San Francisco, CA (May 4, 2022) – Today, The Redford Center released the fourth film in a five-part series showcasing unity and community power in a collective call for civic engagement around clean transportation to build a healthier, more just future for all.
Community Power New Jersey: Our Streets, directed by Trenton-based filmmaker Adam Nawrot and produced by Sonia Szczesna, illustrates how the community of Trenton channeled their collective power to advocate for everyone’s right to safe and accessible streets, clean transportation, and community resources. In a historically segregated city with streets built primarily for single-occupancy vehicles, these cyclists and activists are confronting the unjust environmental and economic effects of redlining and the city’s car-centric infrastructure by expanding the equitable access to safe and clean transportation resources across different parts of the city.
As part of The Redford Center’s ongoing civic engagement initiatives, the 2021-22 Community Power short film series, in collaboration with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Chispa, spotlights stories that shift perceptions on what it means to be an environmentalist and a voter. Community Power films respond to the urgent need for all Americans to be concerned about environmental injustice. The stories speak to the heart of addressing centuries of environmental inequities – all during a critical moment when historic policy investments in clean transportation, jobs, and justice are being made.
“The people of Trenton, New Jersey have set a bold example of what is possible when people come together and build power for their community in the face of challenging circumstances. They are advocating for and winning active transportation infrastructure that is reshaping their streets, while building in support systems to make it easy for all community members to choose to bike or walk,” said Jill Tidman, Executive Director of The Redford Center. “This is grassroots organizing in action. It is also a beautiful and powerful example of community care and connection leading us toward the environmentally just future that we all need and deserve.”
“This story is a glimpse into something that’s happening in communities throughout the country as people have begun to challenge the status quo and demand that transportation systems serve people rather than the movement of vehicles,” said producer Sonia Szczesna. “What’s exciting is that Trenton’s story is not unique and individuals anywhere can come together to make changes to their streets.”
Wills Kinsley, Director of Operations of Trenton Cycling Revolution added “If you want to ride to work, school or for fun, it helps if your bike actually works – and Trenton Cycling Revolution’s Community Outreach Garage (the COG) is where you can learn how to make that happen.”
About the Community Power Series
The Redford Center’s Community Power series showcases local activists, storytellers, and culture-makers as the visionary leaders needed to build the movement towards a future rooted in environmental justice. The series highlights how investing in clean energy, and specifically, clean transportation, provides the opportunity to cut harmful air pollution threatening our health and livelihoods, supports people and communities who are too often left behind, and creates millions of jobs that modernize our transportation and energy infrastructure.
Additional short films in the Community Power series will continue to be released by The Redford Center over the coming months, spotlighting local, clean transportation stories from states across the U.S. Each film will invite the public to become civically active on issues of clean energy, justice, and jobs through a free clean transportation action toolkit, connecting audiences to nonprofit and movement organizations that lead change for clean air, clean energy, justice, and jobs. The Redford Center’s Community Power series is generously supported by Far Star Action Fund.
About the Film
Community Power New Jersey: Our Streets
A film by The Redford Center
Directed by Adam Nawrot, Produced by Sonia Szczesna
Run time – 03:28 minutes
In the US, nearly half of all trips are shorter than three miles, or a 20-minute bike ride, and at least 20% of trips are within a 20-minute walk. What environmental impacts would be possible if cities were designed to make these green travel options safe and accessible for everyone? Cycling activists Jacque Howard, Shereyl Snider, and Wills Kinsley are on a mission to solve Trenton, New Jersey’s car-centric design and give its streets back to the community. Working alongside historically excluded communities, this Trenton collective has activated bicycle infrastructure development, implemented traffic calming measures, created bike repair shops, and inspired community education and unity. These efforts might seem like small steps, but they quickly add up to show the rest of the world the possibility and impact of community action for safe streets, clean transportation, and environmental justice.
Community Power New Jersey: Our Streets can be viewed at redfordcenter.org/communitypower.
Click here to view the first three films in the series: Community Power Arizona: En Nuestrxs Manos (In Our Hands), directed by Pita Juarez; Community Power Nevada: Unidxs En Acción (United In Action), directed by Nicolas Cadena; and Community Power Indiana: Beyond the Line, directed by Sam Mirapoorian.
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AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS:
Mayor Reed Gusciora, City of Trenton
Wills Kinsley, Trenton Cycling Revolution
Sonia Szczesna, Sourland Studios
Caitlin Fair, East Trenton Collaborative
Cait Fitzwater, The Redford Center
ABOUT THE REDFORD CENTER
Co-founded in 2005 by Robert Redford and his son James Redford, The Redford Center uses the power of storytelling to galvanize environmental justice and regeneration. Its cross-cutting programs support environmental storytellers and invest in impact-driven narrative strategies. By amplifying and changing the conversations around environmentalism, The Redford Center aims to engage a much broader and more diverse population in the movement. It has produced three award-winning feature documentaries and 30+ short films, supported 95+ film and media projects with grants and other services, inspired 500 student films, and dispersed more than $10 million to fiscally sponsored projects. Redford Center film impact campaigns have halted the construction of dirty coal plants, reconnected the Colorado River to the Sea of Cortez, and helped accelerate the clean energy revolution in America. To learn more, visit RedfordCenter.org or follow The Redford Center on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo and YouTube.