SELC Reed Environmental Writing Award winners look at inequality, politics

SELC created the Reed Environmental Writing Award in 1994 to enhance public awareness of the value, and the vulnerability, of the South's natural heritage. SELC will present the awards during a public event at the Virginia Festival of the Book on Saturday, March 21, at SELC headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A community’s struggle for environmental justice in Alabama and the money and politics driving current energy policy in North Carolina are the subjects covered by this year’s winners of SELC’s Reed Environmental Writing Award.

Ellen Griffith Spears, a member of the American studies faculty at the University of Alabama, won the Reed Award in the book category for Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town. Focusing on the legal fight against Monsanto over the dumping of PCBs in a historically African American and white working-class section of Anniston, Alabama, her book sheds light on the broader issue of environmental inequality.

The reporting staff of Environment and Energy Publishing won this year’s Reed Award in the journalism category for Turning Carolina Red: Reports from the Front of an Energy Culture War. The series looks at how North Carolina’s current political majority and its financial backers have changed environmental and energy policy in the state—from the pullback in enforcement revealed by Duke Energy’s coal ash spill to the push by lawmakers to open the state to fracking. 

SELC will present the awards during the Virginia Festival of the Book on Saturday, March 21, at our headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The event will feature Bland Simpson, a noted writer and musician who received the 2005 North Carolina Award for Fine Arts, the state’s highest civilian honor. Author of several books of fiction and non-fiction, Simpson is also a member of the Tony Award-winning string band the Red Clay Ramblers.

For more than 20 years, SELC’s Philip D. Reed Environmental Writing Award has recognized the authors and journalists who use the power of the pen to capture the South’s natural wonders and to raise our awareness of the forces that would destroy them. Educating and engaging the public is central to the award’s mission and to SELC’s goal of safeguarding the South’s environment.

Read the press release.

More News

Southern Virginia highway proposal threatens recent progress

This week, SELC filed comments on behalf of itself and 16 organizations on the draft environmental impact statement for the wasteful and destruct...

Nashville mayor signs letter urging Congressional climate action

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is one of nearly 200 U.S. mayors advocating for a zero-carbon green economy that creates jobs and emphasizes equity b...

Thank you for fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline with us

When, on July 5th, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy abruptly cancelled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, it didn't come out of nowhere. For years, SELC...

SELC seeks nominations for 2021 Reed Environmental Writing Award

We are now accepting submissions for the 2021 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including reader...

Lawsuit: Government illegally ‘cut corners’ to ram through NEPA changes

SELC is representing a group of 17 environmental organizations in a lawsuit filed today accusing the government of racing through an industry-fri...

Settlement provides relief for Duke Energy customers

The Southern Environmental Law Center recently reached a partial settlement with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and Duke Energ...

More Stories