Share a message of solidarity with the Gulf Coast…

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             October 20, 2010

CONTACTS:  Anne Rolfes, (504) 452-4909, anne@labucketbrigade.org, Erik Hersman, (407) 427-0412 erik@ushahidi.com

Solidarity Campaign Launched on Six-Month Anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Explosion

New Orleans, LA – Six months after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed eleven workers, injured seventeen others, and triggered the largest marine oil spill in history, Gulf Coast residents are feeling forgotten. While communities in the region continue to face long-term economic and environmental impacts from the oil spill, international attention has shifted away from recovery efforts. Now an online solidarity campaign gives people around the world the chance to send messages of sympathy and support to Gulf Coast residents.

Louisiana Bucket Brigade, a grassroots environmental health and justice organization, is launching a solidarity campaign in collaboration with Ushahidi, an innovative platform for crowd-sourcing crisis information. The campaign builds on the Oil Spill Crisis Map (http://oilspill.labucketbrigade.org) that was implemented in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Powered by Ushahidi, the map was created for citizens of the Gulf Coast to speak out and give testimony about how the spill has threatened their communities. The interactive map displays reports of oil sightings, affected animals, odors, health effects, loss of livelihood and other impacts.

People who want to participate in the solidarity campaign are invited to watch an online video about Louisiana Bucket Brigade, then visit the Oil Spill Crisis Map, and post a personal message along with their location. The goal of the campaign is to populate the map with solidarity messages from around the world. To participate:

Watch the video here: http://www.labucketbrigade.org/article.php?id=685

Then post a message of support including your current location or hometown (city, state or province, country) via:

Twitter: using the hashtag #gcsolidarity (or #BPspillmap)

Text Message:  +1 504 272 7645 ((504) 27 27 OIL)

Email: bpspillmap@gmail.com

Or visit oilspill.labucketbrigade.org and “submit an incident”

Interview Opportunities:

Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Erik Hersman, Co-Founder of Ushahidi (contacts above)

About Louisiana Bucket Brigade

The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is an environmental health and justice organization supporting neighborhoods’ use of grassroots action to create informed, sustainable communities free from industrial pollution.

Please visit http://www.labucketbrigade.org for more information.

About Ushahidi

Ushahidi, which is Swahili for “testimony,” is an open-source platform that crowd-sources crisis information. The software was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, Ushahidi has been deployed in response to the earthquake in Haiti, wildfires in Russia, flooding in Pakistan and in many election observation projects around the world.

Please visit http://ushahidi.com for more information.

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