This is an open letter with resources from Women of Color Collective in Sustainability (WOC/CS), Kinetic Communities, and Latinos in Sustainability. We all stand in solidarity with protests demanding an end to police brutality, the dismantling of white supremacy and racial injustice. As part of the climate movement, we must do better and intentionally center our efforts in active anti-racist work while fighting for racial and climate justice. All institutions must be held accountable, and in the context of COVID19, organizations must look into building a recovery plan that is equitable, inclusive, and just.
If you or your organization is committed to driving a positive environmental impact, you must do better. Organizations must be publicly vocal about taking concrete steps to fight racial injustice in-house and as part of the environmental and climate movement at large. Consider how your organization’s executive leadership exemplifies Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. How are you supporting and retaining long-term black employees? Engage in environmental justice coalitions and broaden their message and policies. Put your money where your intention is by donating resources to organizations fighting racial injustice. Take an active stance in publishing articles and blogs about the intersectionalities of environment, health, privilege, and race. Continue to actively educate yourself and those around you on matters of social change, policy and enviro-climate impact on low-income communities. It takes more than a general statement to effect real change; you must do the work that comes with it. Take action. Lead.
Working within the energy sector, housing sector, education sector, we have all benefited in funding and program opportunities to support low- income communities. We cannot stay silent now. We cannot discuss our interest in integrating equity and sustainability practices throughout our professional circles, and stay quiet when we see inequality present itself. Black America is experiencing hate crimes, and are being assaulted every day physically, emotionally, and mentally. Business as usual is costing our communities their lives.
At WOC/CS Our mission remains the same. We exist to amplify the voices and presence of women of color who historically have been overlooked, under-appreciated and unrecognized by the sustainability industry and environmental movement. We celebrate the talents of WOC, create a community for them, and provide the necessary tools and resources to support their efforts in building their own tables to own decision-making power. This is why we know that centering the black women in this community is critical and required at this time.Our core, our community, is in distress. At a time when we are still processing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and environmental racism, we must bear witness and respond to another virus — one that has infected our institutions for over 400 years with grief, inequality, oppression, trauma, and injustice.
Kinetic Communities Consulting (KC3) is New York City’s first Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises social enterprise Benefit Corporation who advocates and implements strategic energy equity market transformations for diverse New York communities. By working with energy and affordable housing industry partners, KC3 coordinates, educates, and simplifies energy efficiency opportunities for existing affordable resident owners and operators with limited resources.
Latinos in Sustainability (LIS) was founded to bring together the Latin professional community working in Sustainability in NYC. We raise awareness about sustainability careers, highlight opportunities, and map out pathways for students and young green professionals.
LIS strongly believes that bringing POC into the sustainability space is crucial to elevating the conversations around equity and climate justice. As a diverse network, we are dedicated to intentionally uplifting and representing communities of color within this group as well as everywhere. As a multi-racial community, we understand that this group represents various ethnicities and races. As such, we must acknowledge our privilege, take responsibility, and advocate for a just future. Latinos in Sustainability will continue to seek opportunities to dismantle white supremacy and all those that endorse it personally and professionally.
In the last few days we’ve grieved together, we’ve fought wavelengths of despair and powerlessness, and now we are channeling our energy into identifying the best tools in support of Black Lives Matter. It’s time for all of us to take action and prioritize our commitment to anti-racist behaviors, policies, and work.
This active compilation of action-oriented resources comes from online publications, friends and sister-organizations devoted to fighting racism, educating, and promoting social change.
Check Out Safety Tips During Protests:
- Safety During Protests- Plan ahead: For essential needs, care and supplies. Know what to expect. Know how to get assistance. Plan for how to re-contact your buddies if separated
- How to protest safely during a pandemic (via VICE)
- Free flyer printing (via The Photocopy Club also here)
Understand Sustainability x Climate Movement Intersections:
- Intersectionality in some areas of the climate movement https://heated.world/p/the-climate-movements-silence
- Impacts of Environmental Racism. A Harvard study analyzing thousands of US counties confirms theon pollution in communities of color affirms what the environmental justice movement link between air pollution and COVID-19 fatalities is.
- Why Green Buildings are a Civil Rights Issue https://blackpressusa.com/op-ed-why-green-buildings-are-a-civil-rights-issue/
- Here’s Why Your Racial Equity Can’t Wait: Who Are You Really Serving?
Just as racism and White supremacy has been passed down in your DNA and disguised as “oh they weren’t qualified for the position”, “we all have biases” (that safe word) and microaggressions, we remember.
Educate Yourself and Others:
- Courageous Conversations — Glenn Singleton
- Critical Race Theory — Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic
- How to be an Anti-Racist — Ibram X. Kendi
- Me and White Supremacy — Layla F. Saad
- Putting Racism on Table Video Series created by the Washington Area Grantmakers
- So you want to talk about race? — Ijeoma Oluo
- The Color of Law — Richard Rothstein
- The Half That’s Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism — Edward Baptist
- Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements — Charlene A. Carruthers
- Ava DuVernay has launched ARRAY101, a companion to her Netflix series, “When They See Us” about New York’s Exonerated Five. The project provides learning materials to help viewers understand the prison system and systemic injustice.
- Learn the difference between being “not racist” and being “anti-racist.” Ibram X. Kendi’s “A House Still Divided” is a great place to start.
- There are some incredible resources out there. Start with Corrine Shutack’s “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.” Number 38 on the list? De-colonize your bookshelf. Here’s a good place to start:
- “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander.
- “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race” by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
- “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo.
