KMartin Group is a small grassroots outreach and education nonprofit tackling big issues on behalf of its rural Gloster, MS community: youth development, health disparities, food insecurity, and environmental justice. Through its Greater Greener Gloster initiative, it fights environmental abuses spurred by the Drax Biomass facility, which has been fined $2.5 million, the largest known penalty against such a facility, for emitting more than three times the acceptable levels of air pollutants and particulate matter into Gloster’s unsuspecting, fence-line communities for years. Residents – 77% of whom are Black and 41% living below the poverty line – have suffered declining health since the plant opened in 2014. Greater Greener Gloster’s mission is to enhance awareness of the environmental and public health issues caused by this facility, seek justice for the damages associated with air pollution, and ensure environmental, public health, and quality of life improvements for the residents.
KMartin Group began in 2009 with a mission to improve educational opportunities for Gloster, MS youth, including mentoring, college counseling, and Pell Grant assistance. When COVID hit in 2020 and no support came to the area, the nonprofit expanded its mission, making a big impact on the underserved community of 1,000. The small group, composed of a five-member board, two part-time employees and 10 volunteers, has hosted health fairs, clinics, and community meetings on air pollution and health disparities, sparking collaborations with non-profits such as The Dogwood Foundation and government agencies such as the EPA and USDA. They’ve provided air filters for most homes and recently hosted an EPA Region 4 Collaborative Community Meeting, which 25% of the population attended. They seek more community engagement, more national media coverage, legal representation on behalf of impacted residents, stronger alliances with other environmental justice community-based organizations in Mississippi, and more meetings with state and federal agencies and members of Congress – all in service of a greater, greener Gloster.
For more information:
Dr. Krystal Martin
Environmental Justice Concerns
Air Pollution, Logging/Biomass
Art Activism, Community Organizing, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc
501c3 Tax Deductible