Section: Arts

With benefit at VI, ECO hopes to clarify Flint’s water crisis

by Bailey Blaker

Members of Kenyon’s Environmental Campus Organization (ECO) want one thing about the Flint water crisis to be clear — the city’s water.

The group has set out to raise both awareness and money for the citizens of Flint, Mich. with an a cappella benefit and open mic at the Village Inn on Saturday from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The benefit will include performances by the Kokosingers, the Owl Creeks, the Stairwells and Motown.

After  these musical performances, the stage will be opened up for a volunteer-based open mic.

Inspired by Flint’s corroding water pipes and the presence of lead throughout most of the city’s water supply, ECO member Sonia Prabhu ’16, who is also a photo editor for the Collegian, organized efforts to make the benefit a reality.

“I’m hoping perhaps that as a community we can reflect on the environmental injustices around us that might be right under our noses in like Knox County, or back home wherever we’re from,” Prabhu said.

One dollar for each gin and tonic and each dinner special purchased throughout the evening will be donated on behalf of ECO to Action of Greater Lansing (AGL), an activist group dedicated to fighting for minorities’ civil liberties around the Lansing area.

AGL is working to provide clean drinking water to the vast number of undocumented citizens living in Flint.

Elise Neidecker ’19, a member of ECO and a fellow organizer of the event, believes that students will gain a greater concern for environmental injustices.

“A lot of it is things at Kenyon that we can fix and things that we know we can change, but I think it’s also important to us that we draw attention to how Kenyon students see these bigger issues,” Neidecker said.

Allison Dumas ’18, student group liaison for ECO, explained how the biggest challenge the group has faced in organizing the event has been communicating the urgency of the situation to students.

“It’s time-sensitive for us, because you can only give money to people in need for so long in such a short time,” Dumas said. “People need water now.”

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