2011 Goldman Prize winner Hilton Kelley held a book signing and lecture on May 24, in Oakland, California, as part of a nationwide book tour to promote his new autobiography, “A Lethal Dose of Smoke and Mirrors.”
Kelly was awarded the Prize in 2011 for his role as a leading figure in the battle for environmental justice on the Texas Gulf Coast, fighting for communities living in the shadow of polluting petrochemical industries. Kelley said that he was “sick and tired” of seeing his community and people, especially children, suffer from respiratory illnesses and cancer.
By sharing his life story through his new book, Kelley said that he hopes to inspire people, especially young people, to work to make a difference in the world. He especially hopes to impart the message to young people to take risks and have the courage to stand up for what’s right.
Kelley describes his own journey to becoming an environmental activist as one of having the “audacity” to believe that he could take on the oil and gas industry in his hometown. He hopes to help other young leaders believe they too can take on these giants in their own communities.
“When do we stop running from industry and development? We have a right to breathe clean air,” Kelley stated.