Against the  backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately harmed and killed African Americans, this nation has witnessed horrific instances of systemic racism manifested most recently in the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. These are not isolated tragedies, they represent centuries of systemic racism continuously inflicting harm on the lives and livelihoods of black people in this country.

The loss of life through acts of violence and racism continue to fuel feelings of anger, hopelessness, frustration, and calls for action throughout our communities. We stand in support of those who are doing the critical work of advancing racial justice and equity in our country.

We recognize that the disproportionate COVID-19 deaths of African-Americans, recent egregious, unjust killing of black men and women, and the disproportionate burden of the issues we, as an environmental community, care about is falling on communities of color in the U.S. and around the world. Racial justice is therefore inherently tied to, and at the center of, our mission and work. The climate crisis is not, and never has been, isolated from other systems of oppression, specifically the systemic racism that overburdens our communities, most insidiously, African Americans.

We believe Black Lives Matter, and stand in support of those who are doing the critical work of advancing racial justice and equity in our country. We are taking action today, by donating to Color of Change, and are committed to understanding how justice and equity can best be addressed from within our organization, and how we show up as colleagues and active participants in the environmental justice movement.

Everyone has the right to live free from the fear of violence. Climate XChange advocates that we ensure our future generations will thrive by joining in efforts to end racial oppression and the systems that sustain it. To help reach that end, we have compiled (and will continue to update) this list of resources to increase knowledge and assist in uncovering bias and ways in which we can all take part in dismantling these oppressive systems. 

In solidarity,

The Climate XChange Team

African American Climate Leaders to Follow:

Mary Annaïse Heglar, Author and Co-host of @RealHotTake Podcast

Ayana Johnson, Marine Biologist & Founder of Ocean Collective

Vanessa Nakate, Youth Climate Activist

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Minister, Founder of Hip Hop Caucus, and co-host of Think 100%, a podcast on climate justice

Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Pastor and Climate Activist

Mustafa Santiago Ali, VP of Environmental Justice, Climate, & Community at National Wildlife Federation

Jacqui Patterson, Environmental and Climate Justice Director at NAACP

Robert Bullard, Sociologist and ‘father of environmental justice’

Mychal Johnson, community organizer in the South Bronx in New York City. As the co-founder of South Bronx Unite, he is working with community members to care for a neighborhood coping with decades of pollution and neglect. 

Adrienne Hollis,  scientist and environmental lawyer who serves as the lead climate justice analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists, and teaches law at American University and public health at George Washington University.

Movies

13th (Netflix)

American Son (Netflix)

See You Yesterday (Netflix)

The Hate U Give (Hulu)

When They See Us (Netflix)

Do The Right Thing (Youtube)

Moonlight (Prime)

If Beale Street Could Talk (Prime)