Today, The Redford Center, in collaboration with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Chispa, announced the launch of a new series of short films showcasing community power in a collective call for civic engagement around clean transportation to build a safer, more just future.
About Power the Vote: Community Power
As part of The Redford Center’s Power the Vote civic engagement initiative, this new series, titled Community Power, showcases local activists, storytellers, and culture-makers as the visionary leaders needed to build the movement towards a future rooted in environmental justice and regeneration.
Community Power highlights how investing in clean energy, and specifically clean transportation, provides the opportunity to cut harmful air pollution threatening our health and livelihoods, support people and communities who are too often left behind, and create millions of jobs that modernize our transportation and energy infrastructure. Through the power of storytelling, Community Power films will spotlight community voices and their stories of collective power to enact lasting change.
“Every day is an opportunity to speak up, better our communities, and breakthrough to a healthier, more equitable future,” said Jill Tidman, Executive Director of The Redford Center. “As filmmakers who prioritize stories of progress and solutions, we see these wins more than most. The families and local organizers in Maricopa County, Arizona featured in our first Community Power film have counterparts all over the country. They are proof that collective actions can lead to big victories, but they need and deserve far more support. It’s an honor to collaborate with LCV and Chispa on this series, as we use stories to inspire communities everywhere to push for clean transportation in the name of justice, jobs, and the right to breathe clean air.”
About the Films
Short films in the Community Power series will 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, and feature stories that shift perceptions on what it means to be an environmentalist and a voter.
The first film in the series, Community Power Arizona: En Nuestrxs Manos (In Our Hands), was released today.
Directed by Pita Juarez, Community Power Arizona: En Nuestrxs Manos (In Our Hands) tells the story of Teo Argueta, a community organizer, and a group of local mothers who unite to connect the issues of clean air and dirty buses with local health impacts, and specifically childhood asthma. In Phoenix Arizona’s Maricopa County, one of the most polluted counties in America, more than 1 in 9 children suffer from asthma. And every day approximately 25 million children across the country ride school buses, exposing them to diesel exhaust that emits dangerous pollutants into their developing lungs, causing respiratory illnesses, aggravating asthma, and exposing them to cancer-causing pollutants. Teo and the local mothers remind elected officials that polluting buses should not endanger the young people of Maricopa County in their daily pursuit to access education. Together, they achieve an important and historic victory in the fight for children’s right to breathe clean air – Arizona’s first 84 seat electric school bus.
Community Power Arizona: En Nuestrxs Manos (In Our Hands)
Directed by Pita Juarez
A film by The Redford Center
Produced by Mango Skies
Run time: 3:08 minutes
“Too often we’ve seen stories about BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) communities being told by white filmmakers, while we – the community – have been demanding visibility, equity, and access to the documentary film industry for years,” said filmmaker and Chispa LCV National Communications and Creative Strategies Director Pita Juarez. “It’s time that filmmakers of color have a seat at the table and are supported by the industry to center our stories told by us. As the country is reckoning with racial and environmental justice, there is an opportunity to tie together our narratives to show how systemic these experiences of environmental injustice are, and accordingly, how intersectional our solutions must be. This year, I was fortunate to join The Redford Center and experience this opportunity with other amazing filmmakers who also shared those same values on clean energy and environmental justice.”
Community Power Arizona: En Nuestrxs Manos (In Our Hands) can be viewed at this link.
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 75+ film and media projects with grants and other services, inspired 400+ student films, and dispersed more than $8 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.
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) builds political power for people and the planet. LCV influences policy, holds politicians accountable and mobilizes communities. This is how we fight to build a world with clean air, clean water, public lands, and a safe climate that are protected by a just and equitable democracy.
Over the last 50 years, LCV has grown into a potent political force for protecting our planet and everyone who inhabits it. LCV has built a powerful national movement with more than 30 state affiliates (together, the Conservation Voter Movement) and grassroots and community organizing programs across the country working for a more just and equitable U.S. democracy, where people—not polluters—determine our future.
Chispa is a grassroots community organizing program building the power of Latinx and communities of color in the fight for climate justice. The Chispa approach is an approach born out of Latinx and BIPOC communities putting solutions on the table, making our community’s political power seen, heard and felt by decision makers across the nation and in the six states – Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Florida, Nevada, and Maryland – where Chispa programs are underway. It is more important than ever to ensure that our families have a strong voice in the decisions and policies that impact their communities and the environment that we all depend on. Moreover, it is imperative that the environmental movement better represents the diversity of our nation, and reflects the solutions necessary to confront the legacy of environmental injustices that disproportionately impact BIPOC and Latinx communities.
Courtnee Connon, LCV
Emily Motill, The Redford Center / R&CPMK
Hannah Edelman, The Redford Center / R&CPMK