Fall 2015| Posse New Orleans Quarterly

  

Bard Scholar Advocates for Environment

Troy Robertson, a senior at Bard College, spent his summer helping to advocate for environmental change on the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

After earning the Community Action Award from the Bard Center for Community Engagement, Troy received internship funding in recognition of his desire to improve the community. A community organizer with the Gulf Restoration Network, Troy’s work brought him to the historically African-American community of Ironton near Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

“When the wind blows, coal dust from mounds near Ironton completely engulfs the town,” Troy said. “Our goal was to make sure that the company is held responsible and that residents know what’s going on around them.”

Troy researched air quality levels in Ironton and organized social media outreach to the community. His efforts with the Gulf Restoration Network were part of a wider movement, Gulf South Rising, dedicated to raising awareness of climate change and linked social and economic issues.

His internship culminated in the Gulf South Rising Week of Action in New Orleans, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. A political studies major at Bard, Troy was proud to work on an issue of environmental and social justice.

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