NEW ORLEANS – More than 300 people filled Kabacoff Plaza on Feb. 18 as the Hip-Hop Caucus and the Alliance for Climate Protection made its first stop of an eight-city national bus tour to promote clean energy use to young people.
DJ Biz Markie, actress Gloria Reuben and recording artist D. Woods visited the campus as part of the effort to remind students about the benefits of using clean energy sources.
Also present was the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Hip-Hop Caucus president and CEO, and Dr. Beverly Wright, director for the Deep South Center on Environmental Justice housed at Dillard.
The visit served as a call to action as Yearwood encouraged students to fight against “Jim Crow Jr. Esquire,” a term he used to describe the current battle against pollution, with the same passion that civil rights activists of the previous generation fought against racism.
“This is our lunch counter moment…In the 20th century they had to fight for equality, and in the 21st century we gotta fight for existence,” said Yearwood. “It’s a pertinent issue right now,” said Woods.
According to the Alliance for Climate Patrol, Louisiana has vast resources available to produce its own clean energy and as many as 22,000 jobs could be created in Louisiana with comprehensive energy and climate legislation,.
Yearwood said the effects of Hurricane Katrina motivated him to start the tour.
“Katrina was key because I think we saw the effects of poverty and pollution. We saw what can happen when policy is not put in place. We were spending, at that time, billions of dollars for war and no money for levees,” said Yearwood.
The Hip-Hop Caucus is a national non-profit organization with a mission to foster civic engagement among young people of color on issues of social and economic justice, human rights, the environment, and international peace, so they can attain increased opportunities for themselves and their communities.
Founded on Sept. 11, 2004, the organization has been involved in many social-involvement campaigns including “Green and Live,” a campaign to raise awareness within low-communities of color about the particular impacts of climate change on their communities, “Respect My Vote,” a voter engagement campaign, and “Make Hip-Hop Not War,” an award-winning campaign that educated audiences on the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and motivated young people to take action and have their voices heard.
The Alliance for Climate Protection is a non-profit, non-partisan group pushing for comprehensive solutions to the climate crisis. Founded in 2006, by former Vice President Al Gore, the organization has launched projects intended to present choices and offer changes that to protect Earth for future generations.