May Top 5 2023
May 31, 2023
Washington, D.C. – Today, The Redford Center, in collaboration with the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), and Chispa released the second film in a new series of short films showcasing unity and community power in a collective call for civic engagement around clean transportation to build a safer, more just future for all.
As part of The Redford Center’s ongoing civic engagement initiatives, the 2021-22 Community Power short film series spotlights voices from some of the most polluted communities in the country, sharing their unique stories of collective action to enact meaningful, representative, and lasting change. 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 racism and discrimination – all during a critical moment when historic policy investments in clean transportation, jobs, and justice are being made.
The new film, Community Power Nevada: Unidxs En Acción (United In Action), tells the story of how Southern Nevada’s Latinx community is advocating for clean transportation as a key solution in their state to improving air quality and public health outcomes. By using personal air quality tracking technologies and grassroots organizing, Nevada Latinx are building their community’s power to demand their families’ right to breathe clean air. A tapestry of intergenerational community members share how environmental pollution has harmed their health and led them to advocate for environmental and climate justice with Chispa Nevada.
In the film we see a Southern Nevada community unite not just around self education, including the importance of tracking air quality and pollution, but also in raising awareness of the need for collective action by organizing community projects like a November 2021 Day of the Dead altar. The film also chronicles the passage of state legislation, Assembly Bill 349, which will take high-polluting vehicles off the road and, eventually, replace them with cleaner alternatives. Now, local activists are working to ensure the legislation is implemented equitably throughout the community.
“In this film, unity and self-determination are on brilliant display at a level rarely seen, or even known, by those in seats of power,” said Jill Tidman, Executive Director of The Redford Center. “It makes essential links between how coordinated individual actions can collectively lead to state-level victories. It shows the massive potential we have to create systems change when groups like Chispa Nevada help communities organize to claim their right to breathe clean air, and win. I find this story deeply, and personally, inspiring.”
“Latinx families in Nevada know all too well the harm of living in neighborhoods with the worst air quality, and we’re not waiting for our families to get sicker before demanding action to improve our air quality,” said Rudy Zamora, Program Director for Chispa Nevada. “We’re grateful to be able to share our stories as we organize our community and push for justice and long-lasting change. Our communities have been left out of environmental narratives for too long.”
About Power the Vote: Community Power
The Redford Center’s Power the Vote: 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 and regeneration. 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, support people and communities who are too often left behind, and create millions of jobs that modernize our transportation and energy infrastructure.
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, and feature stories that shift perceptions on what it means to be an environmentalist and a voter. The Redford Center’s Community Power series is generously supported by Far Star Action Fund.
About the Film
Community Power Nevada: Unidxs En Acción (United In Action)
A film by The Redford Center
Directed by Nicolas Cadena
Produced by Jill Tidman, Heather Fipps, Celia Byrne, and Jonathan White
Run time: 2:48 minutes
Nevada is facing an air quality crisis. Living in one of the top 20 most polluted counties in the country, a group of Latinx community activists in Southern Nevada decide to take matters into their own hands. Recognizing the transportation sector as the largest contributor to local greenhouse gas emissions and other health-harming pollutants, they demand policies that will clean up the air their families breathe. Through grassroots organizing projects with Chispa Nevada, like neighborhood air monitoring and public demonstrations that fuse activism with cultural identity, these dedicated community members push for change and showcase their own unique brand of community power.
Community Power Nevada: Unidxs En Acción (United In Action) can be viewed at redfordcenter.org/communitypower.
The first film in the series, Community Power Arizona: En Nuestrxs Manos (In Our Hands), directed by Pita Juarez, can be viewed at this link.
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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 400+ 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.
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.
ABOUT FAR STAR ACTION FUND
Far Star Action Fund leverages the power of storytelling by partnering with films and organizations to create solutions to the world’s challenges, focusing on: Good Governance and Civil Society – Advancing good governance to help people use their power to enact sound laws and policies, which supports progress for an empathetic and civil society; The Climate Crisis and the Environment – Investing in transformative environmental and climate change policy; and STEAM Education and Systems Thinking – Expanding STEAM education to broaden systemic approaches to problem solving.