nation and the world."

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