Mark Ruffalo, activists to tour Flint in support of city in water crisis


FLINT, MI - Actor Mark Ruffalo will be joined by activists during the "Support For Flint" Bus Tour next week to get a first-hand look at the impact of the city's water crisis and share potential solutions.

Ruffalo, star of films including the Academy Award winner "Spotlight," the "Avengers" series and founder of Water Defense, a non-profit organization dedicated to clean water, is set to hit the road Monday, March 7 in the city.

He will be joined by Van Jones, author, activist, and founder of Green For All, Vien Truong, an environmental justice activist and director of Green For All, and Tom Steyer, a businessman, philanthropist and founder of NextGen Climate.

"The United Nations has already declared access to clean water indispensable for leading a life in human dignity, but the problems in Flint go far beyond a poisoned water supply," said Ruffalo in a statement regarding the visit.

Visits during the tour will include Hurley Medical Center, where the group will meet with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of Hurley's pediatric residency program, who first reported elevated blood lead levels in Flint children.

Stops are also set at Mission of Hope with Pastor Bobby Jackson, and St. Michael's Church to speak with community organizer Art Reyes about a volunteer canvas program educating vulnerable residents on the crisis.

"It's incumbent upon all of us to bear witness to the damage done in Flint and communities like it from environmental racism," he said. "This means addressing the underlying issues that allowed for the Flint Water Crisis to take place in the first place, and empowering the groups trying to build a long-term future for their city."

Jones, who also serves as a CNN political correspondent, said the Flint situation "goes against the very nature of American democracy to subject citizens to the mistreatment that the residents of Flint have borne the brunt of for years."

Jones and Truong are involved with Green For All, a national initiative that puts communities of color at the forefront of the climate movement and equity at the center of environmental solutions.

"The mission behind this bus tour, and Green For All, is to provide a megaphone for the community leaders and organizations working to address the crisis in Flint," said Truong. "We now need to turn the focus to the future of Flint, and what the community needs to sustainably and equitably rebuild itself into a prosperous city."

Author: Roberto Acosta | [email protected] 

Photo credit: Claire Folger/Sony Pictures Classics via AP

Source: MLive

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