ACAP Spotlight by Lorrie Kaplan, Ashland Daily Tidings, January 29, 2021
On Dec. 1, 1955, Rosa Parks protested segregation by refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her arrest triggered a 381-day bus boycott by some 40,000 Black residents, finally ending when the Supreme Court found the city’s segregation laws unconstitutional.
More than 50 years later, the campaign for equity continues in transportation and other sectors of society. America’s automobile-centered culture has reshaped our cities and landscapes. Americans drive more miles each year, essentially canceling out gains in fuel efficiency. Those without cars often struggle to carry out basic activities such as getting to work, school, health services and grocery stores. Those who depend on transit often ride fossil-fueled buses with high greenhouse gas emissions. Negative effects of climate change fall on all of us, but disproportionately on the most disadvantaged among us.