This piece was written by Sarah Gilliam, Coordinator for the Stop Titan Action Network:
Last weekend, mothers from Kansas and Texas visited our Cape Fear region to give a self-less and invaluable glimpse into what our future could look like. These moms raise children near coal-fired cement kilns, wake up from late-night rail cars carrying hazardous waste behind their homes, and have children attending toxic schools. These moms live in Midlothian Texas and Chanute Kansas, also known as cement towns. Selene Hummer and Alexandra Allred have given our community the shell-shock we needed to keep fighting Titan’s proposed cement-manufacturing and strip-mining facility slated for construction along the already mercury-impaired Northeast Cape Fear River.
While Alex and Selene shared their heart-breaking stories, I couldn’t help but pan the audience to see the faces of our local moms, who have been the backbone of the citizens’ movement against Titan for four years now. Although the stories were hard to listen to, I felt the positive energy from moms strategizing on their next hard-hitting questions to hopeful elected leaders, while their face-painted, happy and healthy kids ran around and enjoyed the outdoors.
“I loved hearing from Alex Allred. She‘s right on the mark that mothers have a protective instinct that is often times absent from corporate interests, state agencies and politicians. We know when something is good for our kids or not,” says Julie Hurley, local mom and organizer with Mothers United. “In the case of added air pollution and potential water waste and contamination in New Hanover County, Titan Cement doesn’t pass the ‘good-for-our-community test.,’ In fact, their proposed project looks like harm to our kids and community for the foreseeable future.”
Mothers United is a newly formed group of moms who advocate for a healthy community. Their point of view, as parents looking out for their kids, is an undeniable force and one that any politician better brace themselves for.
“We’re a support system for each other,” Ashley Reed, of Mothers United said in a recent interview for local women’s magazine, WILMA. “We set up play dates and movie nights every third Thursday to get our children together, but while the children play, we’re planning.”
This group now representing almost 300 people is multitasking, like only moms can do, and I cannot wait to see the results, which I’m confident to say will be a healthy, breathable, swimmable, fishable, lovable future for everyone to enjoy, including our children.
To follow the Mothers United group, please check out their Facebook page here.
For more info on the fight against Titan, visit www.StopTitan.org