Historic Southern Communities Welcome Sen. Cory Booker for Environmental & Climate Justice Tour

#UShumanrights  #GulfSouthRising

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2017

CONTACT: Emma Collin | ecollin@ushrnetwork.org | (631) 708-6840

Bartees Cox | bcox@climatenexus.org | (202) 815-6457

Everette Thompson | everette@350.org | (404) 514-9215

Historic Southern Communities Welcome Sen. Cory Booker for Environmental & Climate Justice Tour

Atlanta, GA -- Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) will visit advocates and community leaders in the Gulf South this weekend to gain a deeper understanding of the southern movements for environmental justice and the impact that climate change is having on the region, its infrastructure and citizens. The trip will begin in north Alabama and extend to Uniontown, Lowndes County and Mobile’s historic Africatown community. Sen. Booker will also visit the historic Ironton community in Plaquemines Parish where he will meet with African American and Native American leaders. His final stop will be to St. James Parish, Louisiana along “Cancer Alley”.

More than half the people living near hazardous and polluted areas across the United States are people of color, with black children twice as likely to suffer from asthma than white children. In the South, large numbers of black and brown people live in floodplains, making these communities most vulnerable to floods and natural disasters caused by a warming world. Sen. Booker will meet with Teresa Fox-Bettis and Joe Womack (ret. Major USMC), Principal Chief Thomas Dardar of the Houma Tribe, Plaquemines Parish Councilwoman Audrey Salvant, Russel Honore (ret. Lt. General US Army) and other community leaders to gain a better understanding of these issues and their experiences, and hear about the plans each community has for moving forward.

“We are proud to connect community leaders with decision-makers so that they they can speak for themselves about the impact of industry on their environment and their way of life,” said Colette Pichon Battle Esq., Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network. “These leaders have been working on the frontlines of environmental human rights violations for years, even decades. We are pleased that Senator Booker has chosen to learn from those who know the issues best.”

Sen. Booker’s visit comes as a slow-churning tropical storm, whose flooding impact was exacerbated due to climate change, has affected at least 17 million residents from the Florida Panhandle to eastern Texas. Alabama and Louisiana declared a state of emergency.

"As Senator Booker prepares his visit to the Gulf, Hurricane Cindy is hurling forward with the potential to cause immense damage to the lives and livelihoods of millions of people,” said Everette Thompson, Justice and Equity Coordinator at 350.org. “The Senator will witness firsthand how the most vulnerable communities -  indigenous peoples and black and brown people - protect themselves and create solutions as increasingly severe storms head their way. We support this fact finding tour of Senator Booker and urge him to take what he learns back to Washington and be a climate champion.”

For more information about Sen. Booker’s environmental justice tour please contact Emma Collin at ecollin@ushrnetwork.org.

###

ABOUT THE US HUMAN RIGHTS NETWORK

The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) is a national network of organizations and individuals working to strengthen a human rights movement and culture within the United States led by the people most directly impacted by human rights violations. It is a network of over 300 organizational members that is working to popularize human rights in communities across the United States in order to secure dignity and justice for all. www.ushrnetwork.org