Day III in Copenhagen: Connecting with the African Diaspora

By Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Climate Justice Initiative

This blog is short, but it’s in preparation for a heavy blog and video day tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Today was a day of strategizing with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance. PACJA plans to hold a press conference tomorrow to congratulate President Obama on his award of the Nobel Peace Prize, embrace him as a native son of Africa, and call on him to advance aggressive targets for cutting emissions and advancing equitable allocation of resources for adaptation.  They have invited us as the US based environmental and climate justice community to link arms in solidarity and joint action.  So we spent a good part of the day organizing press advisories, a letter to President Obama, and talking points for the press conference. More on the press conference tomorrow!

At the end of the day I interviewed Michele Roberts formerly of Delaware, recently of New Orleans, and currently of Washington DC. She told a story of how the situation of her family in one of eight cancer clusters in Delaware led her to where she is now as a strident activist for environmental and climate justice.   Michele now works with Advocates for Environmental Human Rights.

Similarly, Kirin Kennedy, with the NAACP Pennsylvania Youth Conference, has come to climate justice out of her lived experience in communities impacted by environmental and climate injustice. Please read on to hear her story.

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