10:30 am on August 14th Syracuse residents gathered at MLK Steam school to vocalize local needs regarding the I-81 viaduct project. The New York Civil Liberties Union also known as NYCLU and Urban Jobs Task Force organized this March. The leaders included Deka Dancil and Lanessa Chaplin who both have been instrumental in the process to involve residents in the plans for the viaduct. Interstate I-81 Viaduct is notoriously known for its environmentally damaging proximity to black working-class residents in Syracuse. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released to the public by the New York Department of Transportation on July 16, 2021. Residents and city leaders are requesting racial justice, environmental justice, and economic justice. During the 19th century, African Americans in Syracuse, New York were negatively impacted by Jim Crow Laws and the Urban Renewal Program. This African American population resided in the east side of Syracuse by East Genesee. That population grew from 4,000 to 11,210 residents. With the construction of the I-81, residents were forced to move south with fewer resources. Residents nearest to the viaduct suffer tremendous health issues such as asthma due to the proximity of air pollution. By leaving a comment with NYCLU you can help to prevent further damage to the African American population that resides near the viaduct currently.
Below are images from the March on August 14th 2021.