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“The Smell of Money” draws a crowd

Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on February 23rd, 2023

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell talks about Sound Rivers’ environmental justice work during a panel with North Carolina Environmental Justice Network Senior Advisor Naeema Muhammad after the film. Muhammad attended via video chat, while Dr. Aleia Brown (right) led the Q&A.

Turnout was great for ECU Sustainability’s screening this week of the environmental justice film “The Smell of Money,” at East Carolina University.

“The film is heavy and forces the audience to reckon with the burdens placed on the communities living next to industrial hog operations in eastern North Carolina,” said Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell. “I hope that people came away from the film and panel moved to action and inspired by the fight impacted community members have led, and continue to lead, against a powerful industry.”

Jill watched the film with the crowd, then joined North Carolina Environmental Justice Network Senior Advisor Naeema Muhammad for the panel discussion following the film, which was led by Dr. Aleia Brown, the current recipient of the David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, a professorship offered by ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

“Dr. Brown asked us questions about our work at EJN and Sound Rivers in addressing environmental justice, then took questions from the audience — questions about environmental justice on a global scale; how to address injustices in the U.S. without burdening other countries with these same polluting industries; what has happened since the filming with the nuisance cases; any progress in addressing the harms from CAFOs; and how people, especially young people, can get involved in the movement.”

Attendees included Sound Rivers’ board member Adrian Atkinson, along with local activists from the Coalition Against Racism and North of the River Association, ECU students and Greenville community members.

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