On Wednesday, 350.org came out in solidarity with those in Ferguson, Missouri who are protesting the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown and called on the rest of the climate movement to do the same. This courageous witness is very much in keeping with EcoFaith Recovery’s own Anti-Oppression statement, and so we are proud to be able to cross-post 350.org‘s letter to our blog.
We weren’t sure exactly how to write this email.
Like many of you, we’ve been doing a whole lot of reading, listening, and reflecting over the past week, and we feel like this is an important thing for us to say (even if it’s not the kind of thing you’re used to hearing from us):
350.org stands in solidarity with those in Ferguson, Missouri protesting the shooting of unarmed black teenager Mike Brown — and we call on the climate movement to stand with us. We believe unequivocally that working for racial justice is a crucial part of fighting climate change.
Communities of color and poor communities are hit first and hardest by the impacts of a climate system spiraling out of control. From those impacted by Hurricane Katrina nearly a decade ago, to the New York neighborhoods that bore the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, to whole towns in the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan just last year — these communities are on the front lines of our fight in a very real way. If their voices are not part of this movement, then this movement will not succeed.
Movements for justice in the U.S. are often fractured, and powerful interests — like the fossil fuel industry — try their hardest to make those divisions wider. Choosing to stand together is one of the most important choices we can make. In this moment, that means being frank about the ongoing legacy of racial injustice in our country.
We want to honor the work of grassroots racial justice organizers around the country, and we’ve asked some of them for guidance on how folks in the climate movement can show their support. Here are two things you can do:
If you would like to donate to the family of Mike Brown or racial justice organizers working in Missouri, click here to get connected. Reading more about allyship and solidarity is also helpful — this blog post from my colleague Deirdre Smith is a good place to start.
The tensions and inequalities now dividing our world make fighting climate change so much more challenging, even as climate change threatens to deepen those tensions and divide our movements. Here at 350.org, we care deeply about confronting the climate crisis — and we also care that fossil fuels impact the air we breathe, the stability of our communities, and the ability of families to plan for their futures. We seek big, bold solutions to the climate crisis, and that takes a big, bold movement.
One way we’re building that big movement is through the People’s Climate March, which we’ve been working hard on for the past couple of months. As part of that process, we’ve had the opportunity to work with more people of color and people of color led organizations. We’re grateful for their partnership, and for the partnership of others in the climate movement who are speaking out and making these connections.
And, as ever, we are grateful to be part of building a compassionate movement with all of you.
May & 350.org‘s U.S. team
350.org is building a global climate movement. Become a sustaining donor to keep this movement strong and growing.
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