For 20 years, even before the movement had a name, Hilton Kelley was fighting for environmental justice in his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas.

The Gulf Coast city of 55,000 is home to a disproportionately high number of industrial polluters in relation to its population, as well as to the largest oil refinery in the country. When combined with its neighboring town of Beaumont, the region hosts one of the highest concentrations across Texas of facilities that emit chemicals toxic enough that they must be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency, according to agency data. The city is also inhabited predominantly by people of color, with a third of the population African American.

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