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Fresh Voices for Clean Air

The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) is partnering on a new, unique youth education program called Fresh Voices for Clean Air with Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP), a non-profit organization working in the greater-Birmingham area in Alabama that works to advance healthy air & environmental justice through education, advocacy, and organizing. 

Like us, they strive to reduce air pollution, to educate the public on the health risks associated with poor air quality and to encourage community leaders to serve as role models for clean air and clean energy development. 

“We are so excited to partner with GASP in Birmingham on this project and to see what the students come up with,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said. “While our organizations are unrelated, our commitment to clean air is the same.”

Here’s how Fresh Voices for Clean Air works:

GASP will pair a small group of high school students in Allegheny County with a group of their peers in Birmingham, Ala. for a year-long collaborative partnership. 

Throughout 2021, the cohorts in each city will meet virtually to participate in discussions with each other and with guest speakers. The team will learn more about air quality while building the skills necessary to become effective environmental advocates.

By the end of the program year, the team will have created, developed, and executed an air quality-related project of their own choosing, with the support of adult mentors in both Pittsburgh and Birmingham. Bonus: Upon successful completion of the program year, participants will earn a $250 award.

“This new partnership between air quality-focused non-profit organizations in Pittsburgh and Birmingham reflects our cities’ similar industrial and environmental history,” said Michael Hansen, executive director of the Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution. “A century ago, Birmingham was nicknamed the ‘Pittsburgh of the South.’ The two cities have experienced some of the worst air quality in the nation, and residents have been fighting back for decades.”

GASP Air Quality Educator Laura Kuster agreed:

“Discovering and discussing the similarities and differences between experiences in these two regions will be a key component of the collaboration,” she said.

The program will run from March through December 2021 and is open to students in grades 9, 10,and 11 who attend school in either Allegheny County, PA or Jefferson County, Ala. 

The Fresh Voices for Clean Air initiative was made possible by funding through the Grable Foundation.   

The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), a non-profit founded in 1969, works to improve air quality in southwestern Pennsylvania in order to safeguard human, environmental, and economic health. GASP is a diligent watchdog, educator, litigator and policy-maker on a variety of air quality issues impacting our region. 

Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP), a non-profit organization working in the greater-Birmingham area in Alabama, advances healthy air & environmental justice through education, advocacy, and organizing. They strive to reduce air pollution, to educate the public on the health risks associated with poor air quality and to encourage community leaders to serve as role models for clean air and clean energy development.

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