State of the Arts: Poisoned by Zip Code, Mended by Design

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For years, a giant pile of hazardous waste plagued the Dallas neighborhood of Floral Farms. The notorious Shingle Mountain is gone now, but what happens next? How can design and art play a role in helping a community heal from environmental injustice? In our latest State of the Arts conversation, join KERA’s Miguel Perez in conversation with C3 Featured Artist Ari Brielle, community activist Marsha Jackson, architect at HKS Erin Peavey, and Evelyn Mayo of Downwinders at Risk.  

This State of the Arts conversation is in conjunction with the DMA’s Rooted exhibition.  

Marsha Jackson is an environmental activist who advocated for the removal of an illegal dumping ground, known as “Shingle Mountain,” in the southeast Dallas residential community of Floral Farms. Jackson received the 2019 Sierra Club Environmentalist Award, the 2020 SMU 55th Symposium Women in Profiles Award, the 2020 Juanita Craft Humanitarian Award, and the 2020 Green Source DFW Leadership Environmental Award. Currently, she is the co-chair of Southern Sector Rising, Downwinders At-Risk Board Member, Juanita Craft House Civil Rights Museum Board Member, Lane Plating EPA Superfund Community Advisory Group member, a Red Cross Disaster Team member, and Disaster Recovery Operations Advisor. Jackson is also a member and Board Secretary of the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of Women in Transit (WTS), Friendship-West Baptist Church, Dallas County Precinct Chair, Volunteer Deputy Registrar, and TX4GND Facilitative Lead. She holds a master's degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Human Resource Certification, Graduate HRM Certificate, and bachelor’s degree in Business with a Concentration in Management, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Public Administration with an anticipated completion date of October 2022.  

On March 2, 2021, the Dallas County Commissioners Court declared February 22 as “Marsha Jackson Day” in honor of her fierce commitment to environmental justice and health, and for her dedication to her community.  

Ari Brielle is a visual artist born and based in Dallas. Her work explores the politicization and vastness of the Black American femme identity and experience. Brielle received her BA from the University of North Texas in 2016, and she is currently pursuing an MFA at the University of Texas at Arlington. The artist’s site-specific installation Poisoned by Zip Code is on view at the Dallas Museum of Art. The multimedia installation is a part of the C3 exhibition Rooted, and explores the effects of environmental racism in Dallas through the story of Marsha Jackson and Shingle Mountain. 

Erin Peavey, AIA, EDAC, LEED AP, LSSYB, is an Architect and Researcher at HKS, and host of the podcast "Shared Space.”  In her leadership role at HKS, she helps integrate research and practice to advance design for health, combat loneliness, and foster resilience across the globe. Peavey serves as the project lead for the Park for Floral Farms, a neighborhood-led effort to create a park space on the former site of Shingle Mountain.

Evelyn Mayo received a BA from Barnard College at Columbia University in Environmental Science and Race and Ethnicity. She is the co-founder of RAYO planning. Mayo is also a fellow and professor at Paul Quinn College, and Chair of the Board of Downwinders at Risk, a 27-year-old DFW-based clean air advocacy group, which most recently got national attention for the campaign to shut down and clean up the illegal dump "Shingle Mountain." Mayo will be completing her graduate studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, pursuing her master's degree in City and Regional Planning in May 2022. 

To find out more about Southern Sector Rising, click here; to contribute, click here.  
To find out more about the Park for Floral Farms, click here; to contribute, click here

Presented in partnership with KERA's Art&Seek
Additional promotional support provided by Southern Sector Rising