Flint Youth Amplifies Voices for Climate Justice and Clean Energy

May 24, 2024 | BM4F Spotlights, Catch the Green Tea, Young, Gifted & Green Blog Series | 0 comments

Melodie Marsh, a rising sophomore at the prestigious Howard University, returned to her hometown of Flint, Michigan on May 17, 2024 to speak at the Route Zero and Clean Vehicles Coalition press conference held at the Flint Farmers’ Market. As a member of the Flint Youth Environmental Justice Council and the Flint Public Health Youth Academy, Melodie has been a steadfast advocate for her community, fighting for high quality public health, clean air, clean water, and a sustainable future.

The event, which celebrated the finalization of EPA’s new clean car standard rule, highlighted the immense public health and economic benefits that widespread clean energy and vehicle adoption could bring to the State of Michigan. Melodie took the stage to share the Black GenZ perspective and the urgent need for climate action in places like Flint that have borne the brunt of environmental injustices for decades. Flint youth like Melodie have seen firsthand the devastating impacts that pollution, contaminated water, and the climate crisis can have on already vulnerable communities. Like many Black families in Flint, Melodie has loved ones who struggle with asthma, lead poisoning, and other health issues directly linked to the environmental hazards in the city. For too long, majority Black cities like Flint have been overlooked and left behind when it comes to clean energy transition. Melodie highlighted that the new clean car standards are an important step forward, but our decision-makers must ensure that the benefits of clean energy and transportation reach the communities that need it most.

As Melodie closed out her remarks, she emphasized the need for continued youth activism and community-driven solutions to the climate crisis. GenZ and now Gen Alpha are the generations that will inherit the consequences of today’s decisions. She amplified the importance for young people to raise their voices and demand action. This work cannot be done alone – we need our elected officials, our community leaders, and all Michiganders to join in the fight for a sustainable, equitable future.

Listen to Melodie Marsh’s full speech!

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