Powershifters clean up

The Grambling State University Powershifters participated in the Keep Lincoln Parish Beautiful cleanup recently. The Powershifters cleaned up an historic road between Highway 80 and Martin Luther King street. The cleanup was a big success and is just the start of many more great things to come from the Grambling Powershifters. The club is the brainchild of the national Powershift movement. The national Powershift movement is a mixture of many environmental organizations pushing for climate justice and a healthy greener environment for the future.

There is a need for a totally new green infrastructure to America. It includes several components including green jobs, nationwide recycling, environmental community awareness and more. This struggle has been dubbed the Civil Rights struggle of our generation.

In America, there is a huge disparity in who is affected by these environmental issues. A huge amount of these factories that emit so much pollution and toxins into the environment are in rural Black communities. An example is in Memphis, where coal mining is very rampant. The pollution is streaming into the streams and drinking water of the rural communities.

Children are being born with wax pouring out of their ears and various other deformities. Another is Hurricane Katrina. The wetlands in southern Louisiana are disappearing at a rate of an entire football field every half hour. There are countless other examples (the droughts in Atlanta, the ice caps melting, etc.) The wetlands act as a buffer to lessen the effect of hurricanes that strike the coast. To prevent these instances and hundreds like it in America, Powershift was formed.

In the fall of 2007 thousands of college and high school students converged on Washington for the first Powershift conference. The atmosphere was ecstatic and full of young passionate enthusiasm.

Over the course of 4 days, the thousands learned about the danger of global warming and ways to stop it. On the last day, the students lobbied to their congressmen to push more legislation geared towards a greener environment. At the end of the conference, every group took with them a lot of knowledge not gained before and went to make America a greener society. The Grambling Powershifters attended and joined the ‘Let’s Raise a Million Project’.

With the Let’s raise a Million project, the Grambling Powershifters have been providing energy efficient light bulbs to senior citizens in the Grambling and Ruston area. The group takes out the old light bulbs and replaces them with the energy efficient light bulbs. This not only save the recipient about $30 a year on the electricity bill per bulb, but creates a more energy efficient environment.

In February the second Powershift conference was held and the Grambling Powershifters were there in attendance. Much like the first, environmental progress was the focus. However, there was broader assortment of topics ranging from hip hop and the environment to racism without racists. There also was a larger assortment of HBCUs present and an environmental HBCU network was put in the works.

To join the Grambling Powershifters, contact Dr. Frances Staten, 318-274-2803 or Perlum Clark Toombs at 318-348-9677.