Cumberland County is the latest to approve spending millions to provide public drinking water to two schools and an area with well contamination caused by the Chemours chemical company. Read more.
Ten elementary schools in Denver, Colorado have encouraged an outdoor air quality monitoring pilot program to reduce the risk of pollution exposure to students. Real-time monitoring results, provided by the Love My Air program, will be displayed on large screens in the schools for students and teachers to see if air quality conditions are healthy for students. The goal of the program is to test for high levels of particulate matter that are known to increase conditions of asthma and heart disease. The pilot program is predicted to begin in December 2019. Read More.
North Carolina was among 22 states that got an “F” grade for not getting rid of lead from school drinking water, according to Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. This week, Environment North Carolina released a back-to-school toolkit that gives the public information on how to get the lead out of schools. Read more.
Ashley Day has always worried about the health risks of living a few miles from a defunct nuclear power plant in Piketon, Ohio. So, … <read more>
Harris County has sued Intercontinental Terminals Co. for failing to prevent a massive chemical fire that burned for more than 60 hours last week and spewed an unknown volume of hazardous chemicals into the air and nearby waterways. Read more …
Pollution, much like wealth, is not distributed equally in the United States. Read more
A massive fire at a fuels storage company along the Houston Ship Channel may burn for two more days, an official said on Monday as the blaze spread a plume of black smoke across the city, shutting schools in two nearby communities. Read more
Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, and U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan unveiled the Trump Administration’s Federal Lead Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Impacts (Lead Action Plan). <Read more.>
Michigan Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival To Kick Off Six Weeks of Non-Violent Direct Action Monday in Lansing
Protests Planned in over 30 State Capitals, Washington, D.C.
Movement Demands Sweeping Overhaul of Nation’s Voting Rights Laws, Policies to Address Poverty, Ecological Devastation, War Economy
LANSING, MI —The Michigan Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will kick off a six-week season of nonviolent direct action Monday in Lansing, demanding a massive overhaul of the nation’s voting rights laws, new programs to lift up the 140 million Americans living in poverty, immediate attention to ecological devastation and measures to curb militarism and the war economy.
The rally in Lansing is one of over 30 actions across the country Monday by poor and disenfranchised people, clergy and advocates, who will engage in 40 days of nonviolent direct action and voter mobilization, among other activities, as a movement aimed at transforming the nation’s political, economic and moral structures takes off—building on the work of the original Poor People’s Campaign 50 years ago.
Protests and other activities during this first week will focus on child poverty, women in poverty and people with disabilities. Subsequent weeks will focus on systemic racism, veterans and the war economy, ecological devastation, inequality, and our nation’s distorted moral narrative.
At the conclusion of the 40 days, on June 23, poor people, clergy and advocates from Michigan and coast to coast will join together for a mass mobilization at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. They’ll then return to their states to continue building the campaign, which is expected to be a multi-year effort.
WHO: Poor and disenfranchised people, moral leaders and advocates from Michigan
WHAT: Protest at Michigan statehouse demanding sweeping overhaul of nation’s voting rights laws, policies to address poverty, ecological devastation, war economy
WHERE: 100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933
WHEN: Monday, May 14 at 2PM
BACKGROUND: The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is co-organized by Repairers of the Breach, a social justice organization founded by the Rev. Barber; the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary; and hundreds of local and national grassroots groups across the country.
The campaign is building a broad and deep national moral movement – rooted in the leadership of poor people and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up. Coalitions have formed in 39 states and Washington, D.C. to challenge extremism locally and at the federal level and to demand a moral agenda for the common good.
Over the past two years, leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival have carried out a listening tour in dozens of states across this nation, meeting with tens of thousands of people from El Paso, Texas to Marks, Mississippi to South Charleston, West Virginia. Led by the Revs. Barber and Theoharis, the campaign has gathered testimonies from hundreds of poor people and listened to their demands for a better society.
A Poor People’s Campaign Moral Agenda, announced last month, was drawn from this listening tour, while an audit of America conducted with allied organizations, including the Institute for Policy Studies and the Urban Institute, showed that, in many ways, we are worse off than we were in 1968.
The Moral Agenda, which will guide the 40 days of actions, calls for major changes to address systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and our distorted moral narrative, including repeal of the 2017 federal tax law, implementation of federal and state living wage laws, universal single-payer health care, and clean water for all.
Earlier this year, poor people, clergy and advocates traveled to statehouses all over the country and the U.S. Capitol to serve notice on lawmakers that their failure to address the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and America’s distorted national morality would be met this spring with six weeks of nonviolent moral fusion direct action.
The Campaign draws on the unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, reigniting the effort led by civil rights organizations, labor union and tenant unions, farm workers, Native American elders and grassroots organizers to foster a moral revolution of values. Despite real political wins in 1968 and beyond, the original Poor People’s Campaign was tragically cut short, both by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination and by the subversion of the coalition that sustained it. Still, the original vision and many of its followers did not go away.
For years, the Center for Health, Environment & Justice has been mentoring a movement, empowering people and preventing harm to human health caused by exposure to environmental threats.
Included in this work is CHEJ’s Green Flag Schools Program for Environmental Leadership. Started in 2002, this program targets students in schools and provides a framework for students to become environmental leaders and contribute to positive change in their school community.
The Green Flag program gives students from kindergarten to twelfth grade the opportunity to learn environmental concepts, investigate environmental practices in their school and identify solutions to make their school safer and healthier. Working as a team, students begin by conducting an environmental audit using a comprehensive form provided by CHEJ to assess their school’s environmental practices. The team then selects an area they want to focus on that will make an impact at their school. The four target areas are non-toxic pest management, indoor air quality, least toxic cleaning products, and reuse, reduce, recycling. Students learn practical life skills such as problem solving, teamwork and public speaking. With each positive step, students are presented with an award culminating in the Green Flag Award for Environmental Leadership.
Earlier this year the Green Flag Team at the Saklan School in Moraga, CA satisfactorily completed Level 3 of the Green Flag School Program for Indoor Air and was awarded an Indoor Air Quality patch for their Green Flag. These middle school students were quite excited about achieving their award which is their second Green Flag award. They are planning to move on to acquire a third patch this fall. The Roots & Shoots Club at the Tom McCall Upper Elementary School in Forest Grove, OR also participated in the Green Flag Schools program this past year. Their Green Flag team satisfactorily completed Level One and was awarded a Green Flag this past spring. They plan to select one of the four project issue areas this fall so that they can acquire a patch to place on their flag.
The Green Flag start-up kit provides all the information you need to get started on earning environmental awards including facts sheets on school environmental issues and an environmental survey tool. More information can be found at http://chej.org/take-action/help/green-flags/.
We hope you will consider adopting this program at your school.