The National Emergency Freedom School Bus Tour
On April 4, 2019, the New York State Poor People’s Campaign will set off on a four-day organizing and political education journey across Western and Central New York. The NYS National Emergency Freedom School Bus Tour is one of more than two dozen tours nationwide starting in late March with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
We can only shift the narrative by shifting the narrator, and on our tour we’ll shine a spotlight on the real national emergency in our country today and how it affects New Yorkers.
Groups from across New York State will gather on the tour to reflect and strategize with farmworkers, food pantry clients, advocates for prison abolition, and others directly impacted by the evils of systemic racism, poverty, environmental destruction and the war economy. We’ll make tour stops in Buffalo, Geneseo, Elmira, Enfield, Ithaca, Auburn and Syracuse.
The Elmira stop, where we’ll gather on the evening of April 5 for a Poor People’s Hearing at 6:00 PM at Frederick Douglass Memorial AME Zion Church (400 Madison Ave, Elmira, NY 14901), will be an important moment in our work to change the narrative in this state. As Elmira organizer Becca Forsyth explains,
My hometown of Elmira is hosting a stop on this historic van tour because we represent the face of the real national emergency! We are home to not one but two maximum security prisons — one on either end of town. We are a hot spot for lead poisoning due to poor housing stock. Our schools have dismal grades and only 62% of our students graduate from high school. We have a highly effective school-to-prison pipeline that robs our children of the opportunity to escape! We have dismal health rankings. We make national headlines as being first in the country for opioid prescription abuse!
We won’t be silent anymore and we will not be forgotten!
To make this tour successful, we’ll need you to stand with us! Contribute what you can to the NYS Poor People’s Campaign to help us with tour costs and with our work building a movement across New York State.
Forward together, not one step back!
P.S. During the tour, follow our new website at nysppc.org for updates on tour stops and public events!