- “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
- What is Systematic Racism? — an easy-to-understand video series
- “History of Racist US Laws” and their effects throughout American History
- “The Case for Reparations”
- The Road Not Taken — Housing and Criminal Justice 50 Years After the Kerner Commission Report
- “Social Exclusion: The Decisions and Dynamics that Drive Racism”
- “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror”
- How to Stop Police Violence (Twitter Thread)
- Educational Resources via Black Lives Matter
- Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
- Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
- Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
- How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- Raising Our Hands by Jenna Arnold
- Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
- Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century
by Grace Lee Boggs
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga
- When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
- The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
- Women, Race, & Class
- ”My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas | NYT Mag (June 22, 2011)
- “The Intersectionality Wars” by Jane Coaston | Vox (May 28, 2019)
- ”White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Knapsack Peggy McIntosh
- “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic (May 12, 2020)
Listen to these Podcasts:
- Pod Save the People
- Parenting Forward podcast episode ‘Five Pandemic Parenting Lessons with Cindy Wang Brandt’
- Fare of the Free Child podcast
- The View From Somewhere podcast
- 1619 (New York Times)
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White
- The Nod
- About Race
- Seeing White
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Here to Slay
- What a Day
Watch These Videos:
- Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Carruthers (50:48)
- “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion” | Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools (18:26)
Follow These Organizations on Social Media:
- Diana Richardson Instagram
- Antiracism Center: Twitter
- Black Women’s Blueprint: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Color Of Change: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Colorlines: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Conscious Kid: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Equal Justice Initiative (EJI): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- MPowerChange: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- NAACP: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- RAICES: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- SisterSong: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
- United We Dream: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
IF YOU CAN, DONATE:
- #BlackLivesMatter is working to stop the violence inflicted on Black communities through organization, education and voter registration.
- Let Us Breathe Fund was created in the wake of the murder of Eric Garner. They provide funds to Black and mulitracial organizations fighting structural violence and racism in New York City.
- Black Youth Project 100 is a national organization of Black 18–35 year olds working towards racial justice through direct-action organizing, advocacy and political education.
- Dream Defenders is a group of young people working towards a future of safety away from the prison system. They have many initiatives, including a trauma center and a campaign to push for bail reform.
- Color Of Change is working to hold the officers who killed George Floyd accountable and fighting for a visionary platform to stop the killing of Black people. Sign their petition and get involved here.
- Black Voters Matter Fund seeks to increase the power of Black communities, particularly in the South, through voter registration and advocating for policies to expand voting rights/access. Learn more and donate here.
- Black Futures Lab works directly with Black people to transform their communities, build Black political power and change the way that power operates locally, statewide, and nationally. You can support their efforts here.
- The Black Male Voter Project is building a movement that encourages black men to regularly and actively engage in the electoral process. Donate to the Black Male Voter Project by clicking here.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund
- Nationwide Bail Fund
- I Run With Maud
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- The Marshall Project — nonprofit criminal justice journal
- Center For Racial Justice
- Campaign Zero — policy solutions to end police violence
- Loveland Foundation
- Reclaim the Block
- The Bail Project
- The Liberty Fund
- Reclaim the Block
- Campaign Zero
- Unicorn Riot
Sign These Petitions:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
- Justice for Belly Mujinga
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
Check Out These June Events:
- Members of the Black, Puerto Rican Hispanic and Asian legislative Caucus Call for Policing Reform. June 4th 3:00pm https://bphacaucus.com/join-us
- What We Must Do to Dismantle White Supremacy. Join 350.org’s webinar to hear from our US team, partners and frontline organizers about ways you can show up in this moment. Time Jun 4, 2020 08:00 PM in Register here to join.
- Hip Hop as Design Justice Open Call for Submissions and Interview. Join The Hip Hop Architecture team and guests, including Lupe Fiasco. Call For Submissions Launch: Saturday, June 6 submissions Due: Friday, June 19, 2020 (8pm EST)Register here to Join.
- It’s ok to have your earth shattered: White Fragility, White Allyship, and White Saviors on Tuesday, June 9th @ 1:00–2:00 PT/3:00–4:00 CT /4:00–5:00 ET What roles does whiteness play in your life? At the request of folks of color we are hosting a space for white folks to reflect and develop our tools for showing up in solidarity, as allies/co-conspirators in multi-racial spaces. Register here to join the white caucus space on June 9th.
- People of Color/People of the Global Majority (POC/PGM) Caucus Next Session will be Tuesday June 16th @ 11:00 AM-12:00 PT/1:00–2:00 CT/2:00–3:00 ET
- Please join UPROSE as they hold a New York State Assembly Member Candidate Debate for District 51 on Wednesday, June 17th at 6 PM. We will be discussing Climate, Environmental, Economic Justice, and more. Register here to join.
- Brave Conversation topic: Climate Resilience. Session 3: Climate Resilience on Thursday, June 25 @ 10:00 AM-11:30 AM PT/12:00–1:30 CT/1:00–2:30 ET (90 Minutes) Co-Facilitators: Jamal Lewis, Marissa Rameriz, MaKara Rumley
Climate resilience is critical to address health and wealth disparities that exist today, especially in black and Latinx communities nationwide. RSVP here.
Don’t forget to Self Care:
- Inclusive Therapist Directory: Reduced Fee Teletherapy
- Rest for Resistance
- 80 Awesome Mental Health Resources When You Can’t Afford a Therapist
- 5–4–3–2–1 Coping Technique for Anxiety
- Mental Health Resources — via Mental Health First Aid
- Find a Crisis Center near you