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From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

REVOLT Black News Investigates - The Real Thirst Trap

Gold Honor in Social Justice


Since the murder of George Floyd in 2020, REVOLT Black News has reimagined news and the format in which it is delivered through its linear, digital, and social platforms and is fully devoted to amplifying the unique perspectives of Black voices globally and confronting social justice issues. 

Deeply committed to informing and protecting the Black public citizenry in the fight for equality, equity, and justice, REVOLT released the special, “REVOLT Black News Investigates: The Real Thirst Trap,” where the news team traveled from St. James Parish, Louisiana to Watts, CA to uncover what’s behind the water crisis that’s plaguing many majority Black communities, while causing major health hazards, learning disabilities and possible increased violence. 

From Jackson, Mississippi and Louisiana's "Cancer Alley" to Watts, California, broken systems are causing concentrated pollutants in predominantly Black communities, leading to short and long-term health effects and financial burdens. This special examined the potential for pollutants to affect behavior and contribute to violence. Through interviews with real victims, community organizers, environmental justice activists, and legal experts, the special discussed the responsibilities of government and elected officials in addressing these issues and the steps that can be taken by communities to fight against environmental injustice.

Strategy and Execution

The overarching goal of this special was to identify the various ways that environmental injustice affects Black communities. Beginning with a thorough review of available statistics and data to identify key indicators of the effects, REVOLT’s news team was tasked with the mission to identify who exactly fell into these statistics.

By shedding light on the environmental crisis affecting Black communities, the episode brought attention to a critical issue that intersects with racial justice, health equity, and economic empowerment. It amplified the voices and experiences of those directly impacted, creating a platform for their stories to be heard and their struggles to be acknowledged. Ultimately, it aimed to mobilize viewers, inspire collective action, and contribute to the broader movement for environmental justice within the context of advancing Black culture.

The biggest challenge was analyzing statistics to determine what they mean for real people’s lives. For example, how do elevated levels of lead affect students, knowing that lead is a neurotoxin that poisons the brain? In addition to our unwavering dedication to amplifying the narratives of marginalized communities, REVOLT’s foremost concern was ensuring the safety of our team as they ventured into neighborhoods with a reputation for being dangerous.


REVOLT was extremely successful in showing how something seemingly abstract like environmental injustice is harming real people on a day-to-day basis. Identifying real people who are deeply impacted by environmental injustice allowed the entire world to see the direct impact these disparities have on the Black community’s physical, mental, and financial health. As a voice for Black content, culture, and community, REVOLT’s in-depth investigation went inside to reveal the root of the problem, who’s accountable and how these cities can course correct as we carry out our ongoing commitment to elevate and empower. 

By highlighting the detrimental short and long-term health effects caused by polluted air and water, the episode underscored the urgency and relevance of addressing these issues within the context of Black culture. By discussing the steps that can be taken by communities to fight against environmental injustice, the episode empowered viewers to become agents of change. It provided a platform for sharing strategies, highlighting successful grassroots movements, and showcasing the resilience and determination of Black communities in their pursuit of environmental equity.

By focusing on the most untapped, underreported, and misconceived stories, “The Real Thirst Trap” has garnered over 2.6M views.


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