Justice First Tour Stop Newport News Virginia

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When a reverend and a forest protection activist became friends, they had more in common than they realized.

So they launched the Justice First Tour last month, a 10-state listening tour of sorts that will make a stop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday in Newport News at the Dochiki Civic and Social Club, 2205 Chestnut Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

The Justice First Tour is the brainchild of Leo Woodbury, a South Carolina-based reverend who is also an environmental and energy justice activist, and Danna Smith, executive director of Dogwood Alliance, a forest protection group.

“They got to talking and realized there was a huge intersection between their work, in the sense that climate justice is an issue for all people and forest protection is an issue for all people,” said Scot Quaranda, communications director for the Dogwood Alliance. “Out of that, out of their friendship and their discusisons, they got to a point where they realized everyone across the country — and especially in the southern U.S. — is facing justice issues.”

http://www.dailypress.com/news/newport-news/dp-nws-newport-news-notebook-0518-story.html

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/dp-nws-newport-news-notebook-0518-story.html

 

 

 

Justice Tour Stop in Portsmouth,Virginia May 19, 2018

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A group of activists and environmentalists will be traveling through Virginia to call for environmental justice.

The Justice First Tour said in a statement that it will hold an event in Portsmouth on Saturday.

The group’s focus includes helping communities of color reduce energy costs and gain access to the clean energy economy. It also opposes offshore drilling as well as fuel pipelines.

Organizations behind the tour include the New Alpha Community Development Corporation, Dogwood Alliance and the Sierra Club.

Environmental justice tour making its way through Virginia

 

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A group of activists and environmentalists will be traveling through Virginia to call for environmental justice.

The Justice First Tour said in a statement that it will hold an event in Portsmouth on Saturday. The group’s focus includes helping communities of color reduce energy costs and gain access to the clean energy economy. It also opposes offshore drilling as well as fuel pipelines.

http://www.hastingstribune.com/environmental-justice-tour-making-its-way-through-virginia/article_5df0ff32-0a78-5dc7-8254-d158b123c4ed.html

 

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A group of activists and environmentalists will be traveling through Virginia to call for environmental justice.

The Justice First Tour said in a statement that it will hold an event in Portsmouth on Saturday.

The group’s focus includes helping communities of color reduce energy costs and gain access to the clean energy economy. It also opposes offshore drilling as well as fuel pipelines.

Organizations behind the tour include the New Alpha Community Development Corporation, Dogwood Alliance and the Sierra Club.

http://www.dnronline.com/associated_press/virginia/environmental-justice-tour-making-its-way-through-virginia/article_3f580d71-d1df-560e-9cae-7795731436e9.html

 

 

 

 

In The South, A New Environmental Movement Seeks To Put Justice First

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When Danna Smith spots an old, gnarled tree in the forest wetlands of the South, she sees a plant that gives life. But she says the wood pellet industry doesn’t see it that way and that for them these twisted trees are “waste wood” and fair game to harvest.

Wood pellets are generally made with the scraps of industrial waste, like sawdust; utility companies burn this material to produce electricity. But environmentalists say the material that the wood pellet industry uses also comes directly from hardwood trees and not just waste.

Whether it’s a tree cavity that provides squirrels a nest or a standing dead wood tree that offers a bald eagle a perch to hunt prey, the ecological value is clear to Smith, the executive director and founder of the Dogwood Alliance in Asheville, North Carolina.

Smith has worked to protect forests across the South for more than two decades, and in the last five years, she has spoken out forcefully against the rapidly expanding wood pellet industry. This work led the Dogwood Alliance to realize that it is marginalized communities who most often bear the brunt of the impacts of wood pellet mills, deforestation and the impact of climate change, yet their voices weren’t being heard.

That’s the same conclusion that longtime environmentalist and South Carolina faith leader Rev. Leo Woodberry had drawn. In a region where forest cover loss from industrial logging has been four times greater than the loss of South American rainforests, the lives of residents have been devalued in the name of profit. 

Although they work in adjoining states, Woodberry and Smith operated in different spheres. She is a white woman whose work focuses on trees and climate justice; he is an African-American pastor, who has focused on environmental justice as the executive director of the New Alpha Community Development Corporation.

When Smith met Woodberry at a climate march last year, she was inspired to do more to address the connections between land exploitation, polluting industries, climate change, race and poverty.

