Tag Archives: environmental justice

Illinois Takes Action: People’s Climate March + May Day

On April 29, thousands marched in DC, Chicago, and in cities across the state and the country to demand climate justice as part of the People’s Climate March.

Some highlights from our Chapter:

Illinois Sierra Club activist Connie Schmidt marches in DC

Illinois Sierra Club sent three buses (one from Chicago, one from the suburbs, and one from Central Illinois) and countless others traveled on their own from Illinois to DC’s massive 200,000 person march.

3000+ braved the rain and cold in Chicago to rally and march to Trump Tower

In Chicago, 3000+ people and more than 80 organizations came out in the cold rain to rally and march.

Activists (including Octavius Hayes, right) lead chants at the end of the march at the Trump Tower

At the rally, activists heard from rank-and-file union activists and environmental justice community leaders, including Octavius Hayes–a leader with Clean Power Lake County who spoke about the community’s work to address ongoing coal pollution and transition their community to a clean energy economy.

Champaign PCM

Community members gather in Champaign

In Champaign more than 200 community members gathered at Grace Lutheran Church and heard from speakers including State Sen Scott Bennett, State Rep Carol Ammons, and Sierra Club Prairie Group Chair Alice Englebretsen. Ten different organizations tabled at the event. After the program, people marched down Prospect Street, and were greeted with enthusiastic honks and waves from passersby.

Community members rally in the Quad Cities

In the Quad Cities, more than 300 people gathered at a local ball park. Speakers included the former Mayor of Rock Island, a local student leader, and an Indigenous leader from the Sage Sisters of Solidarity who are doing pipeline resistance.

Shawnee Group members at the Carbondale event

In Carbondale, hundreds gathered for a rally at Gaia House and a march through Carbondale.

Just two days later, the Sierra Club mobilized in Chicago yet again for a massive May Day rally in Chicago to bring attention and urgency to all the challenges facing our communities, especially in the wake of Trump’s election. May Day traditionally honors the work and dignity of immigrants and of labor. This year’s event also brought attention to urgent needs around racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights. State Director Jack Darin was one of the speakers at the end of the march.

Two National Leaders to Discuss the Environment and Justice Connections

Heart of Illinois Sierra Club Group announces a Very Special Opportunity!

Aaron Mair-1An historic opportunity to witness two national organizational presidents stand side by side to discuss the connections between local environmental and justice issues is coming to central Illinois–and you are invited. The weekend of October 30-31, Sierra Club President Aaron Mair will share the stage with NAACP National President Cornell Books at the 2015 NAACP Illinois State Conference Convention on October 30th in Peoria. The following morning, October 31st, the Heart of Illinois Group will host a brunch with Aaron Mair.  CANCELLED

Mark Your Calendar — SAVE the DATEs

Friday, October 30th

Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette Hotel
501 Main St, Peoria, IL 61602

3:30 – 5:00 PM
ENVIRONMENTAL PANEL discussion
“Union and Minority Job Opportunities in the Illinois Energy Economy.” Moderator George P Mitchell, President, Illinois State Conference of Branches, NAACP  with  Panelists Illinois Senator Dave Koehler, Chair majority Party Energy & Conservation Committee, Jacqui Patterson NAACP Director of Climate and Environmental Justice Division, Aaron Mair, National President Sierra Club and Tony O’Brian, Business Representative, AFL-CIO Local 649 Operating Engineers. Tony Pierce, Chairman Illinois Peoples Action.

7:00 – 9:00 PM
MASS MEETING
President Cornell Brooks
Sierra Club President Aaron Mair

Cornell Brooks is in his second year of leading the NAACP with its long history of advocating for racial justice, economic opportunity, equal educational  and job opportunities, fair housing and voting rights. NAACP is involved in battles on the local, state and national level for these issues and has become  committed to environmental justice issues steadily for the past 20 years, with multiple publications and initiatives.

Aaron Mair is a long time NAACP member and Sierra Club activist from upstate New York. He recently marched with NAACP leaders in Selma, Alabama. Sierra Club has committed itself to linking social justice with environmental issues. He is in his first year as President of Sierra Club, the largest grass roots environmental organization in America.