⛅ Sacred Air: The JustFaith Team Visits Wilmington

The streets of LA became this week’s classroom for participants in the Green Team’s JustFaith Sacred Air series. On a field trip down to Wilmington, the team learned about how Big Oil directly impacts the lives of the city’s residents, mostly people of color, from firsthand accounts. 


Driving through the city and any residential area, they noticed you can always see at least one oil refinery in the not-so-far distance. Oil drill sites and storage tanks sit right in the middle of residential and recreational areas where Wilmington residents work, eat, play, pray, study, shop, and live. One drill site was in the middle of a church parking lot while another was on a school playground. Because these drill sites emit odorous chemicals, getting too close to them can cause headaches and nausea for community members.


A Wilmington resident shared her story with the JustFaith participants while showing them the oil refinery that cuts her city in half. Industrial noise is a constant. Residents live right on the edge of Big Oil's property with about a 50-foot grass buffer between them and the refinery that billows particulate matter and other pollutants into the air. As a result, residents in Wilmington have disproportionately higher rates of chronic illnesses like leukemia, cancer, lung disease, and heart disease. Tragically, the economic prosperity that these companies enjoy is not returned to the community; the majority of oil jobs are outsourced to people outside of the city, and Wilmington residents primarily work in the service industry.


Green Team and the participants in this JustFaith series seek to not only understand these issues that directly affect so many Angelenos, but also find concrete solutions that can help diminish  – and ultimately solve – these problems that plague our environment.






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