In wake of George Floyd’s murder and its reverberations across the country, those of us in the climate movement must speak out against racial injustice.
We haven’t spoken loudly enough - or done enough to center voices of the marginalized - in the past. We have feared going out of our “lane” and too often compartmentalize climate action as its own issue. But our silence is wrong - and is part of the problem. Black, Indigenous and other communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis. The fight for racial justice must be central to the fight for climate justice.
Every day, we work to help our community cope with the impacts of the climate crisis, and to help build a safer future. In this work, we make choices about who to protect: the powerful and privileged, or the vulnerable and oppressed? We cannot stay silent about the racism and inequity that impacts these choices.
Now is the time to listen to and lift up Black voices who are calling for justice, and stand in solidarity with people of color to demand an end to racial violence. At Climate Smart Missoula, we recommit to working towards a just transition that prioritizes frontline communities, centering equity in our work, and to joining with our colleagues and community partners to do the same. Climate change and structural racism are inextricably linked, and we can’t address one without the other.
Abby, Caroline and Amy
NOTE: We don't have all the answers. We hope you're with us. We need you and everyone to build this world. Be in touch. Please consider supporting these Montana groups doing good work:
The Montana Racial Equity Project, Indian People's Action, Montana Human Rights Network
Recommendations from our friends from Soft Landing Missoula:
University of Montana African-American Studies Department- specifically consider donating to the Dianna Riley Fund to support the annual Black Solidarity Summit at UM. University of Montana Black Student Union- website and Facebook
Empower MT and YWCA Missoula- specifically donating to support the new joint position of their Racial Justice Engagement Specialist, Alex Kim. Again, The Montana Racial Equity Project
Additionally, many people from the BIPOC community around the nation have created incredible resources that they have painstakingly developed for the education of white people in this space. Figure out how you can financially support and donate to the work that you are finding value in. Resources for white people in this conversation have never been more easy to access. You can start here.