Born February 4, 1913, Rosa Parks would become a leader of the civil rights movement. On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, she refused to vacate her seat on a public transportation bus for a white man. Her decision inspired the Black community of Montgomery to boycott buses for over a year. In 1956, a federal court deemed that bus segregation was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
When she later penned her autobiography, Parks wrote that though she had seen progress in her lifetime, there was still much work to be done in the way of racial justice.
Today, on her birthday, racial equity and progressive groups across the country are commemorating #TransitEquityDay. The effort promotes awareness of the inequities in public transit, which is frequently inaccessible and unaffordable. What’s more, to combat the climate crisis and air pollution that so often impacts Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities more than white communities, the United States must overhaul its current infrastructure and energy systems.
As it stands, transportation emissions are the leading contributor to climate change in the United States, so there is enormous potential to curb the country’s total …