Yvette Jordan

“Social Justice” is the view that everyone deserves

equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities.

THE FIGHT FOR CLEAN WATER

SUNDAY, MARCH 8, 2020 3:00-4:30PM

WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART – NYC

SUSAN & JOHN HESS FAMILY GALLERY

Panalist: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Dimple Chaudhary, Yvette Jordan, Kristi Pullen Fedinick

WOMEN LET'S TALK ABOUT CLEAN WATER

Monday March 9th  6:00pm

NJIT Campus Center Atrium

Join us for a discussion about Newark’s lead water crisis. Participants will include women activists and scientists who are on the front lines in the battle over New Jersey’s water.

WATER IS A HUMAN RIGHT..."FIX IT"

No amount of lead exposure is known to be safe for children, whose mental and physical development can be impaired, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Be your best advocate

SEE SOMETHING

Believe your eyes – Not what people tell you

SAY SOMETHING

When you see something you don’t understand

Ask questions

Get to the truth

DO SOMETHING

Don’t be afraid – FInd people of like mind

Have a voice and

Stand up for what you believe.

Hello

I am Yvette Jordan, an Educator in the Newark Public School system and an Activist for environmental and social justice. For the past two years, I have been speaking on the effects of environmental justice on urban centers; I have a keen interest in educating our community on the importance of advocating for safe water.  My commitment to this fight began with the lead water crisis in Newark, NJ.

 The water crisis in Newark is a public health crisis. Although City officials said the ‘source’ water was safe in 2018, lead was leaching into the water and when it reaches residents tap, there is a problem. The problem is lead, as well as other contaminants, have leached in.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international environmental justice organization, Newark had been exceeding the federal standard for lead in the water (15 parts per billion) since June 2017. NRDC, with other community based organizations, informed the City of Newark (via letter) of this lead exceedence in September 2017 when these numbers increased. By December 2017, the numbers were higher and NRDC felt it was necessary to inform the City of intent to sue because of a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act. While these same signatories to the September 2017 letter refused to sign on as a plaintiff, Newark Education Workers (NEW) Caucus was approached and signed on as the sole plaintiff, with NRDC.

I am a resident of Newark. I’m a wife, parent and homeowner who felt it was important for someone to stand up and speak for those who can’t or will not. I feel it is important for me as a Black woman to step up; we all need to step up.

Why Me

“IF NOT US – THEN WHO – IF NOT NOW – THEN WHEN”    John Lewis

LEAD EXPOSURE

Public-health experts consider any amount of lead to be dangerous, but the law requires that a city improve its corrosion controls if a certain number of homes test above 15 parts per billion. One water sample in Newark from May 2018 measured 182 parts per billion. Prolonged exposure to lead can cause high blood pressure, kidney damage and stillbirths. Young children, the most vulnerable, who are exposed to lead are particularly likely to experience problems with their brain development and nervous systems. Even low levels can impair a child’s IQ, academic achievement and ability to pay attention. US studies have shown lead-exposed children are more likely to be aggressive, leading to bullying, truancy and even jail.

Stepping forward

I and other members of Newark Educators Workers caucus (NEW Caucus) were made aware of the problem in February 2018 when the NRDC met with us and informed us of the lead exceedances. 

We were stunned.

As educators, we are very concerned about our students, their families as well as other residents in Newark. We felt it was our responsibility to step up and in April 2018 informed the city of our intent to sue.

 

 

Actions for Change

In June 2018, NEW Caucus and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed the lawsuit against the city of Newark and the state of New Jersey.  Our lawsuit is not about monetary damages rather it is about getting state and local government to ensure our residents access to clean drinking water and access to appropriate knowledge during adverse situations.

I am a resident of Newark, I’m a homeowner and I felt it was important for somebody who lived and worked here to actually stand up as part of this legal action. I thought it was important for me and other residents to step up.

MOVING FORWARD

ACTION PRODUCES RESULTS

I am an Educator first

Newark Public Schools

Advocating for Clean Water

New York Social Justice Film Festival Jan 2020 premiering “Thirst for Justice”  (a national fight for clean water) director Leana Hosea and panel discussion, jccmanhattan.org


Democracy Now

Speaking out for our community. Conducting media interviews for all local, national and international news media outlets.

the community in action

Not waiting for local government to take action – citizen setting up independent distribution sites giving free water filters to any and all Newark residents upon request.

LETTING OUR VOICES BE HEARD

Letting our voices be heard brought this matter to the state and national level of awareness. Protesting at the Prudential Center MTV VMA Music Awards Show.

Legal action

Newark residents with the representation of the Natural Resources Defense Council, LLC (NRDC) legal team sued the city of Newark and the State of New Jersey not for monetary damages but to motivate local and state government to: #1 provide full disclosure about the seriousness of Newark’s “Lead in Water” problem #2 Implement measures to protect our residents now and in the future. “Clean Water is a Human Right”

ORGANIZING FOR CHANGE

Get involved in your local community action groups and effect change…

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

I never lose. I either win or learn.

 

NELSON MANDELA

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

I never lose. I either win or learn.

 

NELSON MANDELA

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

I never lose. I either win or learn.

 

NELSON MANDELA