Starbucks launched Upstanders, their new original content series. “Upstanders” are everyday people who kick butt, stand up rather than stand by, and work to make their communities better.
Episode 7 of the inaugural Upstanders’ series is The Kids Who Killed an Incinerator featuring Baltimore’s-own Destiny Watford and the Free Your Voice student group. We’ve been following Watford and the Free Your Voice students through their four-year fight that successfully stopped Energy Answers from building the country’s largest incinerator in south Baltimore’s Curtis Bay neighborhood. Watford also won the coveted 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize.
Produced by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the Upstanders videos, podcasts and short stories are powerful and intended to inspire compassion, citizenship and civility. The Kids Who Killed the Incinerator lays out a critical issue facing Baltimore: fair development. Watford and her team made the case that Energy Answers’ 90-acre toxic incinerator was approved because the area is low income, and as Watford says, “Curtis Bay is a seemingly endless sea of industry.” Watford, Free Your Voice and United Workers, a community organizing nonprofit that worked with Watford to defeat the incinerator, are pressing for greener and less-polluting industry to revitalize Curtis Bay.