Sizwe Herring, Nashville environmental educator, speaks at Climate Change March in Chicago

Sizwe Herring

Sizwe Herring

“Climate Change is an environmental justice issue and the minority communities must understand the impact to their lives and the lives of their descendants and act,” said William ‘Sizwe’ Herring. Herring will be going to Chicago for The Great Climate March/Chicago Climate March, taking place on Sat. September 6. The March will begin at 9 am at Oak Park, go to Garfield Park at 11 am, walk through Grant Park and finish with a rally at Daley Plaza at 2 pm.

Herring is Nashville’s leading African American environmental educator, community gardener and founder/director of EarthMatters Tennessee , a nonprofit urban education organization. He is a certified instructor in the field of ‘permaculture,’ a system of design based on ecological and human principles of balance, sustainable growth. Herring’s organization created and maintained the George W. Carver Food Park from 1992 until 2012, where thousands of pounds of local vegetables were grown and over 30,000 tons of organic compost was produced and distributed each year. The Food Park was the home of Nashville’s only ‘land sculpture’ made entirely of leaves and compost materials.

While studying at Tuskegee University in Alabama, Herring became a devotee of Tuskegee professor Dr. George Washington Carver, who earned worldwide recognition for his research with peanuts and other food crops. Using lessons gleaned from Carver’s philosophy, EarthMatters was developed to show people that life is a lot like agriculture: what you plant is what you pick.

“Climate Change will affect the urban communities the hardest,” said Herring. “As the planet continues to heat up because of what humans have collectively done by using the atmosphere as a sewer for greenhouse gasses, the result will be major increases of food costs, water, and health issues. It is time for all people to stand together and insist on individual and governmental progressive action.”

Herring shared one of Dr. Carver’s quotes: “No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.”

“The African American community has been under represented in the climate change and general environmental movement,” said Herring. “It is vital that we use the innate skills of our people to reduce, reuse, recycle and reeducate ourselves to get active. The future depends on it.” He said the upcoming Chicago Climate Action is vital and this is why he is going to Chicago to participate.

For more information, contact Jordan Parker, lead march coordinator, at 773-569-5821; Lanny Smith, march coordinator at 954-536-7888; or William Sizwe Herring at 615-300-2941.