Today, a Black person in our country is more likely than the average White person to be incarcerated and die at the hands of police, breathe polluted air, drink polluted water, and die from COVID-19. They are more likely to lack access to healthcare, good housing and jobs, well-funded schools, parks, and a social safety net. This grim reality also holds true in our own region.
This reality has been and continues to be shaped by exploitative practices. Chronic under-investment in communities of color and police brutality are symptoms of the systemic racism that has been ingrained in governments, financial institutions, companies, and society for far too long. We must dismantle these systems of oppression that limit the abilities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities to pursue safe, healthy, and thriving lives.
We also recognize that the disparities and disproportionate impacts that BIPOC communities face will be further exacerbated by the accelerating impacts of climate change. As a network dedicated to building climate resilience, we know that we cannot achieve our goals without racial justice and equity. A resilient society is one in which everyone is able to breathe.
We stand in solidarity with the ongoing fight for human rights that have been shamefully denied to Black and Indigenous communities in this country and in our region as a result of systemic and structural racism. During this time of learning, healing, and mobilizing, we invite you to join us to inform concrete actions that CRC can take.
Resources and further reading:
- Extinction Rebellion Chicago’s 4-week online training on non-violent, directed action (7/11 – 8/1)
- Why Every Environmentalist Should Be Anti-Racist (Leah Thomas)
- “I’m a black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet.” / B-side of her essay (Dr. Ayana Johnson)
- Climate Activists: Here’s Why Your Work Depends on Ending Police Violence (Dany Sigwalt)
- Racism Is Killing the Planet (Hop Hopkins)
- A Green New Deal architect explains how the protests and climate crisis are connected (MIT Technology Review)
- Omission of air pollution from report on Covid-19 and race ‘astonishing’ (Guardian)