Destiny Watford wins 2016 Goldman Prize for defeating trash burning incinerator!
Destiny Watford is one of six activists honored today with the Goldman Environmental Prize at a ceremony in the San Francisco Opera House.
“In a community whose environmental rights had long been sidelined to make room for heavy industry, Destiny inspired residents of Curtis Bay, Baltimore to defeat plans to build the nation’s largest incinerator less than a mile away from her high school,” stated the prize announcement.
Destiny achieved this with many others in her student group Free Your Voice, the human rights Committee of United Workers.
“I am proud to serve as a representative of Free Your Voice, my city, and state as we continue to build a movement to change our city and nation towards environmental justice, truly green living-wage jobs, and affordable housing, to ensure that our basic human rights to live in a healthy, sustainable community are met.” said Destiny.
During their campaign, Destiny and her fellow organizers at Free Your Voice connected with many organizations including GAIA and learned about incinerators being shut down all across the country, the violations these facilities committed, and the climate policies that keep the remaining ones alive.
Climate policies like the Clean Power Plan in the U.S. (and other policies around the world) have wrongly classified the burning of organic waste (stuff from plants) to be renewable energy. This rebranding of trash burning as a “climate solution” keeps polluting facilities alive through climate subsidies all over the country. For example, state climate subsidies are a lifeline to the costly Detroit, Michigan incinerator, which has faced years of grassroots resistance
Having defeated the proposed incinerator, Free Your Voice has developed an alternate plan for Fair Development, rooted in the principles of human rights and environmental justice. Their first step is to get the 90 acres of land being held by a trash burning incinerator company in order to make way for a community owned solar farm.