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Food Disparity

LIFE, LIBERTY AND FOOD JUSTICE FOR ALL

August 12, 2020

Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for healthy living. That could mean both having insufficient supplies, but also a lack of the variety of foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, that are needed to provide the right nutritional balance. 

Food Deserts

Predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods have fewer full-service supermarkets than predominantly white and non-Latinx neighborhoods. Communities that lack affordable and nutritious food are commonly known as “food deserts.” So-called food deserts, or areas without such suppliers as grocery stores, are common in low-income areas. In these zones, people’s nutritional options are often limited to cheaper, high-calorie and less nutritious food.

Food Disparity During A Pandemic

Black, Latinx, and Native Americans are experiencing disproportionate burdens of infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19). According to projections from Feeding America, the country’s largest hunger-relief nonprofit organization roughly 17 million more people will become food insecure in 2020, bringing the total to 54 million, including 18 million children. In his latest episode of his podcast entitled “New York’s Hunger Problem”, Brian Lehrer states that food insecurity is at the point of moving from a crisis to catastrophe.”


Resources For Taking Action

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People experiencing food insecurity and living in food deserts often primarily have access to low-cost, energy-dense processed foods. Barriers to accessing high-quality, nutritious food, in turn, are major factors in people’s body-mass index and their overall health and life expectancy. By educating ourselves and supporting programs that hold institutions and food industries accountable, we can save Black lives by bridging the gaps between social location and accessibility to nutritious food. 


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Environmental Racism

THE INEQUITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS ON PEOPLE OF COLOR

August 5, 2020

In the fight against climate change and environmental deterioration it is often forgotten that many are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards due to the institutional rules, regulations, policies or government and/or corporate decisions that deliberately target certain communities for locally undesirable land uses and lax enforcement of zoning and environmental laws, resulting in communities being disproportionately exposed to toxic and hazardous waste based upon race. This is called environmental racism.

Environmental Racism in the USA

A few examples of environmental racism in the United States have been seen in Los Angeles, CA where there is the largest urban oil field, the ever present water crisis in Flint, MI, Louisiana’s “cancer alley”, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s battle with the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

Effects on Black Communities

Recent studies found that those who live in predominantly Black communities suffered greater risk of premature death from particle pollution than those in predominantly white communities. Black children are both twice as likely to develop asthma and 10 times more likely to have fatal complications from it than white children. 

What You Can Do

Racist government policy as it pertains to environmental racism can be traced back to the beginning of this century. The location of Black and Brown communities near sources of pollution are a direct result of these policies. We challenge you to take some of these action steps and continue to center BIPOC folx in your fight for environmental justice!

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Rep. John Lewis & Rev. CT Vivian

HONORING THE LEGACIES OF TWO CHAMPIONS OF VOTERS RIGHTS

July 25, 2020
Sign Here to tell the Senate to PASS the VRAA

Last Friday we lost two of our esteemed Freedom Fighters. Rev C.T. Vivian and John Lewis were both instrumental in the Civil Rights movement and continued to fight for the liberation and equality of Black Americans until their final days. A major contribution attributed to them both was getting the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enacted in response to voter suppression in the 1960s. This significant piece of legislation outlawed discriminatory practices such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and other restrictions in Southern states. Many Black voters also risked physical harm, harassment, economic discrimination, and intimidation, leading to many not registering and furthering the idea that their voice didn’t matter in America.

2013

In 2013 the Supreme court invalidated the essential practices of the VRA with a 5-4 vote that granted nine southern states the ability to amend election laws without receiving federal approval. According to the ACLU, “Without these protections, voters of color will continue to be impacted by discriminatory election practices intended to disenfranchise or diminish their voting power based on their race.” This was also the same year that President Obama awarded Rev. C.T. Vivian with the Presidential Medal of Honor.

Carrying the mantle through the VRAA

Just days ago, 47 senators introduced legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act with a bill named after John Lewis. The John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment Act would ensure that all states require clearance from the Justice Department or a Federal court in D.C before making voting procedure changes that would burden voters of color. The VRAA would fill in the gaps left behind by enacting new regulations and oversight procedures. The House has already voted to pass the VRAA – now it's the Senate's turn to protect our voting rights.

Act Now

We not only want to honor John Lewis & Rev. C.T Vivian, but we want to see their work continued. We must continue the legacy of these two leaders by demanding that the Senate pass the John Lewis Voter’s Rights Advancement Act. We must reinstate protections against voter’s suppression laws which harm Black and Brown communities most. Learn more about the VRAA and sign this petition from the ACLU. 

While we remember and honor these men for their never ending commitment to liberty and justice for Black people, we are challenged by the reality that many of the issues they fought against in the 1960s remain topics of contention today. Their urgent action that led to major change 55 years ago inspires us today. Following their lead through marches, demonstrations and active pursuit to get Black voters registered to vote will be instrumental to our upcoming election. We must lead the way in freeing the voices that the unjust systems of this country have tried to keep silent.

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