Morehouse President John S. Wilson, Jr. to host rally in support of environmental justice and the President’s commitment to addressing climate change
ATLANTA, GA (November 19, 2015) – Today Morehouse College is hosting a public rally with local clergy and health, environmental and civil rights advocates in support of environmental justice and President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Joining the college’s president, John S. Wilson, Jr., are the Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church; Francys Johnson, president, Georgia NAACP; Kaylon Patterson, Morehouse student and COP 21 HBCU delegate; Laura Turner Seydel, international environmental advocate; Benjamin Crump, president, National Bar Association; Dr. Yolanda Whyte, Atlanta-area pediatrician and vice chair of the National Medical Association’s Commission on Environmental Health; and the Rev. Gerald Durley, civil rights advocate and pastor emeritus of Providence Missionary Baptist Church.
The rally and press conference will begin at 12:30 p.m. on the steps of Morehouse’s Kilgore Student Center which is located at 830 Westview Drive. More than 100 students and supporters from the Atlanta University Center, Atlanta metro area, and neighboring states like Tennessee, Kentucky and the Carolinas are expected to fill the crowd.
The event coincides with an Environmental Protection Agency hearing being held in Atlanta on the Clean Power Plan and the Federal Implementation Plan, which will serve as a good backstop for states that do not create their own implementation plans to cut dangerous carbon pollution and protect public health. The Clean Power Plan sets the first ever federal limits on carbon pollution from power plants.
“Nearly half of the people living near coal-fired power plants are people of color, therefore we must do all we can to reduce this threat to public health in our communities,” said Morehouse President John S. Wilson, Sr. “Morehouse is proud to engage on such an important issue, one that impacts everyone on our campus, in our city, and in the country.”
Nearly 40 percent of the six million Americans living close to coal-fired power plants are people of color, and are disproportionately African American. The toxins from these plants are responsible for thousands of premature deaths, higher risks of asthma attacks and other respiratory diseases, and hundreds of thousands of missed work and school days. The Clean Power Plan will greatly reduce the harmful effects of climate change and result in better health and economic outcomes for the Black community.
“President Obama’s Clean Power Plan will go a long way in protecting the Black community’s health outcomes, particularly our children, and those living in poverty and with lower incomes who suffer even more than the rest,“ said Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church. “It is incumbent upon us, and it is indeed our responsibility as God’s stewards, to work together to slow down and reverse the negative effects of climate change.”
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