Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference to Address Climate Justice

This week, the Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference will convene in Jackson, Mississippi to highlight the accomplishments of those who worked to change the politically segregated Mississippi and to discuss how to continue the struggle towards Mississippi reaching its full potential.  The Environmental and Climate Justice Programming in the Freedom 50 agenda will develop an action plan as it relates to ensuring that all Mississippians attain their rights to clean air, water, land, and livable communities.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Panel I Title: “Climate Change and Environmental Injustice: How Did We Get Here?” --- 3:15 p.m.  -  4:45 p.m.

Panel II Title: “Taking Back Our Communities and Building Local Economies: Where Do We Go From Here?” --- 5:00 p.m.  –  6:30 p.m.

Environmental Injustice, including climate change, is a critical civil rights issue, which is particularly impactful in the South. Decades of emissions of greenhouse gases, from the same facilities and practices that have spewed other harmful toxins into communities of color and low income communities in particular, have resulted in an increase in the overall global temperature and shifts in weather patterns worldwide. These shifts in weather patterns have driven increases in extreme weather events, reduction in agricultural yields, and sea level rise, all of which have differential impacts on vulnerable communities and populations. Freedom 50 and the Southeast Eco-Justice PMA will convene activists to discuss action planning for stemming the pollution of our communities, the progression of climate change, and frontline community adaptation to the present day climate change impacts.

MODERATOR:   

Jacqui Patterson, Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program

SPEAKERS:

Reverend Tyronne Edwards, Zion Travelers Center—Plaquemines Parish, LA
Derrick Evans, Turkey Creek Community Initiatives—Turkey Creek, MS
Collette Pichon-Battle, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy-- Slidell, LA
Felicia Tripp, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists—Jackson, MS

Friday, June 27, 2014 

Panel Title: "Rebel Smell: Voter Disenfranchisement and Environmental Injustice in the South"

Disproportionate exposure to toxins by communities of color and low income communities, increases in frequency and severity of tornadoes and hurricanes, drying up of crops and losses of black farm land, and the theft of voting rights are all interconnected issues in the Southeast United States.  This session will explore these relationships and lay out a path for seizing our rights to representation by elected officials and political offices so that we in the South will have affordable access to basic needs such as electricity, food, housing, clean air, water, and land, as well as equitable disaster assistance, opportunities for livelihoods and more.

MODERATOR:

Jacqui Patterson, Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program

SPEAKERS:

Seandra Pope, Southern Energy Equity and Justice Initiative
Josie Mooney, NextGen Climate
Brentin Mock, Grist
Nathaniel Smith, Partnership for Southern Equity