Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and the ensuing global social uprising, we sent an email out to our River Citizen community stating that we stand in deep sadness, righteous anger, and solidarity with Black communities who suffer because of racism and police brutality. The Mississippi River Network’s Executive Director, Kelly McGinnis, shared further that, “environmental work and racial justice are inexorably linked and in fact are all part of the same movement; to truly protect water, you need to protect communities and we know that Black communities face disproportionate environmental risks and impacts.” (Read the full statement here.)
Over the past month, we have received emails from folks in our River Citizen community seeking further resources to better understand how River advocacy and racial justice are interconnected. Here is a starting place:
Additionally, follow 1 Mississippi’sFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram as we will continue to use our platform to amplify Black, Indigenous, and People of Color's (BIPOC) voices and experiences.
We know that the Mississippi (which goes by many names) is here for us all and that anyone can become a River Citizen and take meaningful action to protect and care for our beautiful River. We also know that we all do not experience the River the same way. To create a just, equitable, and safe-for-all River now, and for the generations to come, we need all-hands-on-deck cooperating, learning, and working together.
River Citizen, chances are 2020 has knocked you and those you care about down many times. I am wishing for you the courage to keep going and growing, balance, and that your needs may be met.
For the land, water, wildlife, and people of the River,
-Michael Anderson, Mississippi River Network
Birds of Quarantine
Mark 'River' Peoples (MS/AR Outreach Coordinator) hasn't stopped his passion for birdwatching during the pandemic. Instead of pointing out birds from a canoe while guiding people safely on the Lower Mississippi River with Quapaw Canoe Company, Mark River is finding a flurry of bird activity in his neighborhood and has "watched the birds turn [a] small downtown courtyard into a quarantine sanctuary." Perhaps you have seen a similar sight near you?
Heron and Reflection. Photo Credit Iowan River Citizen, Mike Schwenker.
In Birds of Quarantine, Mark River also shares the message that "all living creatures are important to the health of the world and we are put here to sustain and protect for future generations. We have the intelligent minds and science to pursue this, so let’s not be afraid to ask the serious questions, create dialogue, and not be afraid to be the country we say we are."
About:Native Peoples' relationships with the land speaks of the significant understanding of the waterways, wildlife, and ecology. We discuss these incredibly valuable relationships in a virtual overview of Great Rivers Greenway.
About: Mississippi Park Connection is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment with a new story series online highlighting women who have had great impact on the Mississippi River and our river park.
About: Citizens of the St. Louis area are often reminded of just how powerful the Mississippi River is when waters rise. Learn from guest speakers about factors that contribute to flooding as well as actions that governments, organizations, and individuals can take to make our river communities more resilient.
Thanks for reading the June 2020 River Citizen Newsletter. If you found value in the e-newsletter, please forward it on to three people today!
About 1 Mississippi
The 1 Mississippi and River Citizen program is brought to you by the Mississippi River Network (MRN). MRN is a coalition of 56 organizations dedicated to protecting the well-being of the land, water, wildlife, and people of America's greatest river, the Mississippi. Direct questions or comments to email@example.com.