Friends of the Everglades board member Robert Mitchell speaks out against sugarcane burning at the Stop the Burn rally on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, at Nancy Graham Centennial Square Park in front of the Florida Crystals headquarters in downtown West Palm Beach. Other Glades residents also spoke out against harmful sugarcane burning practices on the first day of burn season that goes through May.

There are few people who have been more outspoken or shown more passion for ending the harmful practice of sugarcane burning in Glades communities south of Lake Okeechobee than Robert Mitchell.

A Stop the Burn campaign leader and the founder of Muck City Black Lives Matter, Robert also serves as a volunteer board member of Friends of the Everglades. We owe him a debt of gratitude for the invaluable resource he has been — sharing wisdom, personal stories and connections that have helped us understand and in turn shine a greater spotlight on this issue of environmental injustice.

On October 1 — the official start of the 2022 sugarcane burning season that will run through May of next year — Robert delivered this impassioned speech to a packed audience of Glades residents, peers, and supporters in front of the Florida Crystal headquarters in West Palm Beach to call for an end to the harmful practice.

“Everybody deserves to breathe clean air…Today we’re here to let it be known again. This is the last burn season. Speak it into existence and manifest it. Go Green!”

To learn more about the outdated practice of sugarcane burning, visit To hear the stories of impacted residents from their own mouths, watch our mini docu-series, The Last Burn Season, featuring first hand accounts from Robert and others who are speaking up in hopes of a better future, with clean air for all.