March 3, 2016
Activist Van Jones Joins Artists For Bus Tour Leading Crisis Response In Flint
The morning after the Democratic Presidential Debate will draw the nation’s attention to Flint, Michigan.Â Green For All will assemble a diverse group of activists and artists to join the Support For Flint’s Future Bus Tour. The tour will begin on Monday, March 7 at 9 a.m. EST, making several site visits across Flint to call attention, bear witness and share solutions for the ongoing Flint Water Crisis.
More than 100,000 residents of Flint have been exposed to toxic levels of lead in their drinking water for more than two years. As local, state and federal officials have mobilized to provide short-term assistance to address the water crisis, local residents have been saddled with addressing the immeasurable long-term damage. As a disproportionately poor community of color with one of the nation’s highest poverty rates, residents have been calling for the resources and expertise to implement sustainable solutions for their city’s long-term health.
Author, activist and founder of Green For All,Â Van Jones, will join a group of participants of the Support For Flint’s Future Bus Tour that include actor and founder of Water Defense Mark Ruffalo; environmental justice activist and Director of Green For All Vien Truong; and businessman, philanthropist and founder of NextGen Climate Tom Steyer. The tour will touch on three interrelated issues at the heart of the crisis: children; environment; and jobs and economy. This will include conversations with the individuals and organizations that have been on the forefront, such as a visit to Hurley Medical Center with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who first sounded the alarm to dangerously high lead levels in local children and founded FlintKids.org.
“It goes against the very nature of American democracy to subject citizens to the mistreatment that the residents of Flint have borne the brunt of for years,â€ noted Jones, former green jobs advisor to President Obama and founder of Green For All. “Situations like Flint don’t develop overnight; they are the result of long-standing neglect from all parts of our society.â€
“The United Nations has already declared access to clean water indispensable for leading a life in human dignity, but the problems in Flint go far beyond a poisoned water supply,â€ Ruffalo said in a statement. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to bear witness to the damage done in Flint and communities like it from environmental racism. This means addressing the underlying issues that allowed for the Flint Water Crisis to take place in the first place, and empowering the groups trying to build a long-term future for their city.â€
“The fight for clean, safe water in Flint and communities across the country is a fight for social justice,” Steyer continued. “Communities of color too often are the most vulnerable to the impacts of polluted air and water, and our leaders have a moral obligation to protect our communities and make sure this never happens again.”