Why is the Freedom to Breathe tour happening now?
This bus tour comes in the lead-up to the first-ever Global California Action Summit in San Francisco. The Summit will focus on deepening commitments to solve the climate change challenge. Elevating the community injustices and organizing work happening across America goes hand in hand with efforts to deepen climate ambition.
What is the route and how was it chosen?
Climate organizing is happening across the country and the limited number of stops on the Freedom to Breathe tour were selected to highlight a range of intersections between climate justice and social justice (economic equality, public health, and more). The Freedom to Breathe Bus Tour will begin in Atlanta on Aug. 25, and will hit locations in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico as we drive toward the Global California Action Summit on September 12. If you’re aware of more climate injustices or local climate organizing, we invite you to share using the hashtag #FreedomToBreathe.
What is environmental justice?
Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Environmental racism occurs when low-income or minority communities are placed in the proximity of environmental hazards or degradation, such as toxic waste, pollution and urban decay. Environmental racism occurs too frequently in America and around the world.
What can I do to help?
There are a number of ways you can help. Share some of the footage of the bus tour with your friends and partners on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the #FreedomToBreathe hashtag. If you want to really dive in, get involved in local community organizing efforts. Each stop of Freedom to Breathe highlights how much each voice matters in the march toward climate justice.
If the bus tour is focused on climate change, why are you using a diesel-powered bus?
Of the more than 386,000 electric buses that currently exist in the world, only 350 are in America. Even fewer are in regions like the Deep South, often as a result of under-investment in the technologies of today and the future. Despite the logistical infeasibility, Freedom to Breathe is working with the tools we have today to help drive us all toward a cleaner and more just tomorrow.
What partners are involved?
There are a number of partners working together to make this possible. At the local level, town halls were led by the Gulf Center for Law and Policy, Peoples Climate Movement, Georgia WAND and CLEO. Organizations like Tejas and Earthworks provided tours of their cities to drive home the impact pollution is having in their communities. Amplifier Foundation is supporting with the handouts and design for the journey, including the wrap for the bus. National organizations are supporting the tour by sharing footage from the events and continuing to help elevate the work of local organizations.