Like Life,

Social Change is 90% Showing-Up

…Tonight You Have a Chance to Show-Up for Change in a Big Way
for Just a Little Money

It’s showtime.
Tonight is our benefit for Joppe air quality monitoring. 7pm.

Check out the menu, our line-up of entertainers and speakers, and then buy tickets – just click here. 

We celebrate the recent victory of the historic Joppe Freedman’s neighborhood in preventing more polluting industries from moving there.

We also celebrate the launch a new partnership between Joppe, Downwinders, and other members of the DFW green community to reverse decades of environmental racism.

The first step of that partnership is the instillation of modern air quality monitors in the community. Every dollar collected tonight goes directly to that goal. 

And…we also celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2018 from our College of Constructive Hell-Raising, four members of whom have been instrumental in the recent Joppe batch plant fight.

Tonight, showing-up counts.





The Top Five Reasons

You Should Attend the May 22nd Benefit for Joppa

1) This benefit will fund a citizen-run air quality monitoring network in Joppa that can be up and running in months. 

We don’t need the EPA to do anything to win a big environmental victory right now. Or the State. Or even the City of Dallas. Citizens can do this ourselves.

All the air monitoring technology we need is off the shelf. Thanks to the labs at local universities like UTD and UNT we have the expertise we need in our own backyard. All we need is the funding. Your $25 ticket fills that need. All proceeds go directly to buying monitors for Joppa.

2) This benefit supports an historic Black-Green alliance forming in Dallas

This benefit will see the debut of a new grassroots proposal to make Joppa a model of how municipalities can redressdecades of environmental racism.  Over the last several months Joppa residents and environmental groups have worked closely together to prevent another two batch plants from setting-up shop. Now we’re ready to announce how we’ll be more pro-active. Come support this important and historic initiative.

3) This benefit supports an unprecedented pilot project that could be coming to a pair of lungs near you

The Joppa community could be a launching pad for the much larger regional air monitoring network public health advocates and environmentalists want to establish.  It’ll provide reliable real-time air quality readings from monitors located near you instead of many miles away. Joppa makes sense as the place to start because it won’t take a huge budget to cover the well-defined neighborhood with a dense grid of monitors. Joppa can help pave the way for a regional network.


4) This benefit challenges Old Dallas 

The Joppa Freedman’s Township Association (JFTA) was the only Joppa-based neighborhood group leading the fight against the two recently-proposed batch plants. They represent a more volunteer-oriented, grassroots approach to community organizing. They’re seen as a direct challenge to the Status Quo. Your presence at this benefit is a direct rebuke to the Old Dallas way of doing business. Come support a New South Dallas.


5) It’s going to be a great show with good food and good folks…for only $25

We’ve got a drum line. We’ve got one of the most talented local poets on the scene as MC. We have Civil Rights icon Peter Johnson giving a commencement address on why “Clean Air IS a Civil Right. We have selected scenes from Soul Rep Theater’s “The Freedmens” fresh off its run at the Wylie Theater downtown. We have the pipes of Vicki Larkin Tovar and the completely cool vibes of Solako Music.  This is in addition to food and drink. All for only $25.








Tickets are Only $25. Tables of 10 only $250.

Don’t Miss This Historic Event.




  Join us on May 22 at our new digs in GoodWork Co-Working Space,

1808 S. Good-Latimer Expressway, just a few blocks south of I-30 and downtown Dallas….


For Immediate Release:                                                                                   

9 am May 15th, 2018


New Dallas Black-Green Alliance Hosts Benefit

to Bring Full Time Air Quality Monitoring to Joppa


May 22 event launches unprecedented new effort dedicated to

“undoing” decades of environmental racism in Dallas


(Dallas) Fresh from their victory over two proposed batch plants in late March, Joppa residents and Dallas environmentalists are joining forces again to host a benefit on May 22nd aimed at purchasing dedicated high-tech air monitors for the neighborhood. They say it’s a first step in a long-term commitment to lessen the pollution burden of “the best preserved” Freedmen town remaining in Dallas.

Offering a line-up that ties the historical neighborhood to the modern air pollution problems it faces, the Joppa Freedman’s Township Association and Downwinders at Risk are hosting “Let Joppa Breathe!”

from 7 to 9 pm next Tuesday, May 22. The Sticks Mania drum line will call the evening to order. Actors from the Soul Rep Theater will perform scenes from their recently concluded run of “The Freedmens” at the Wylie Theater. Civil Right veteran Peter Johnson will speak to Why Clean Air IS a Civil Right.” Award-winning spoken word artist and poet Rage Almighty will be performing and is also Master Of Ceremonies. Local singers Selako Music and Vicki Larkin Tovar round out the evening’s entertainment. Dallas Council Member Kevin Felder, who led the fight opposing the batch plants at City Hall in March, will provide a welcome. Food by FOODWORK and Doodle Farm plus drinks are included in the $25 admission price. Tickets are being sold through EventBrite online. All proceeds go directly to buying air monitoring equipment that can be up and running in Joppa in a matter of months.

Plugging the community into on-going local air quality efforts means Joppa could have one of ten sophisticated Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM) monitors being built and distributed by the University of Texas at Dallas to locations throughout DFW by the end of summer as part of DFW’s first independent air quality information network. It will also be first in line to host five to ten additional, smaller PM monitors in the first “monitor grid” network of its kind in Texas. Dallas County currently has just one permanent EPA PM monitor, on Hinton Street near Stemmons Freeway, some nine miles from the Joppa neighborhood. Portable monitors owned by Downwinders found PM levels 30-50% higher in Joppa than at that EPA site on the weekend before the batch plant vote.

Building a new network of air monitors would seem ambitious enough, but according to the JFTA and Downwinders, that effort is only the first step in a campaign to make Joppa a model of how to undo decades of environmental racism. They’ll use the May 22nd benefit to unveil a proposal for a Joppa Environmental Protection District aimed at preventing the community from being a dumping ground for undesirable industry and improving its quality of life. Among its goals are electrification of all Union Pacific locomotives operating in the switchyard that runs the length of Joppa, HEPA air filters for all homes, new pollution controls for local industry, and zoning ordinances that establish special protections for historically abused communities like Joppa. It would be a first-of-its-kind District in Dallas whose architects are a first-of-its-kind alliance of Black South Dallas and local environmentalists.

“Everyone is tired of only re-acting to Bad Ideas. We want to stop the Bad Ideas before they ever get a Planning Commission hearing,” said Downwinders Director Jim Schermbeck. “That means the city admitting it has an environmental racism problem and working with residents to create new public public policy to correct it.”

Schermbeck noted that every “comprehensive plan” now moving through Dallas City Hall is impacted by environmental health and environmental racism – whether they’re acknowledged or not. “You can create a housing policy that ignores those realities, but at the end of the day people don’t want to live where they can’t breathe. You can pass an economic development plan, but unless you know where industry is causing problems now you may be adding to them rather then solving them. Environmental Health has traditionally been a stepchild issue at Dallas City Hall. That tradition must end if the City wants to accomplish its new goals.”

Organizers say that donations of equipment and volunteer time means they only need about $3-5,000 to set-up the kind of advanced air quality monitoring network that would be the envy of even the smartest of “smart cities.” They’ve already collected $1600 and hope the May 22 benefit brings in the remainder. “For $25, you can make sure we win an important environmental justice victory by the end of summer and have one heck of a good time.” said Schermbeck.


Tickets are Only $25. Tables of 10 only $250.

Don’t Miss This Historic Event.