Power Equals Work Over Time
Despite its reputation as a global leader on the environment, California has some of the most polluted cities on the planet. Kettleman City is one such place, where a cluster of birth defects a decade ago led residents to fight for and win an historic civil rights agreement with the state to figure out how a toxic waste dump, agricultural pesticides and diesel fumes are affecting the health of their community.
To bring this story into focus, we’re making a documentary about the research resulting from the civil rights agreement, which the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center is spearheading. The film features one of UC Davis’s most promising, young scientists – sociologist Clare Cannon – and her relationship with environmental justice activists in the small, farmworker community.
Clare’s independent research project seeks to better understand the environmental factors related to the health problems residents have been experiencing in Kettleman City. Through her work, we’ll see connections between the environment, community-engaged scholarship and public policy that have potential for longstanding change.
Emmy-winning filmmaker Paige Bierma is directing the documentary. Weaving together science, art, action and policy, Bierma’s film will serve as a guide for communities and scientists working together. We plan to distribute the film via PBS and YouTube, serialize it through a podcast and create webisodes to use in training workshops for researchers and activists.
The documentary’s title Power Equals Work Over Time references physics, as well as the way science and grassroots movements typically play out in real life.
ABOUT THE FUND
The UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center believes science is more powerful when it translates into public health policies that improve the well-being of our communities. This film project aims to be a catalyst helping researchers, activists and policymakers share ideas and work together to solve some of our state’s most vexing environmental health problems.
Gifts to this fund will go toward finishing the film and paying for workshops where scientists and community members can collaborate.