The photo that I’m holding was taken in Israel and shows a group of interfaith leaders—Jewish, Muslim and Christian. We had just been talking to a group of Bedouins about environmental issues, specifically shortages of water. I believe strongly that breaking down the barriers between the world’s faiths is inextricably linked to breaking down the barrier between our modern societies and the environment. We need to relearn how to move in harmony with the environment as we were designed to do.
With so many economic and social issues already impending, clean air should be a given. This is an issue which transcends political parties, because it negatively impacts us all &h
This is not the first time I have had the opportunity to speak with my elected officials, and share with them the personal tragic stories which I have seen as a result of unclean air.
I came to Washington with Dr. King in 1963 to march for the Voting Rights Bill, and have been returning for 50 years to bring attention to issues that are essential to the well-being of all people—environmental rights, civil rights, human rights, legislation. My motivation in life then and now is doing what is right.
Asthma is at an all-time high among children in the African-American community, and this is morally wrong. With so many economic and social issues already impending, clean air should be a given. This is an issue which transcends political parties, because it negatively impacts us all. The powers that be must come together and use the best data and personnel to clean up our air.
Therefore, I expect for my fellow ambassadors and me to be heard, and our concerns received with respect. I expect to be a part of a committed, compassionate team of individuals who have no fear of speaking the truth to power, and anticipating changed policies. Being a Clean Air Ambassador from the state of Georgia forces me to be accountable for what is critical for all Americans. If we are to survive and pass on a cleaner, healthier environment to future generations, we must begin NOW!