FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – At a time when people across the country continue to shelter in place, practicing social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, communities in the Pacific Northwest region and along the West Coast have been battling wildfires and an increase in air pollution. On Thursday, September 24, Moms Clean Air Force and Corazón Latino will co-host a “Virtual Cafecito” where panelists will discuss the recent wildfires and their connection to climate change, and reflect on loss, recovery, and what the growing climate crisis means for frontline communities of color, especially the Latino/a/x communities.
Wildfires throughout the Pacific Northwest and in California impaired the region and led to ominous orange skies and exposed many to harmful air pollution that not only can degrade their health, but also makes them more susceptible to serious respiratory illnesses like the coronavirus.
WHAT: Cuentos del Fuego (Stories from the Fire), hosted by Corazón Latino and Moms Clean Air Force
A virtual conversation via Facebook Live with four U.S. climate and Labor Rights advocates
WHEN: Thursday, September 24, 5PM PT/6PM MT/7PM CT/8PM ET
WHO: Niria Alicia, Xicana climate justice organizer, Betsy Lopez-Wagner, Lopez-Wagner Strategies, James Puerini, Yale Wildland Firefighter Rights Initiative, and Cinthia Zermeño Moore, Moms Clean Air Force
“Our culture is inherently resilient, and we have seen that people helping people is always the quickest way to bring relief in the face of tragedy,” said Niria Alicia Garcia, who has raised more than $40,000 just this last week for the labor community she calls her neighbors. “We need to stop calling them wildfires, they are MAN-MADE disasters! Starting with climate change and the suppression of indigenous land management practices that could have prevented this tragedy.”
Niria Alicia is the daughter of forestry and farmworkers. Her father lost everything in the Almeda Fire earlier this month, though his life was spared. The fire killed two people and resulted in more than 2,300 homes being destroyed, and that’s only those counted to date. She quickly worked to sound the alarm for Spanish-speaking community members of the fires, evacuation orders, and to keep residents informed, and now, fed.