This has been a hard and powerful month. We are seeing structural injustices and white supremacy violence magnified and at the same time seeing our communities powerfully come together in support of racial justice and Black lives. Below is a statement from the Climate Alliance Governance Board calling for racial justice, accountability, and an end to structural racism and state-sponsored violence. We call on all our supporters who are devoted to fighting the climate crisis to be every bit as active in dismantling institutional racism and taking antiracist efforts in your communities.
Climate Alliance Board #BlackLivesMatter Statement:
“The Climate Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, Washington state’s diverse climate coalition, stands in solidarity with Black communities, all communities of color, and those who are grappling with the pain and shock of yet another outrageous act of state violence that took a Black person’s life. The brutal killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, the racist 911 call against Christian Cooper, a bird-watcher in Central Park, and the many other blatant acts of white supremacist violence this month compels us to speak out against ongoing racial injustice. We know these are not one-time events. Rather, daily we are witness to structural injustice and white supremacy violence that is hundreds of years in the making with our history of colonialism, slavery, redlining, disinvestment, police brutality, and discrimination.
As an intersectional climate coalition, we know that we cannot achieve climate justice without racial, social, and economic justice. We also recognize that we cannot fight climate change without being anti-racist. Therefore, our society’s solutions must actively work to replace the current racist system with one that repairs past injustice. For those of us who work with historically white-led organizations and within a historically white-led movement, we must also do the anti-racist work internally by taking appropriate steps to ensure diversity of boards and staff, institutionalizing racial justice frameworks into our decision-making processes, and ensuring that black-led and people of color-led organizations have equitable access to financial and institutional resources in our shared movement.
We uplift the leadership of the Black-led organizations and individuals calling for racial justice and we remain committed to confronting and undoing structural racism, uplifting the voices and decision making power of communities of color and black communities, and pushing for solutions that invest our communities most impacted by structural racism, pollution, and the climate crisis.“
On behalf of the Climate Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy Coalition:
Deric Gruen, Co-Executive Director, Front & Centered
Paulina Lopez, Executive Director, Duwamish River Clean-up Coalition
Oskar Zambrano, Director of Civic Engagement and Advocacy, Latino Community Fund
Rich Stolz, Executive Director, OneAmerica
Edgar Franks, Political and Campaign Director, Familias Unidas Por la Justicia
Faye Guenther, President, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 21
Larry Brown, President, Washington State Labor Council
Mark Riker, Executive Secretary, Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council
Alyssa Macy, CEO, Washington Environmental Council/Washington Conservation Voters
Alex Hudson, Executive Director, Transportation Choices Coalition
Gregg Small, Executive Director, Climate Solutions
Mike Stevens, State Director, The Nature Conservancy – Washington
Ways to take anti-racist action:
- Learn/share about structural racism and take anti-racist action
- FuseWA: “A Message for White Progressives”
- The Correspondent: “The Climate Crisis is Racist, the Answer is Anti-racism”
- Teen Vogue: “Beyond the Hashtag: How to Take Anti-Racist Action In your Life”
- Mashable: “How to be Anti-racist”
- The Washington Post: “I’m a black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet“
- Learn about and support Black-led organizations at the forefront of this work
- Donate what you can to the following bailout funds and organizations that are leading this work
- Black Visions Collective – A Black, trans and queer-led organization committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence, and shifting public narrative to create transformative, long-term change
- Reclaim the Block – Minnesota coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund – Minnesota based organization that pays criminal bail and immigration bonds for folks who have been arrested protesting police brutality.
- Black Lives Matter Seattle Freedom Fund – The funds collected will go to the immediate release of people protesting the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Manuel Ellis in Seattle/King County.
Coalition Director, Climate Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy
(featured photo credit: Fibonacci Blue, Flickr)