The West End Revitalization Association (WERA) cultivated strategies for assessing environmental hazards, managing stakeholder participation, and implementing corrective actions in three low-income African American communities in Mebane, North Carolina. The community voices evolved into language to drive WERA’s “Right to Basic Amenities Movement” as a way to address health, legal, and quality-of-life disparities. The sustainability of this movement depends on communicating a solutions process with funding equity. Disparities are a way of life for impacted residents: dusty dead-end streets, contaminated drinking water, failed backyard septic tanks, and putrid odors. WERA organized on “common knowledge” for effective use of public health statutes and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. WERA’s board, staff, and volunteers exercised their voices in the language of government, public health, university research, and legal agencies. WERA’s best practices and lessons learned may influence public policy in comparable communities in North Carolina and throughout the nation.


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pp. 237-243
Launched on MUSE
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