July 28, 2017 by Jessica Tovar
Photo: Group photo from the 2016 MFN meeting in Portland
On October 13-14, 2017, more than 600 community leaders, advocates, scientists, and industry leaders will gather in Carson, California to confer, collaborate, and conspire to address the negative health and environmental impacts of freight transportation in communities. For two days, attendees at the 4th International Moving Forward Network conference will engage in panels and workshops to build power to advance an agenda for environmental justice and healthy communities
Low-income and communities of color across the U.S., particularly those near ports and freight corridors, bear the negative environmental and health burden of freight transportation, industrial pollution, and climate change. Material goods are as close as a click away thanks to the global supply chain that relies heavily on ships, cranes, trucks, trains, warehouses, and practices that exploit and harm workers, communities, and the environment. The real cost of these material goods can be seen in the damaging health impacts of freight operations on millions of low-income communities of color that live near freight transport hubs and the surrounding environments. For example, deadly diesel emissions result from freight transportation has been recognized by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research as a known human carcinogen. Furthermore, freight operations are also responsible for the release of large amounts of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) which traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere and contributes to global climate change.
The Trump administration and fossil fuel industry has waged an assault on environment and health that roll back decades of hard fought policy that protect our air, water, and lands. Efforts to repeal the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, dismantle the Clean Power Plan, slash the budget of the U. S. EPA, and exit the Paris Climate Accord, the strongest international climate and environmental protection agreement to date, will create deadly conditions for communities. It also marks the demise of a federal agenda that will no longer protect communities and environments affected by the goods transportation industry.
The 2017 4th International Moving Forward Network conference is a timely and important FREE two-day conference that will bring together community organizers, advocates, regulators, developers, industry representatives, planners, and policymakers to work on solutions to these critical problems and build power to change the political landscape. Attendees will participate in discussions and strategy sessions as well as capacity building workshops in organizing, coalition and movement building, research, communications, social media, policy, and planning.
About the Network:
In 2010, The Trade, Health and Environment Impact Project (THE Impact Project) organized the third Moving Forward Together conference that drew more than 500 participants from 18 states and 5 countries. It was at that conference that front line community residents and leaders, scientists and researchers, and labor, health, and environmental advocates envisioned a national network that would connect and support local and regional efforts to address the negative impacts of freight transportation in communities and build power to influence national policy. Seven years later, The Moving Forward Network has grown as a national network of community-based organizations, advocates, scientists, researchers, labor, environmental, faith-based organizations, and others committed to reducing the public health harms our country’s freight transportation system. Presently, the Network is comprised of over 40 organizations from across the country where large ports, rail yards and other freight corridors reside. The Network unites environmental justice organizations from around the United States to work on national campaigns, help build collective capacity through sharing of information and advocacy tools and seeks to elevate community voices through science, policy research and legal support. Here are key take aways from participants at the last Moving Forward Together Conference in 2010.
“There is already technology that can be used to reduce diesel emissions”
“Direct action is effective. There is truly a global network of people fighting against freight transport” impacts
“Interconnections between labor, environment, freight, transit and possibility for working together
“The global impact of things going on in our neighborhoods.”
“The health impacts”
Join us in October to share your work, meet and learn from other leaders from across the country and around the world, and strategize together about achieving environmental justice and healthy communities for all of our places.
To find out more information about the conference go to www.movingforwardnetwork.com and click on the 2017 Conference tab.