It is a well know fact the residents of the City Of Flint, Michigan are living a daily life of trauma due to a contaminated source of water with high lead content. This city of predominantly Afrikan/Black people with a population of approximately 102,000 are victims of criminal negligence due to the administration of Michigan Governor Snyder. Flint had been put into receivership in an alleged “cost saving measure”. The deadly switch of water sources was made from the Detroit River to the well known to be contaminated Flint River. Talk about a deliberate crime against humanity.
The end result has been genocidal in nature and resulting in potential health hazards for the men, women and children of the city. We are looking at possible brain damage, paralysis and already it has been reported that nine people have died from the deadly disease known as Legionnaires Disease. The future is bleak and a national call has been made to assist the residents during this disaster. The Black Community Information Center Inc. of Boston, Massachusetts had responded by calling for a “collaborative effort” to come together to collect as much donated cases of water as possible to be sent to Flint.
The response has been excellent with many organizations and too many individuals to mention, stepping up to make the much needed donations. Examples would be Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers Inc. (MAMLEO), Osiris Group, Muhammad’s Mosque, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Union Of Minority Neighborhoods, One United Bank, Greater Love Tabernacle Church, Boston Water And Sewer Commission, NABSW/Boston, Teamsters Local25 and the Black Community Information Center Inc. The initial intent was to arrange for one “Black Power Express Truck” to be sent to Flint. However, due to the overwhelming response, we ended up needing two eighteen wheeler trailer trucks being sent to Flint.
Two “Black Power Express” trailer trucks departed on Sunday, April 10, 2016 and arrived in Flint on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. The water distribution process for residents in Flint was handled by two designated organizations in the city. The water contents of one truck went to a city food bank, while the other went to the Universal Kidney Foundation. Both organizations are deeply involved in the City Of Flint water distribution process. They had in fact expressed a deep level of gratitude to our community for the hard work and generous water donations made during their time of extreme adversity that has affected the daily lives of residents to the extent that families have to survive on one case of bottled water per day.
There are those who inquired as to why we did not just collect the money needed to purchase the water and send it to a water company in the Flint area. We at the Black Community Information Center Inc. felt it was important that we as a community, mobilize and send water. It is hoped that this campaign of Umoja (Unity) will be an example of inspiration and send a message of what we can achieve!
In the past, the Black Community Information Center Inc. played a central role in relief efforts such as Hurricane Katrina, and the killer earthquake in Haiti. This type of action is a important part of our organization mission. We truly appreciated the spirit of cooperation that was displayed by our community.