Racial and socioeconomic justice are key to climate action in every realm.
Privilege, power, and oppression play an integral role in deciding who is most impacted by climate change: Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color and migrant communities. The Environmental Justice program is a dedicated space to amplify the voices and stories of those who bear the brunt of climate impacts, but have been left out of the decision making. It means learning from and letting the most vulnerable communities lead, and centering environmental justice in all climate conversations.
Here are some resources to help you learn more:
African-Americans are 75 percent more likely than others to live near facilities that produce hazardous waste. This piece offers a look at how Black communities shoulder a disproportionate burden of the nation’s pollution and how a neighborhood in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of Philadelphia fought back.
The effort to stop a massive mine project in Bristol Bay, Alaska, has been a decades-long fight for the region’s Indigenous People. Five tribal leaders share their experiences and discuss how salmon sustains the people, the economy, the ecosystem, and their culture.
Gloria Walton, President and CEO of The Solution's Project, writes about the front-line communities in our dirty-energy economy: "These communities aren’t just sitting on the sidelines. They are building power and enacting some of the most cost-effective and creative solutions to address the consequences of the climate crisis. They are implementing climate solutions in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions, while creating good jobs and addressing other community needs in the process. These are exactly the “disadvantaged communities” where the Justice40 Initiative’s benefits should flow."
"Many of the places that have been dealt the harshest blow by COVID-19 are simultaneously dealing with other serious threats to residents’ well-being. Even under the cover of the pandemic, environmental rollbacks and pipeline plans continue to threaten the health of people of color." Five environmental justice leaders and Grist Fixers provide their takes on addressing the compounded threats of racial injustice, climate change, and COVID-19.
Pipelines run through lakes, rivers, aquifers, and waterways, endangering the ecosystems and communities in their paths and fueling the climate crisis. Earthjustice has spent decades challenging pipelines as a legal partner for communities whose right to clean air, safe drinking water, and unspoiled lands are being denied by the harmful excesses of the fossil fuel industry — and together, we are growing stronger.
Throughout the video’s progression, friends of Intersectional Environmentalist unpack the vital contributions that Black, Indigenous, and people of color have made to the environmental movement. Their goal is to support these often-overlooked narratives and the original stewards of our lands; encourage folks to reclaim their relationships with nature; and amplify initiatives that are creating a more just, equitable future for all people and the planet.
Communities for a Better Environment does critical work on environmental justice and empowers Californian communities to stand up to polluting industries and build a green energy future. This short film highlights the hope and tenacity of the young activists of Wilmington, California as they push the Los Angeles City Council to prohibit new and existing oil and gas drilling operations within 2,500 feet of homes, schools and hospitals.
Thanks to strong science and grassroots opposition that started in Bristol Bay and permeated communities nationwide, the proposed Pebble mine faced challenges that ultimately led to the denial of its key federal permit in November 2020. Now, we focus on the future. We need your help to secure community-supported, long-term protections so that Pebble- or any other mining company- cannot threaten the people, fish, and fish-based resources of the region again. Please take action today using this form.
Native Land’s mission is to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see the history of their countries and peoples. They hope to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning. Native Land's strives to map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world in a way that goes beyond colonial ways of thinking in order to better represent how Indigenous people want to see themselves.
The climate crisis is much more complex and intertwined with many injustices and social inequities. From food insecurity and hazardous pollution to crippling natural disasters, the negative impacts of the environmental crisis affect people of color at much higher rates than other communities
1% for the Planet outlined a list of nonprofit organizations that you can donate your time and money to, that work at the pivotal intersection of race and the environment. These organizations work on a range of issues from food insecurity and urban agriculture, to representation in the outdoors and leadership in climate advocacy.
Those most targeted by these unjust practices are also on the front lines of more powerful storms and floods, intense heat waves, deadly wildfires, devastating droughts, and other threats from the climate crisis. Now is the time for bold and concrete solutions to rebuild our country in a sustainable and equitable way.