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Celebrating Black History Month with Black Climate Week

24th February 2022 Climate Group 3 min read

Black Climate Week (February 21-25) is an annual event hosted by The Solutions Project designed to raise the profile of Black voices in climate. Equity, justice and centering of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) voices across climate conversations and action is becoming increasingly common. At Climate Group, we’re proud to offer a platform through Climate Week NYC where anyone can engage in building critical climate solutions. Our goal is a world of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, with greater prosperity for all. 

Last year, The Solutions Project, nonprofit based in Oakland, CA, launched the first-ever Black Climate Week in part to draw attention to the under-representation of climate justice leaders of color at Climate Week NYC. In response, we acknowledged the issue and invited The Solutions Project to serve as our official Climate Week NYC Environmental Justice Program Partner in 2021 to be more inclusive and amplify the voices of frontline leaders of color. 

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This year, we’re honored to commemorate Black History Month alongside The Solutions Project. Black Climate Week 2022 is celebrating the work of organizations that are spearheading climate justice solutions rooted in Black history. If you’re interested in learning more, The Solutions Project has curated the Black Climate Week 2022 reading list with an emphasis on awareness, visibility and education.  

Gloria Walton, President and CEO of The Solutions Project says, "I'm proud to see Black Climate Week highlight leaders and organizations who continue to create Black history and reimagine Black futures every day by innovating solutions that are rooted in intergenerational learning and wisdom. Black communities have always had a deep connection with the land and are caretakers of the planet. We are often the most impacted by the climate crisis, but this also means that we are at the forefront of intersectional climate justice solutions that improve environmental conditions, create good green jobs, and address systemic changes across the board." 

Explore some of Black Climate Week’s 2022 honorees:

  • The Descendants Project, led by Joy Banner, the Descendants Project focuses on environmental justice through land stewardship that includes fighting against polluting industries in the region of Louisiana known as "cancer alley." 

  • Blacks in Green, led by founder and CEO Naomi Davis, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit born to reinvent the bygone "communeconomy" of her childhood era by harnessing the new green economy. She sees the age of the climate crisis as the perfect environment for solving racial disparity, especially by investing in neighborhoods where black families walk to work, walk to shop, walk to learn, and walk to play; neighborhood dollars circulate to fertilize self-interests; greenhouse gasses are reduced; and the household income of residents is measurably increased.  

  • Soulardarity's Executive Director Shimekia Nichols leads the energy justice movement in Highland Park, Michigan, a once-thriving small city surrounded on all sides by Detroit that has endured decades of disinvestment despite its history of innovation. Shimekia and her team are pushing for policies and adopting technologies designed to move the city to 100% community-owned clean energy, starting with installing solar-powered and Wi-Fi enabled streetlights to replace streetlights that the utility DTE Energy repossessed in 2011. 

  • The Fields at Rootsprings is a wellness and retreat center owned by three lesbian couples of color after the land was transferred to them by the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls. The center, which sits on 36 acres in rural Minnesota, serves as a place of rest and rejuvenation for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and LGBTQ activists, writers, and artists engaged in climate issues and social justice.