Kicking off today in New Orleans, Consequence youth partners are teaming up with the Hip Hop Caucus, Repower America and a diverse coalition of organizations to launch the Hip Hop Clean Energy Now! Bus Tour, an exciting initiative to amplify the voices of the young people and communities of color calling for a clean energy future.
Over the next week, the tour will swing through 5 states, bringing together leaders from the faith, business, and climate communities alongside entertainers and prominent figures, including DJ Biz Markie, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, actress Gloria Reuben, performer D. Woods and many others.
There are some amazing events planned as the bus makes its way from New Orleans to DC. Make sure to check back on this blog for updates during the week, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep track of the tour in real-time.
This is an incredible project, bringing together diverse constituencies to call for clean energy with one voice. Some might be surprised to see environmental groups working alongside civil rights leaders, youth activists, communities of color, and prominent figures from the faith, business and entertainment communities. However, reading the words of some of the tour participants, it’s clear that the issues of energy, climate, and environmental justice run so deep that this partnership is not only natural, but inevitable.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Lennox Yearwood (“Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham…Earth”):
Our country, and the world, faces the duel crisis of a failed American economy and climate change that threatens life on this planet as we know it.
Poor people and people of color are feeling the adverse impacts of climate change first and worst, from rising energy prices, to increases in heat-related illnesses. Ultimately, however, the destruction resulting from our planet’s rising temperature will not be discerning of national borders, a family’s yearly income, or the hue of one’s skin.
Actress Gloria Reuben (“A Bus Ride for Clean Energy”):
When dirty, old-fashioned energy sources pollute our air and water, it becomes a blatant public health problem — one that is especially burdensome for low income and minority groups. When a community doesn’t have strong financial resources or political clout, the people who live there are often victims of environmental injustice. Corporations are poisoning our air and water, while at the same time lining the pockets of elected officials with political contributions.
Meanwhile, our communities are in dire economic straits. During this difficult financial time, the demographic hit the hardest is people with an annual household income of $12,499 or less. In this group, the recent unemployment rate is 30%.
We have to stop this madness. This is not America as it should be.
That’s why the clean energy movement is about empowering these communities. It’s about giving them a voice.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (“Hip Hop Caucus Clean Energy Now! Tour Hits the Road”):
The clean energy choices we make today will have a profound impact on the environment of our young people and communities of color — the very people this tour is bringing together and the voices we need to hear. We’re going out and meeting people where they live, work and learn to talk about how we create clean energy jobs, protect our planet, and break our dependence on foreign oil.