NAACP leaders have been in East Palestine, listening to folks who have survived trauma from the Norfolk Southern toxic train derailment. 

"We are discussing solutions and support for our East Palestine neighbors. We are happy to have our national director join us form California," NAACP Trumbull County President Annette McCoy said.
The NAACP Director of Environmental and Climate Justice says it's important that Black people, people with low incomes and others often excluded from having a voice must be included in determining solutions.
The NAACP is not just for people of color. It's for everyone.  The NAACP was founded by a diverse group of leaders from different backgrounds comprised of men and women, Black people, White people, Christians and Jews , philanthropists, educators, thought-leaders, and an array of different backgrounds.
The NAACP is the nation's largest and most widely recognized civil rights organization was founded February 12, 1909.  
"The air quality and soil quality are all at risk. We know people are experiencing a number of health implications of what happened, but what we really want is to make sure is the folks who are not often prioritized in these kinds of conversations, that they have a seat at the table," Abre' Conner, Director of Center for Environmental and Climate Justice for the NAACP said.
"Often it is the communities that have been dis-invested in. For us in the NAACP what we often times see when there are lower percentages of Black folks who are in communities often times they're not at the table, they're not considered. Regardless if they have a high percentage, it is important  that they are a part of the conversation and have a seat at the table, and if they are lower income, or have other needs that make it harder to be able to have their voices amplified and be heard at the table, that they are part of the solutions," Director Conner emphasized.
"There may not be one particular type of water quality testing that is going to encompass every single thing that's happening. Air Quality testing it depends on where the actual monitors are located. Where is the soil actually going? All of these questions are the reasons why our National NAACP office and our Center for Environment Climate Justice feels like it's really important to ask those questions on the front end, because if the questions aren't asked then the solutions aren't going to actually come from an equity perspective," Conner added.
 "The federal agencies and the, EPA is here. this is an opportunity to make sure they are thinking about long term fix, to make sure all people get this right and all corporations are held accountable for their actions," added Conner.
 A lack of trust and transparency are also key problems in East Palestine and surrounding communities. 
The NAACP says there are ways to build trust.
"The old fashioned way is to do what you say your going to do, and be honest and transparent with people, even if it is not good news," President of the Ohio Conference Branches of the NAACP Tom Roberts said.
"People want to know. So if you tell me what you see, what your tests are telling you, now I need to know what I need to do to get treated. Say what your going to do, but be transparent and upfront with people is one of the big ways to build trust and that's going to be a key factor,' Roberts emphasized.
"Part of our job is to look at equity as far as the environment goes, environmental injustices. We have me with five units in this area to have discussions on what  their experience has been, what the health issues have been in this area, not just in East Palestine, but nearby," Roberts added. 
"Certainly there will be some thoughts coming from the Ohio Conference, as well as this area on what we need to, what we should be doing, and what we think the state and local government ought to be dong as it relates to the health, safety, water and air quality in this area. People want to be safe,"  Roberts said.
The civil rights and human rights organization believes more can be done to help residents.
"One of the functions of the NAACP is to look out for the rights of all people and to serve and make sure that the under served and maybe over looked areas are being taken care of properly, that their rights are being respected," Dr. Will Pinn Chairman of the Ohio NAACP Social Justice Environment Committee said.
 "There are state agencies trying. We believe there is more that can be done form the state and federal governments. We have heard from the community. They feel like there is more that can be done," Pinn added.
"They have to have resources so they are comfortable. Some people the just cant afford to move, some people want to relocate. Some people wonder whether their home will ever be safe again. They just want reassurances," Dr. Pinn said.
People have expressed to WFMJ they don't want to be lab rats, that symptoms they have lived through make they more worried about their future and the future of their children and generations to come. We asked the NAACP about that.
"When it comes to Norfolk Southern there is some distrust they're not trusting what Norfolk Southern is telling them. That's understandable. That's one of the reasons why we are here to be an advocate that can speak out on their behalf and work locally," Dr. Pinn emphasized.
Dr. Kimberly Jackson a family practice physician said, "The NAACP is not just for people of color. It's for everyone. It's actually an organization that was started by a group of Jewish individuals, and others, so we care about communities. We are meeting to see what we can do to build trust within the community and help the community of East Palestine, and also Negley and neighboring areas that have been displaced due to the train derailment."
Dr. Jackson was meeting as a community member who is also a physician.
"We would like to build a community program to help citizens voice their voices in a constructive way to get concerns out tto the EPA and all other organizations doing testing of water and soil." Jackson added.
"If there are concerns sore throats, coughs, shortness of breath, any type of breathing issues, fatigue, headaches worse than usual, something out of the norm, something they didn't have before we encourage everybody to see their physician or health care provider to be assessed," Dr. Jackson said.
"What that entails is a physical exam, there may be imaging involved, such as an x-ray, a Cat scan, and also blood work. We are checking those things to see if there is damage to the liver or kidneys  and their metabolic panel. It's important to have a baseline that give sus something to compare to if before the incident," Jackson added.
We have some people who have come in with a cough or sore throat and found they have COVID or flu and sometimes it may be related," Dr. Jackson said.
The NAACP is expected to make some recommendations.
The Trumbull NAACP is working on labeling of chemicals moving through our communities.
"We are looking at different chemicals, forever chemicals to be labeled as hazardous wastes to be handled differently," said President of the NAACP Trumbull branch Annette McCoy.
She tells folks they can find information about the changes they will be advocating for  on the Trumbull NAACP Facebook Site.
"Within East Palestine is a strong community. They worked well together. I would call it a community of family, and that's how they survived this disaster," President McCoy emphasized.