Here’s how Fresh Voices for Clean Air works:
Throughout 2023-24, the cohorts in each city will meet virtually to participate in discussions with each other as well as guest speakers. This year, Fresh Voices will be partnering closely with Communitopia’s Pittsburgh Youth for Climate Action (PYCA).
The team will learn more about air quality while building the skills necessary to become effective environmental advocates. By the program’s end, students will have created, developed, and executed an air quality project of their own choosing, with the support of adult mentors in Pittsburgh and Birmingham.
“This 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.”
NOTE: Are you a high school senior who's interested in the program? You're welcome to apply, as well - we know senior year can be very busy (and stressful), but we can work with you to make Fresh Voices part of your senior year.
Participants will need access to a laptop or desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone to take part in virtual meetings, as well as written consent from a parent or guardian.
The deadline to apply is Friday, October 6, 2023 (extended deadline). Need a little more info first? GASP will host a brief virtual info session via Zoom at 4:30 p.m. EST / 3:30 p.m. CT on Sept. 12. GASP staff will provide details about the program and answer any questions. You can register here.
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, 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.
2022-2023 Fresh Voices Cohort
The team decided to focus on the East Palestine train derailment and the Moody landfill fire, both incidents with major air quality implications that happened during their program year. Visit their website page to see the full project!
2021 Fresh Voices Cohort
Here's a sample of some of the content produced by the 2021 Fresh Voices Cohort as part of their project.