Black History Month: In Honor of Marie Harrison and Tessie Ester!
The struggle against environmental racism and injustice continues!
As we celebrate Black History Month, Greenaction carries on our work in the spirit of Marie Harrison and Tessie Ester – two fearless Black women leaders in their community of Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco, and leaders in the environmental justice movement. Both Marie and Tessie passed away from unnatural causes, possibly linked to the pollution and health disparities residents of Bayview Hunters Point continue to experience.
Tessie was President of the Huntersview Tenants Association and worked with Marie to found the Huntersview Mothers Committee for Health and Environmental Justice. The Mothers Committee and Greenaction helped lead the fight that closed the infamous PG&E Hunters Point power plant in 2006. Tessie continued working for environmental justice including improved housing conditions for her community, and to educate and empower youth in her community, until her passing.
Marie was a Greenaction Community Organizer for 20 years until her lung damage made it impossible for her to continue that level of activity. Marie was a leader in the campaign for proper cleanup of the Hunters Point Shipyard Superfund Site, helped start the Bayview Hunters Point Environmental Justice Task Force, and started Greenaction’s Bayview Hunters Point Youth Environmental Justice Leadership
When Marie and Tessie learned that the PG&E was sending toxic PCBs from their demolished Hunters Point power plant to Chem Waste’s Kettleman Hills hazardous waste landfill, they forced PG&E to stop sending that toxic waste from the community of color in Bayview Hunters Point to the Latino community in Kettleman City. Marie and Tessie believed in community solidarity!
Both Marie and Tessie served on Greenaction’s Board of Directors and were outspoken on
environmental racism and pollution until their very last breath.
We miss and will always remember Tessie and Marie. Their spirit lives on and continues to inspire
Greenaction and people of all colors fighting for health and justice.