The Making of the Monument
The Carbondale Koppers Justice Memorial was designed and built by local artist Dan Johnson, with input from community members and family and friends of the Koppers workers. The memorial is located at Attucks Park, 800 N. Wall Street, Carbondale IL 62901.
This memorial has been erected to honor and remember the people who experienced environmental racism through chemical exposure from the nation’s largest wood treatment plant, in operation from 1902-1991. The facility, located one half mile north of this monument, produced railroad ties and utility poles that were used throughout America. Workers were regularly exposed to exploitatitive conditions and wood treatment chemicals, including creosote and dioxins. Residents and workers were not made aware of the toxicity and no cautionary protection or information was provided until 2004. The sacrifice of the African American community of Northeast Carbondale is still in evidence today through illness and death. The pollution caused by the Koppers’ Tie Plant continues to impact generations of workers, their families, and residents.
The contaminated soil and water will never be fully remediated. The fight for justice continues.