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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Toxic shock: Macro Practice Students Negotiating Dialogue between Community and Waste Recyclers

Larry M. Gant, CSW, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Michigan, 1080 S. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, 734-763-5990, Lmgant@umich.edu

The Delray community is located at the southernmost tip of southwest Detroit. Physically disconnected from the continuum of southwest Detroit by a active and inactive industrial plants, Delray has many of the problems of Midwest postindustrial communities, but has not shared in the ongoing process of renewal that characterizes much of southwest Detroit. As well, the proximity of Delray to industrial sites has resulted in a number of toxic land sites discovered only years after the construction of schools, homes, and small businesses. Yet, many residents (particularly many youth) care deeply about their community and their neighbors.

Peoples’ Community Services (PCS) provides a series of services and activities in Delray. A recent business – Synagro (http://www.synagro.com/) (toxic waste reclamation) will relocate to Delray, with promises of employment and commitment to clean up toxic waste sites with new and innovative chemical technology.

While some residents are concerned about the health hazards posed (potentially) by the new business, other residents are concerned that the new business owners know little about the residents of Delray. Students in an innovative program – the Community Based Initiative - will work with community residents and agency staff/interns to provide community policy education regarding hazardous waste cleanup, an understanding of the chemical reclamation process promised by the company, and deploy a community process (e.g. Photovoice) that allows residents to provide a visual presentation to the business owners about their community. We report the accomplishments of the initiative, with assessment of strengths and limitations of this service learning approach.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Environmental Health Hazards, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Community and Social Justice

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA