We are happy to share with you a short video that Robin Lewis, our new Environmental Justice director, has made in which she introduces herself and explains why she believes that water fluoridation (forced dental treatment) is a classic case of environmental injustice.
Robin is an Environmental Justice activist, community organizer, public speaker, and local entrepreneur, assists low income and communities of colors with legislative advocacy, collaborative engagement, and outreach strategies to create sustainable and inclusive solutions. She spends her time working to educate and engage communities of color, low income and other marginalized communities to advocate against environmental injustices impacting their health and well being.
Robin has already started her outreach work to communities of color and low income by attending a conference organized by the group Building Equity and Alignment (BEA). The meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan from May 8-10. The purpose of the meeting was to bring funders, green groups and grassroots organizations together to build alignment with the grassroots across the environmental movement.
The principles (the Jemez principles) that inform this organization include the following:
4. Work together in Solidarity and Mutuality
5. Build Just Relationships Among Ourselves
We believe that FAN’s efforts to end water fluoridation are in alignment with these principles. Moreover, FAN’s mission statement recently updated by the Board of Directors of our parent organization the American Environmental Health Studies Project, Inc (AEHSP) recognizes the need to make a special effort to get our message to low-income communities and communities of color.
FAN’s Mission Statement: The Fluoride Action Network is dedicated to protecting public health by ending water fluoridation and other involuntary exposures to fluoride. FAN is achieving these goals by educating the public, decision makers, and the media. FAN is supporting volunteers in communities affected by fluoridation and is holding government health and regulatory agencies accountable. FAN is committed to the principles of Environmental Justice and is drawing special attention to subsets in the population that are disproportionately harmed by fluoride, including low-income populations and communities of color.
Robin Lewis is the delightful and visible face of that commitment.
Both her experience and her personality put her in an excellent position to break through the dental lobby’s false but highly persistent claim that we need to fluoridate the water to help fight tooth decay in children from low-income and communities of color. The reality is the opposite: the children most likely to be hurt by fluoridation are these very same children because poor diet exacerbates fluoride’s toxicity. Specifically, the last children that need their IQ lowered are children from low-income communities because they already have so many strikes against them: these include poor diet and higher exposure to neurotoxic pollutants like lead. And low-income families are least able economically to defend themselves against exposure to fluoride via the water supply.