MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Community Coalition for Social Justice (CCSJ) hosted a Social and Environmental Justice fair at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater in Morgantown on Sunday.
Michael Attfield, chairperson of the CCSJ, said that this fair is a way for people in different groups representing social and environmental justice to come together. Some of the fields represented by these advocacy organizations include race, gender, sexual orientation and more.
“I think it’s nice because people can share their experience, but also the general public can come and see what people are doing in terms of social and environmental justice,” Attfield said, adding that this event is a part of WVU’s Diversity Week with the hope that they would to get some student turnout.
This fair was hosted by the CCSJ last year, but according to Attfield, the main event that has been held by the organization each year is a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Annual Family Celebration. For many years, the event was held at the Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown, but COVID-19 caused the CCSJ to begin having the event via Zoom.
The Community Coalition for Social Justice was first founded in December 1999 to respond proactively to threats in the community, especially in relation to Ku Klux Klan activity in nearby cities at the time. The organization’s mission is to bring together people and organizations throughout Morgantown and surrounding cities dedicated to promoting the principles of social, environmental and economic justice, as well as respect for all people.
Regarding the role that social and environmental organizations play in the local community, Attfield said that “they do a big role to make the place a more habitable, friendly place with respect for everybody. So, they’re all working towards that end.”
By participating in this event, these organizations were able to meet, network and promote some of the work they do in the local community. “Be aware of what’s going on in the area, and try to support your local social and environmental groups,” Attfield said.
Some of the organizations with tables set up included the League of Women Voters (Morgantown-Monongalia County), Morgantown NOW, as well as the West Virginia University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The fair also featured live music from Steel Away of the CB Drum Studio, local musician Donna Weems and Monongalia County resident Al Anderson.