PRESS RELEASE: Author Sarah Fox to Speak at 7th Annual REMEMBERING DOWNWINDERS DAY Events

Author Sarah Fox to speak at 7th Annual Remembering Downwinders Day events

in commemoration of the 67th anniversary of the inception of nuclear testing in Nevada

Seattle author, historian, and professor of environmental studies Sarah Fox will speak at the Downwinders Remembrance Day event at 6:30 pm on January 20 as a guest of UCAN (Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons), and UNAU (United Nations Association of Utah).

The Remembering Downwinders Day event will be hosted by Congregation Kol Ami at 2425 East Heritage Way, approximately 2760 South. Fox, author of Downwind: A People’s History of the Nuclear West (University of Nebraska Press, 2014, www.downwindhistory.com), will address the history and health and environmental impacts of nuclear testing in Nevada. Songwriter Kate MacLeod will also be featured in this program, along with candle lighting and sharing of stories.

January of 2018 marks the 67th anniversary of the first nuclear test conducted in Nevada; over 900 additional nuclear explosions followed by 1992. For the first 11 years, the tests took place in the open air; Atomic Energy Commission policy dictated that tests go forward only when the wind blew east, away from Las Vegas and California and out across Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Montana, and states beyond. Massive amounts of toxic radiological pollution entered into the environment, contaminating the air, food, and water that local citizens relied on, and creating a legacy of health problems that ripples forward to the present day. The tests weren’t the only source of radioactive pollution in the West; the uranium industry that sprang up to fuel the bombs contaminated thousands of sites, communities, waterways, and families. Many of these uranium-affected regions also bore the brunt of contamination from nuclear tests in Nevada. Remembering the downwinders requires that we do more than mark the past: we must reckon with the persistent and dangerous ways this history of contamination impacts us today and looms over our childrens’ futures.

The Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons is a collection of concerned citizens who join a growing and diverse group of leaders and fellow citizens from across the political spectrum who believe that now is the time for the United States to lead the world in nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. United Nations Association of Utah seeks to heighten public awareness and increase knowledge of global issues and build support for constructive national policies on global concerns.

Fox will speak at the following public events (all are free and open to the public):

Saturday, Jan. 20, 6:30 pm, “Remembering Downwinders” at Congregation Kol Ami, 2425 E. Heritage Way, approximately 2720 South (just south of I-80).   Kate MacLeod will also be featured in this program, along with candle lighting and sharing of stories.

Sunday, January 21, 1:30 pm, “Bearing Witness: Retelling the Past in Pursuit of Social Justice” talk, potluck lunch at 1, St. Marks, Deans Hall, 231 East 100 South.

Monday, January 22 11 am, “Stories from Downwind: Investigating the Nuclear West” talk at 11:00 am at Utah Valley University, Classroom Building room 317.

Monday, January 22 3-5 pm, Tea with the Author, Jane’s House. A chance to ask in-depth questions and share stories at length. 444 E 200 S.

Tuesday, January 23, 12:30 pm, “From Personal Narrative to Policy: Downwind Stories Shifting the Status Quo” Pizza and Politics with the Hinckley Institute of Politics, 332 S. 1400 East, Building 72, room 102 (The Old Law College Moot Courtroom).

Tuesday, January 23, 7 pm, “Raising our Voices Downwind: Citizen Narratives as a Force for Nuclear Policy Change.” United Nations Association of Utah, talk at Millcreek Community Center and Library, 2266 E. Evergreen Ave.

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If you would like more information about any of these events please contact Deb Sawyer of UCAN at dsawyer@xmission.com or Sarah Fox at 206 930 3921, email at downwindhistory@gmail.com.