People in frontline communities are already affected by climate change and we need to hear their stories, most of which are never reported in the media. This “open forum” welcomes people from developing nations and oppressed communities to speak from their personal experience on how their countries and communities are being impacted by climate change now. Hear directly from the people being most seriously harmed. Participants get a chance to fully understand and relate to others. Everyone will have a chance to process and share their own story through paired listening exchanges. Sharing experiences is a powerful tool that strengthens our activism. It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the environment, but some very large changes in our economy and the lives we live are needed for this to happen. Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) believe the environmental crisis cannot be resolved without ending racism, genocide toward Indigenous peoples, classism, sexism, and other oppressions. We believe that the barriers to building a large and powerful movement sufficient to make the needed changes include (1) longstanding divisions (caused by oppression, and especially racism and classism) between nations and between groups of people, (2) widespread feelings of discouragement and powerlessness, (3) denial of or failure to engage with the escalating damage to the earth’s climate, and (4) difficulties in effectively addressing the connections between the environmental crisis and the failures of our economic system. The mental and emotional harm done to us by oppression and other hurtful experiences interferes with our ability to think clearly and sets groups of people against each other. In SAL and UER we have learned that it is possible to free ourselves from these hurts and address barriers to effective organizing. By taking turns listening to each other and encouraging emotional release, people can heal from the mental and emotional harm and become better able to think, speak out, and organize and lead others in building a sustainable world. SAL and UER are projects of and use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling, which currently exists in 95 countries.
Climate Emergency: Impact on Frontline Communities
Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism
4 West 43rd St, Blue Room, New York, NY 10036
Host Contact Details