Our blog is a place to educate. We’ve written about everything from DIY facemasks to organic bamboo certifications. However, we have never talked about the intersection of racism and environmentalism. It is not a big jump.
Today, we’re taking a different approach, putting aside comfort until it is available to all. It’s time we forget educating and get educated. So we’re turning over the mic.
The quotes below address the intersection of racism and environmentalism. They are words from leaders of large organizations as well as BIPOC Gen Z activists. They are words that are inspiring action. And we invite you to join us, to get inspired, and to act.
“The truth is you can’t talk about diversity in the outdoors without talking about politics, since politics is a big reason why the outdoors look the way they do. From the park system’s inception, Jim Crow laws and Native American removal campaigns limited access to recreation by race. From the mountains to the beaches, outdoor leisure was often accompanied by the words whites only. The repercussions for disobedience were grave.”
– Rahawa Haile, an Eritrean American writer whose work has appeared in Pacific Standard, Brooklyn Magazine, and Buzzfeed. This is an exert from an article she wrote in Outside magazine about her trek along the Appalachian Trail.
“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
– Arundhati Roy, Author and political activist involved in human rights and environmental causes.
“[I] noticed that almost all climate information is available only in English [even though] climate change is an issue that disproportionately affects people of color.”
— Sophia Kianni, Executive Director of Climate Cardinals
“My sport is activism. When I became a climate activist I no longer found the time to do gymnastics, or be part of a school sport. But then I realized that when I run around the city to make it to meetings, when I strike, and walk, and jump…that is sport. As activists we can redefine what sport is, and we are already doing this every time we stand up for a cause! We can push the limit of what sport means through our lives and experiences!”
–Xiye Bastida, Climate Justice Advocate
“Hopping on here to remind you that the arctic circle reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday for the FIRST time in recorded history ⚠️ we are in a climate emergency. Also a reminder that the United States PAYS fossil fuel companies around $20 billion a year in subsidies to keep them afloat. In other words, our government is paying these companies to ruin the planet and poison mostly black and brown communities. We deserve so much more than this. Get involved and demand a better future.”
– @Summer, Climate Advocate and Writer
“Environmental justice is the intersection of both social justice and environmentalism, where the inequity in environmental degradation is also considered.”
–Leah Thomas, An intersectional environmental activist and eco-communicator, Founder of Intersectional Environmentalist.
“At its core, sustainability is an unlearning of white supremacy and colonial values that are rooted in the exploitation of the land and labor of BIPOC communities.”
–Aditi Mayer, Photojournalist and Decolonizing Fashion & Sustainability activist
“How will we create a new world where the earth and all her people thrive if we are only listening to voices from the most powerful group of people? Even if we manage to halt the rising emissions and climate change, if we don’t subvert white privilege and other oppressive structures won’t we just end up with the same issues as we have now?”
– Mikaela Loach, Climate Justice & Antiracism Activist
We know that this is just the beginning. We will continue to use our platform to amplify BIPOC voices. We may make mistakes, but make no mistake about this; we are here for the movement and not the moment. And above all else, BLACK LIVES MATTER.