News | April 12, 2023

Broken Ground podcast nominated for prestigious Webby Award

The fifth season of SELC’s podcast Broken Ground, which tells the story of how a Black community in southwest Memphis and its allies came together, beat the odds, and defeated a crude oil pipeline, has been nominated for a Webby Award. Called the “internet’s highest honor” by The New York Times, the 27th Annual Webby Awards received more than 14,000 entries from 70 countries for this year’s competition.  

Season 5 of Broken Ground is nominated in the Best Series, Features (Podcasts) category alongside some of the world’s biggest news and media outlets:  

  • All There Is with Anderson Cooper – CNN 
  • GirlTrek’s Black History Bootcamp – GirlTrek 
  • Symptomatic: A Medical Mystery Podcast – iHeartMedia 
  • Take on Tomorrow – PwC Global Corporate Affairs and Communications 
  • Broken Ground: How Memphis Beat the Odds to Stop a Pipeline – Southern Environmental Law Center 

This prestigious nomination highlights the importance of Southern stories and reminds us that telling our stories is part of the solution to the environmental challenges we’re facing as a country. You have a chance to help support and recognize our storytelling by voting for Broken Ground in the People’s Choice category.

Scottie Fitzgerald at a Memphis Community Against Pollution March at the Lorraine Motel/National Civil Rights Museum (©

Season 5 of Broken Ground tells the story of Boxtown, a Black neighborhood tucked in a bend of the Mississippi River with a rich history, where residents cherish their deep ties to the land. Neighbors came together to fight environmental injustice posed by the controversial Byhalia Pipeline. The proposed 49-mile project would have cut through Black neighborhoods in southwest Memphis, including Boxtown, to transport crude oil and cross over the city’s pristine drinking water source in the process. 

The heart of this story is rooted in the Memphis community and individuals that made it possible. We are fortunate to have community partners who are both dedicated and unrelenting in their quest for environmental justice. Local organizations Memphis Community Against Pollution, Protect Our Aquifer, and community members like Scottie Fitzgerald, who stood up against the pipeline company and refused to surrender her family land.

You work all your life to accumulate something, something for your children, and your grandchildren.

Scottie Fitzgerald

Broken Ground has been successful because it is an unwavering and honest look at the challenges facing the South. We are proud to be recognized for the role SELC and our partners play in advancing the conversation around issues like climate change and environmental justice in our region, but this is only the start. We aren’t done telling the story of the South and the role we all play in creating a healthy environment for all. Look for the next season of Broken Ground this summer. 

Winners for the 27th Annual Webby Awards will be announced on Tuesday, April 25, followed by an in-person award show on Monday, May 15.

Listen to the latest episode of Broken Ground.