Justravaganza, a town-hall style event that took place Saturday, August 25th, uplifted community voices to help build solidarity across county & state lines, through many shared struggles. By hearing from a diverse group of Georgians about issues they face every day, Justravaganza served as platform to connect folks in Georgia with other front-line communities across the country. Hosted by Georgia WAND, Justravaganza was also a conduit for the electrifying work of the movement. The event kicked off the national “Freedom to Breathe Tour,” which is headed to California for the Climate Action Summit, and closed out the “Justice First Tour,” which raised awareness about the need to center justice in energy equity and sustainability conversations and just wrapped up stops in 16 cities in 9 southern states.
Justravaganza illustrated the intersections of the need for sustainable energy economies; public budgets that support peace and conflict resolution; justice for our communities; and clean water, air, & land, and stable climates. A crowd of nearly 75 people heard greetings remarks from the Shell Bluff community in East Burke County, home to nuclear power Plant Vogtle and downstream and downwind from the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons complex; from Waynesboro, the county seat of Burke County; the Yamasi tribe from middle Georgia and the coast; representatives from Dunbar Elementary School and the local Neighborhood Planning Unit V community, where the event was held; local artists; faith leaders; grassroots organizations; and an elected official shared remarks highlighting the fact that human rights and social justice are inextricably connected to individual participation and collective power, and who pledged to find answers to cancer clusters in Burke County.
The Freedom to Breathe Tour headed to Shell Bluff, and then on to Florida, and now they are on their way through the southern half of the U.S. on their way to California. The event was well-attended with a diverse crowd; the food was incredible; and the music and poetry enhanced the sense of solidarity, justice, commitment, and love that had already filled the room.
Georgia WAND would like to extend our gratitude to all our wonderful speakers and performers who shared powerful stories on Saturday, including Reverend Woodberry, Annie Laura Howard Stephens, Janie Hill Scott, Lori Johnston, Representative Kim Schofield, Michelle Walker, Stephanie Flowers, Reverend Durley, Tatiana Lima, Bernice Bass, Bobbie Paul, Erica Holloman-Hill, Flannery Winchester, Nathaniel Smith, Danna Smith, Bartees Cox, Dara Carter, and Jewel Howard.
Photos from the event will soon be posted on the Georgia WAND website.