This week, environmental justice activists are travelling the country with the Environmental Justice For All Tour to call national attention to sites of ecological and public-health concern in the nation’s poorest communities.
Stops include both major metropolitan and rural areas, most of which are communities of color and low-income communities disproportionately affected by toxic contamination in their air, water, and soil.
In San Jose, Calif., employees toil in carcinogen-laden factories. In Dickson, Tenn., waste from a nearby landfill seeps into a community’s wells. And in Syracuse, N.Y., a woman stands up to a city government that would evict her in order build a sewage treatment facility.
The tour allows these folks to tell their stories, many of which are absent from the conversation of the mainstream environmental movement.
The tour is the result of the efforts of more than 70 environmental-justice groups around the nation. It includes three tour groups — in the northeast, south, and west — and is intended to provide social and political forums for citizens to tell their stories. Monday, Oct. 2, is meant to be a lobbying day in Washington, D.C., where the participants speak to representatives about what they have witnessed on the tour.
Jeremy Levine, the cameraman for the northeast leg of the tour (conflict of interest disclaimer: also my best friend), checked in from Syracuse last night. The tour has been going well so far, and the stories he’s heard from citizens have been powerful testaments to the socioeconomic and racial underpinnings of these grave environmental catastrophes. You can check out the videos from the tour here.
I’ll keep you posted on the tour throughout the week.
The complete tour schedule:
Sep. 24 – Buffalo, NY
Sep. 25 – Syracuse, NY
Sep. 26 – Albany, NY and Hartford, CT
Sep. 27 – Boston, MA
Sep. 28 – New York, NY
Sep. 29 – Newark and Camden, NJ
Sep. 30 – Linden, NJ
Oct. 1 – Washington, D.C.
Sep. 24 – Port Arthur, TX
Sep. 25 – Mossville and New Orleans, LA
Sep. 26 – Gulfport, MS
Sep. 27 – Anniston, AL
Sep. 28 – Dickson, Nashville, and Knoxville, TN
Sep. 29 – Berea and Louisville, KY
Sep. 30 – Whitesville, WV
Oct. 1 – Washington, D.C.
Sep. 24 – Bay Area, Hunter’s Point, Midway, Oakland, CA
Sep. 25 – San Jose, Fort Ord, CA
Sep. 26 – Fort Ord, Salinas, Fresno, CA
Sep. 27 – Earlimart, CA
Sep. 28 – Temecula and Pala Reservations, CA
Sep. 29 – Calexico, CA
Sep. 30 – Wilmington, San Pedro, Lennox, Del Amo, South Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 1 – Pacoima, City of Industry, City of Maywood
Solidarity Event: Saturday, September 30, 9:00am – 4:30pm: Seattle, WA