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  • Writer's pictureJustice Jones

Honoring Earth Day

Celebrating Our Planet & Reflecting on Land Back

As Earth Day approaches, Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association invites you to celebrate our beautiful planet and contemplate the crucial notion of land back. Join us in honoring Earth Day, April 22nd, by participating in local events and engaging in environmental stewardship and indigenous land rights. To express gratitude for the Earth's bounty we advocate for a sustainable future. Together, we can make a difference in our neighborhood and beyond.

Why Earth Day Matters

Earth Day is a reminder of our shared duty to cherish and protect the natural world that nurtures us. It's an occasion to reaffirm our dedication to environmental stewardship and protect our invaluable ecosystems for the current and future generations. Whether through minimizing our carbon footprint or championing policies that uphold environmental integrity, every minor endeavor contributes to a substantial collective impact. Together, we can forge a healthier, more sustainable planet that benefits all inhabitants.

Groups & Organizations to Support

Here are some incredible environmental justice groups you can support who do this invaluable work every day of the year:

The MN EJ Table's mission is to build power to guarantee environmental justice across Minnesota. We do this through campaigns to fight against the systemic harm of frontline communities, by developing solutions that build the world we need, and through transformative education. We seek to bring resources and sustainability to our movement.

Current Campaigns:

What you can do TODAY:

A member-based organization established in 2018 to improve the quality of life of Latine families. Over the past five years, COPAL has become a well-known, grassroots power-building, and visionary transnational organization.

Their Top Three Goals:

  1. Base Building: Strengthen the power and influence of BIPOC communities in Minnesota.

  2. Structural Change at the Policy Level: Organize a collective movement to civically engage communities.

  3. Shift the Public Narrative: Center impacted voices and elevate our stories.

What you can do TODAY:
  • Join their Environmental Justice Committee

  • Tune in to ˘Qué Onda, Minnesota? / What’s up, Minnesota?, our weekly environmental justice radio show on Thursdays at 5 pm on Radio Jornalera!

Community Members for Environmental Justice (CMEJ) (a fiscally sponsored project of Tides Center 501(C)(3)) is a coalition of caring community members, mothers, and youth who are committed to addressing the environmental injustices occurring disproportionately in pollution-burdened neighborhoods in the City of Minneapolis... CMEJ is based in North Minneapolis, an environmental justice (EJ) community - a low-income community of color with multiple sources of industrial pollution generating a legacy of environmental health issues. Many of our concerned residents and families live or work in areas of the Twin Cities heavily impacted by the legacy of fossil fuel pollution in the state. CMEJ is focused on organizing to push for government policies and decisions that reduce the levels of toxins and other issues identified by the community affecting community health.

Current Campaigns:

What you can do TODAY:
  • Take a tour of North Minneapolis with community leaders and hear about the issues around some of the most persistent environmental health problems in low-income communities of color.

  • Contact Your Senator / House Representative using the scripts below to support the Amortization Bill.

Joe Vital speaking at Earth Day march on April 22, 2023. Photo by Devon Young Cupery

The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) was formed around the multifaceted vision of an indoor urban farm and housing project to promote the personal, social, environmental, and economic health of our neighborhood.... In May 2023, after a 10-year fight for environmental justice in Minneapolis’ East Phillips neighborhood, the community won the chance to convert a contested industrial warehouse into a cooperatively-owned community hub with an indoor farm and housing, against steep odds. You can learn more about the community vision here. As we move along an uncharted path toward making that vision a reality, we’ll continue to build for an answer to the community that got us here.

Current Campaigns:

What you can do TODAY:

In the face of climate-related emergencies, power outages, and natural disasters, our South Minneapolis community deserves a trusted haven. The Community Energy Project is a vital part of the broader 38th Street THRIVE Strategic Development Plan for the City of Minneapolis. It embodies our commitment to:

Our Vision: Environmental Justice, Resilience, and Racial Equity.

  1. Energy Efficiency: Renovating Sabathani’s physical building to become energy-efficient by replacing our outdated heating and cooling system with a renewable energy geothermal system. This eco-friendly upgrade reduces operating costs and pollution in our community.

  2. Workforce Development: Providing a living laboratory and training center for geothermal and solar workforce training, ensuring job placement and empowering our community through green employment opportunities.

  3. Microgrid Technology: Implementing microgrid technology and battery backup storage, enabling Sabathani and its critical community services to remain operational to remain operational even during extended power outages.

What you can do TODAY:

Their funding proposal is currently under review in the Minnesota state legislature: House File 3949 and Senate File 3607. Please contact your legislators and express your support for Sabathani’s Community Energy Project.

Links to legislators:

Local Earth Day Events

There is an abundance of exciting events in our community, offering ample opportunities for participation and impact. Consider leading an Earth Day event of your own! Whether you're organizing a local cleanup crew or hosting an environmentally-focused workshop, your initiative can spark positive change. Let's demonstrate our collective love for the Earth and ignite transformative action within our community.

30th Annual Minneapolis Earth Day Clean-Up

Minneapolis Parks Foundation is cleaning up at more than 40 different sites this year on Earth Day! Find a cleaning site near you.

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association Events

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association is hosting TWO events on Earth Day this year. You can join their Community Cleanup or Learn to Grow a Home Habitat!

Longfellow Community Council | Earth Day Clean Up

Taking place just off of West River Parkway, this cleanup is an Earth Day tradition in the Minneapolis River Gorge. People come from throughout the local river corridor, neighborhoods and metro area – individuals, families, small church, corporate and student or scout groups – to celebrate Earth Day and contribute to the health and vitality of the Mississippi River. All are welcome! This is a family-friendly event providing an excellent opportunity to get outside and work together to help improve this treasured area. We’ve returned to this site year after year and have noticed a dramatic improvement to the area thanks to dedicated volunteers like you!

To participate, show up at 9:30 a.m. at either location (East 36th Street & West River Parkway or East 44th Street & West River Parkway) to sign in with FMR staff. We’ll provide all the supplies, but feel free to wear your own gloves if you have them. Sturdy shoes and dressing in layers for the weather are strongly suggested. There will pizza from Parkway Pizza and snacks for those volunteering.

The Importance of Honoring Land Back

On Earth Day, we must acknowledge the Indigenous peoples who have safeguarded the land for centuries. The principle of land back demands the restitution of usurped territory to indigenous groups, emphasizing their sovereignty and land entitlements. In honoring land back, we honor the profound bond between indigenous peoples and the Earth, pledging to back their pursuit of justice and self-determination. Let's strive for a future where all individuals coexist harmoniously with the land and each other, fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

Learn more about the Land Back Movement

This Earth Day, let's recommit ourselves to protecting our planet and supporting indigenous communities in their fight for justice. Together, we can build a more equitable and sustainable world for all.

Editor: Ren Koo


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13 de mai.

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