Prism and People over Plastic

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Prism and People over Plastic Launch Documentary Podcast Humanizing Real Effects of Environmental Racism

Industry: Environment

The five-part series will center personal stories from five U.S. communities that have been disproportionately impacted by climate, plastic, and environmental injustice.

Washington, DC (PRUnderground) October 4th, 2022

People over Plastic (PoP)—a media platform for powerful, intergenerational, and solutions-oriented conversations at the intersection of environmental and racial justice— today announced a new partnership with Prism, an independent and nonprofit news outlet led by journalists of color, to produce a documentary podcast project that centers real stories of environmental racism. The collaborative podcast will amplify personal stories from people most impacted by climate, plastic, and environmental injustice, humanizing data and helping to drive social change.

“The residents of communities most impacted by environmental racism work, learn, and play in a reality that has not yet surfaced in the mainstream media,” said Shilpi Chhotray, host of the podcast series and co-founder and executive director of PoP. “Environmental justice begins with inclusive, compelling, engaging, and personal conversations with community members on the front lines of these issues. Together, we’ll learn much more about the industrial polluters and environmental racism that has turned communities in Louisiana, Georgia, Oklahoma, Hawai’i, and Washington into sacrifice zones and regions decimated by settler-colonialism.”

Sacrifice Zones are communities situated in proximity to industrial pollutants and factories. An estimated 250,000 people—predominantly BIPOC and of lower income—live in sacrifice zones across the country. Residences are exposed to hazardous air pollution levels and increased cancer risk that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deems unacceptable. PoP and Prism will focus their reporting on the five regions most heavily impacted by environmental injustice, share personal stories from their communities, and spotlight the systemic injustices leading to the current circumstances.

The first two episodes of the podcast will feature:

  • Episode 1: “Secret Sauce” with Sharon and Shamyra Lavigne of Parish, Louisiana
  • Episode 2: “The Hot Seat” with Jacqueline Echols of Atlanta, Georgia’s South River

The series will source answers to critical questions including: What are the decades-old redlining policies, failed lawsuits, and behind-closed-door corporate deals behind these stories? Who are the politicians and associations involved in the creation and endurance of sacrifice zones and other regions affected by environmental racism? The stories featured in this series will not only document the impact of policy but the innovation of the communities who are living the realities of environmental racism and address two critical questions: How did we get here? Where do we go from here?

“At Prism, we believe that justice requires the full story. We need reporting that centers the people most disproportionately impacted by environmental racism,” said Ray Levy Uyeda, a staff reporter at Prism focusing on climate justice and lead writer on this series. “Not only are we hoping to expand the reach of our reporting through this partnership, we also intend to create leverage and resources that can direct solutions and drive social change in local, state and federal policies.”

PoP and Prism’s collaboration kicks off on October 4 with the release of the series trailer, featuring an overview of what’s to come in the next five episodes. Episode releases will span the remainder of the calendar year and will be presented as both news features and 20-minute podcast episodes, to be published on the Prism and PoP websites and all major podcast apps.

PoP and Prism share a deep commitment to ground-up reporting at the intersections of injustice. This documentary podcast series amplifies the justice-oriented journalism that both platforms advance every day, always through the lens of those who are most disproportionately impacted.

To learn more about the work PoP and Prism are advancing, visit and

About Prism and People over Plastic

Prism is an independent and nonprofit news outlet led by journalists of color. We report from the ground up: to disrupt harmful narratives, and to inform movements for justice. Through in-depth and thought-provoking journalism, Prism reflects the lived experiences of people most impacted by injustice. Activists, thought leaders, decision-makers, and those who believe in justice for all come to Prism for deep reporting and honest insights on the most pressing injustices of our time—delivered through the lens of those who are most impacted. Learn more at

People over Plastic (PoP) is a media platform for multicultural changemakers to hear powerful, intergenerational, and solutions-oriented conversations that center the intersection between environmental and racial justice. We believe personal stories that center the voices of the most impacted will always be more accurate and humanized, and therefore, more likely to drive meaningful social change. Through in-person storytelling salons, digital media projects, and strategic media campaigns — we tell stories to disrupt harmful narratives and to inform movements for justice. Learn more at

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