Clean Air is a Human Right

BY ON May 15, 2018


To keep celebrating Mother’s Day, we’re sharing the stories of moms who are fighting for clean air on behalf of their children. Today, meet Jatu and her twins, Eve and Ethan:

Every day, I take I-95 through Philadelphia. Along the way, we pass a refinery — my kids point it out to me and ask me about air pollution. They know how important clean air is. And I think — if my kids can be engaged and interested in clean air at such a young age, there’s no reason for me not to be.

I’m lucky that my kids are healthy, and that they have clean air to breathe. But I know that so many moms across the country can’t say that. I also know that for moms with sick kids, those kids become their whole world — sometimes so much so that they are too busy being caregivers to advocate for policy change. It means so much to me that as a mom, I can advocate not only for my own kids, but on behalf of moms and kids who don’t have that opportunity.

I am currently a graduate student at Drexel University in Pennsylvania studying Public Health and clean air. Being part of Moms Clean Air Force has opened my eyes to the critical threats to clean air, and how those affect our children.

I’ve learned about the disparity between poor families and wealthy families when it comes to clean air. Poor communities and communities of color are more likely to have asthma attacks and emergency room visits. It’s crucial that moms from black and Latinx communities speak up and use their power to fight for clean air for their children.

My son Ethan meeting with PA State Rep. Brian K. Sims at the Pennsylvania Mama Summit.

It’s our responsibility as moms to protect our children. But when it comes to clean air, protecting our kids can mean many different things —fighting for policies that protect clean air, engaging at the grassroots level in our communities, or even signing petitions and making calls while your kids are napping.

As moms, we truly have the power to change the world for our kids — I’m happy I get to change the world with you.






TOPICS: Activism, African-American Community, Air Pollution, Pennsylvania, Politics