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Freedom To Breath Climate Change Tour in Afrikatown
August 30, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Evoking the Freedom Riders bus tours of the 1960’s Civil
Rights Movement, the Freedom to Breathe Bus Tour will be visiting the community of
Africatown in Mobile, Alabama, on Thursday, August 30, 2 to 5 pm at The Robert Hope
Community Center, located at 850 Edwards Street in Plateau.
Designed to draw attention to the immediate impacts of climate change, the tour will be
bringing climate experts to the area to help the Mobile Environmental Justice Action
Coalition ( MEJAC) raise awareness about the impacts of climate change on their
“We welcome this opportunity to bring knowledge about climate change to our community
because most people don’t understand how it adversely impacts us,” says Joe Womack,
executive director of Africatown-C.H.E.S.S., a partner in MEJAC. “With the right
information, we can better organize ourselves to work through climate change issues.”
The town hall in Africatown is one of many that will be held in communities during the 5,000-
mile cross country bus tour, which began in Atlanta on Aug. 25, 2018. Making stops in
Miami, New Orleans, Houston, El Paso, and Denver, along with stops in smaller
communities along the way, the tour will end in San Francisco at the 2018 Global Climate
Action Summit, which runs from Sept. 12-14.
Organized by Climate Nexus, a nonprofit working to change the conversation on climate
change and clean energy from an argument to a constructive search for solutions, the
purpose of the tour is to draw attention to the communities on the frontlines of climate
change, those which are already feeling its impacts, and to showcase the work that local
organizations are doing in these communities to stem the tide. Climate change is a complex
problem, which is often interwoven with health, labor, and equity issues – particularly in
these frontline communities. However, organizers believe that there is an inherent value to
not only drawing attention to and humanizing those on the frontlines of this fight, but also in exploring the grassroots solutions that these local communities are undertaking to combat climate change.
Studies have found that climate change disproportionately impacts low-income
communities and communities of color, noted Dr. Adrienne L. Hollis, Director of Federal
Policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, a leading environmental justice organization
that is supporting a number of community organizations participating in the tour through a
grant received from the Environmental Defense Fund. With the Freedom to Breathe tour,
we are helping give voice to those who are already being impacted by climate change,
calling attention to – in both the mainstream media as well as the mainstream
environmental movement – the crisis at hand and all the incredible work these organizations
are doing in response to it.
We feel a lot can be learned from the work these local environmental justice organizations
are doing, added Hollis. Because, unless we suddenly make some dramatic changes with
regards to energy and emissions, every community is going to have to learn how to deal
with these challenges on a local level.
Share the tour experience on Twitter, using #frontline, @EJForum or @weact4ej.