The climate and social justice movements are inextricably linked, and our vision of resilient communities with equitable solutions to climate change is only possible if we continue to advocate for the health, safety, opportunity, and basic human rights of all people. I hope you take the time to read our recent Accountability Now statement. In this moment, I am choosing to lead with compassion and unwavering conviction for equity and justice.
We’re living in a time with four overlapping crises: economic, social, public health, and of course, climate. The solutions to these are interconnected, just as the problems themselves are.
The same systemic racism driving police brutality also underlies the racial disparities of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis—both of which have hit people of color and African Americans specifically, first and worst. This same system drives the disproportionate vulnerabilities to the devastating consequences of climate change; indeed, the climate crisis is here, it’s just not evenly distributed.
As an organization founded by a white man, we know we can never escape the privilege on which we were built. Instead of hiding it we choose to lean into it, leveraging our privilege to bring Black and Brown voices to the decision-making table to ensure that intersectional issues not often connected to climate change are heard and acted upon.
I know we are part of the problem, but I recommit that we will be part of the solution. Here are some immediate ways we are integrating an equity lens and anti-racism approach across our organization and programs:
- Supporting staff with Intercultural Development Inventory assessments which focuses on building intercultural competence;
- Elevating Black voices and storytellers across programs, including upcoming EYEWITNESS workshops and book club;
- Supporting Black-owned businesses through vendor relationships;
- Creating resources for educators, ensuring that the language we use in our educational materials is inclusive, and elevating the voices of Black educators and youth, with a focus on our upcoming Stay-In-stitute. We invite you to tune into our keynote speaker, Kelisa Wing, author and anti racism educator.
I hope you will join us as we participate in the nationwide Poor People’s Campaign on June 20th to create a more just, equitable, participatory world and to end racism, poverty, environmental degradation and militarism. We also are hosting our second virtual trivia event benefiting frontline organizations on June 23.
Thank you for showing up and joining us. We need every voice and every body.
Nicole Rom, Executive Director