Racism has had a deeply damaging and divisive effect on everyone. It shapes and perpetuates the inequities of our society. It has become part of our social institutions. Unless we address racism, it is replicated in any solutions we develop. Understanding and healing the effects of racism on us as individuals is a necessary step in creating a movement that can sustain all life and restore the environment.
In this workshop, we will learn about the development and maintenance of racism, examine the effects of historic and systemic racism on individual lives, interpersonal connections, relationships, and the climate movement. We will also examine manifestations of racism in the environmental movement and the global response to the climate emergency and learn the approaches used by Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism to heal from the damage of oppression, increase our effectiveness in the climate justice movement, and prevent burnout. 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 ineffectively 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. SAL and UER are projects of and use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling, which currently exists in 95 countries.
This event is part of the Health, Equality and Justice program of Climate Week NYC.