2016 Program: Environmental Justice
The struggle continues at Standing Rock. join a discussion on what's at stake, what's happening on the ground, and how you can still build solidarity.
What is happening at the intersection of race, climate, and economy? What does it look like to address race explicitly while advancing community-driven solutions to the climate crisis? As we enter the hottest months in recorded history, Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander and working class white communities in the US and globally are not only on the frontlines of the climate crisis – they are also at the leading edge of the growing climate justice movement. “Frontline communities” are the peoples living directly alongside fossil-fuel pollution and extraction—overwhelmingly Indigenous Peoples, Black, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander peoples in working class, poor, and peasant communities in the US and around the world. In climate disruption and extreme weather events, we are hit first and worst. In this interactive workshop, people will explore deep democracy approaches to communities defining their own resilience models and climate solutions, addressing race explicitly in climate resilience planning, linking economic and ecological justice through a racial justice frame, and tapping into the ecological and cultural wisdom of communities of color to transform our cities. Join leaders from the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and the Movement Strategy Center in an interactive discussion that will build on local, regional, national, and global campaigns to draw out lessons and sharpen our collective vision of Just Transition from the extractive economy to local living economies.
The Flint water crisis represents the worst possible intersection of racial and economic inequality as well as political exploitation and corruption in the United States. But the story doesn’t end and begin with Flint. Across the country we are witnessing water shut offs in Detroit and Baltimore and contaminated water in Alabama’s Blackbelt region. We’re seeing radioactive water in New Mexico and devastating droughts in California. And despite the national embarrassment of government’s handling of Hurricane Katrina, several cities including Tampa, Miami, Sacramento and New York City are all at risk of falling to the same fate. Low-income communities of color across the country are in a full-blown state of emergency. Despite facing particularly devastating conditions brought on by a toxic mix of criminal level neglect at the hands of government and the commodification of water, too often voices of color are left out of crucial conversations about climate change and environmental justice policies. Despite this, our communities have and continue to organize for change and find innovative ways to care for and uplift our people. This workshop will feature examples of the innovative ways activists and communities are dealing with the national water crisis. The goal is to have a highly interactive, cross-region conversation in which people can plug in to local-to-national organizing efforts and incorporate an intersectional approach to talking about water rights, access and infrastructure.