For Immediate Release, September 24, 2019
Contact: Amy Gray, 719-650-0259, email@example.com
Julia Williams, (970) 948-1439, firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s with the Dresses on the 16th Street Mall? Indigenous Leaders Speak out on Violence
Despite vandalism to the installation, activists to host art tour and press conference on climate justice
DENVER – The International Indigenous Youth Council in partnership with the Colorado Climate Strike Coalition are presenting an art installation in Denver on the 16th Street Mall from Sept. 19-29 to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous, Black, and Migrant Womxn and Children.
After the project was installed last Thursday, dozens of dresses were intentionally ripped down overnight. Despite the vandalism, Indigenous leaders and climate activists will host a walking tour and press conference tomorrow on the 16th Street Mall at 10:30 a.m.
“In light of the dresses being ripped from a public platform bringing crucial awareness to this issue, we realize that Denver and the nation have a responsibility to recognize that social justice and environmental justice are intertwined to the very foundation of our lands. We will not be silenced or intimidated from addressing this issue or any injustice against our Womxn and children,” said Renee Millard-Chacon of Womxn from the Mountain.
Red and black dresses are displayed around the mall with the names and ages of missing and murdered individuals. Red dresses represent the Indigenous and Migrant individuals currently missing or murdered, including detained individuals in Colorado GEO facilities. Black dresses represent Black Womxn who have been murdered while in police custody.
The installation is a part of the Colorado Climate Strike Week of Action, which launched Friday with a mass strike in Denver that drew crowds of over 7,500 participants. The project examines the ways in which social justice issues including ecological degradation, systemic racism, economic inequality are deeply interlinked; connected by the same root causes of systemic exploitation of people and planet.
Press Conference/Walking Tour Details:
When: Tuesday, Sept. 24th at 10:30 a.m.
Where: Meet at – 1701 Wynkoop Street , Denver (in-front of: Wynkoop Plaza Fountain)
“The Colorado climate justice community stands firm behind the belief that social justice is tantamount to climate justice. We don’t live single issue lives, and this is not a single issue movement. We are building a mass, multigenerational, multiracial movement for climate justice to address the root causes, not just the symptoms,” said Amy Gray of 350 Colorado.
“Respecting the sacred is the key to connecting to our humanity and our indigeneity again, but most of all, it has the ability to transform our whole world again,” said Renee Millard-Chacon of Womxn from the Mountain.
“I strike today to give back for the ones who walked before us, and for those who will walk after me. If it wasn’t for my ancestors fighting for me to be here today, I wouldn’t be able to fight for those who will walk after me,” said Micaela Iron Shell-Dominguez (IIYC, Women of Color in Solidarity).
“When we examine what we are doing to the earth we cannot ignore what we are doing to our Womxn. What we are doing to our Womxn we are doing to the Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth,” said Thomas Lopez, International Indigenous Youth Council.
Supporting Organizations of the Colorado Climate Strike Week of Action
11th Hour Calling
500 Women Scientists
Be the Change USA
Boundless in Motion and Boulder Ecodharma Sangha
Catholic Network US
Center for Biological Diversity
Clean Energy Action
Climate Courage, LLC
Climate Reality Project
Colorado Coalition for a Livable Climate
Colorado Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
Colorado Renewable Energy Society
Denver Metro Sierra Club
Earth Focus Group
Earth Guardians – Boulder & CO Climate Strikes
Extinction Rebellion Boulder County
Extinction Rebellion Denver
Extinction Rebellion Fort Collins
Food & Water Watch
Fort Collins Sustainability Group
Global Greengrants Fund Inc
International Indigenous Youth Council – Denver
Keep Colorado Green
Moms Clean Air Force
Mothers Out Front- Colorado
North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)
Patagonia – Denver & Boulder Stores
Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission
Protect Our Winters
Renewables Now Loveland
Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center
Sunrise – Boulder/Denver
Sunrise – Colorado Springs
The Climate Mobilization
The Wilderness Society
Wall of Women Colorado
What the Frack? Arapahoe
Wind & Solar Denver
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Greeley Chapter
Womxn’s March Denver