Their friendship led to conversations about how to address these injustices, and Woodberry later invited the Dogwood Alliance to join a 10-state Justice First Tour of the South that launched in April. The tour moves to Virginia next week, with stops in Newport News on May 18 and Richmond and Hampton Roads on May 19. It will continue through August.

“We recognize that justice is at the root of a lot of problems that we face in the U.S. and that we’ve yet to realize our ideals of justice on many fronts,” said Smith. “It’s like an onion ―  peeling back the layers; you start to realize just how deep-rooted inequity of power and resources are in our society and how that manifests in the form of injustice.”

Industrial polluters tend to be concentrated in some of the poorest parts of the South, and this results in low air and water quality, which in turn leads to health issues, Woodberry said. Rather than tackle environmental justice and economic justice separately, Woodberry wants Southeastern communities to join forces under “a big tent.”

“If we can attain justice for our constituents and our community in any of the issue areas, we have won,” said Woodberry, who heads the Christian church, Kingdom Living Temple. “By having this big tent concept that unites us and that causes us to work together, it’s historical.”

Keep Reading Article


By Yvette Cabrera

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/south-new-environmental-movement-justice-first_us_5af49388e4b0e57cd9f78533

Excitement Builds in Charlotte

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See the awesome Charlotte Videos and Pictures- lot's of updates coming!

 

 

 

Charlotte Images

 

 

 

 

 

Justice First Tour National Story

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April 12, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A tour of 10 southern states focusing on clean energy and justice issues kicks off today in Raleigh, N.C.

The Justice First campaign will visit more than 20 cities by mid-August, highlighting environmental, economic, racial and gender justice, among other issues. The Rev. Leo Woodberry, one of the tour’s lead organizers, said the South has some of the most polluting power plants and factories in the country – disproportionately located in minority and working-poor neighborhoods.

He said the time and the place are ripe for organizing.

“If we’re going to deal with the issue of justice, we need to do that where justice is most needed,” Woodberry said. “And millions of people in the last 14 months have taken to the streets. The people are saying we’re ready for this. There’s no better time than now.”

Fossil fuel companies have argued that they provide cheaper and more reliable power that’s good for those communities.

But Woodberry said the shift to clean power is gaining speed as the price of renewables fall. And he said that’s better for both health and job prospects. He said the revolution in power generation offers a rare opportunity – if people are willing to “look under the hood” on clean energy development to make sure the change doesn’t “replicate past models of injustice.”

“That opens up the opportunity to create jobs; to have cleaner, healthier, communities; create businesses,” Woodberry said. “And the just and equitable thing to do would be to include those communities that have been left behind.”

 

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Justice First Tour Kickoff Interviews

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On Thursday, April 12, 2018, a broad coalition of nonprofits launched a major new effort to promote climate and energy justice throughout the South by kicking off the ten-state “Justice First Tour.” Rev. Leo Woodberry, one of the tour’s lead organizers and executive director of the Florence, South Carolina-based New Alpha Community Development Corporation and advisor to Sierra Club’s “Ready for 100” Campaign, agreed to an exclusive interview with CleanTechnica to talk about the Justice First Tour.

Read Full Interview

Also shared with Sea Change Radio

 

 

The 2018 Justice First Southern Tour | Building Solidarity Throughout the South

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The southeastern region of the United States had more polluting facilities than anywhere in the United States of America. It’s one of the poorest regions in the United States and suffers the greatest number climate- and weather- related impacts in the country. The south is also the last funded region by philanthropic organizations in the country. Nonetheless, some of the most successful and impactful work around issues are being performed daily in the South.

One of the things that is slowing down the momentum of our movements and limiting our success in various issue areas, is the fact that our work is often operating in a silo, segregated, or segmenting. The purpose of the Justice First Tour is to build solidarity in the South by issuing the call for justice first. This solidarity still provide an umbrella under which all of us can work. It is time that we move toward working for environmental justice, earth justice, economic justice, climate justice, creation care justice, social justice, racial justice, gender justice, etc. If we commit to posting and attaining justice in all our issue areas for all of our communities and constituents, we will have attained victory, justice, and equity for us all.

Every successful movement had an umbrella under which everyone can work under. A classic example is the civil rights movement in the South. People work together in solidarity because of their faith, commitment to nonviolence, living integrated communities, having access to lunch counters, being able to attend any school or college, for forbidden positions of power, and simply to have the right to vote. We believe that the Justice First Tour can be the beginning of accomplishing that same solidarity in the South.

The tour will be covering cities in the following States: North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia to date. Below are the dates and locations that are confirmed venues for the tour thus far.

 

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