As Black History Month winds down, the EcoWomen National Board would like to take the opportunity to celebrate the Black community for continuing to make the world a better place. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan has pushed for the agency to place greater importance on environmental justice (see video). The AP African American Studies course is being piloted in select high schools, and will, hopefully, help many students in the U.S. have a more well-rounded and historically accurate education.
As is often the case, Black leaders in the U.S. continue to be at the forefront of advocating for essential issues, such as environmental protection inequity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. As the ‘father of environmental justice’, Dr. Robert D. Bullard notes, “Environmental justice embraces the principle that all people and communities have a right to equal protection and equal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations” and “reducing environmental, health, economic and racial disparities is a major priority of the Environmental Justice Movement.” Dr. Bullard’s site also lists a number of organizations doing environmental justice work.
A few individuals and organizations that Ecowomen would like to highlight are:
*sorted alphabetically by last name
Dr. Suzanne Pierre, an ecosystem ecologist and founder of the Critical Ecology Lab, which explores the intersections of environmental change and human inequality. Listen to her on the Ologies podcast!
With an understanding of the historical whitewashing of the environmental movement and the fact that EcoWomen was started by white women, we recognize that EcoWomen needs to be intentional in analyzing our work and the work we showcase. We also need to improve when it comes to diversifying our Board and increasing inclusion within our programming. We are committed to making those, and other, improvements as an organization and are discussing tangible steps to ensure we hold ourselves accountable. For the time being, we are making a concerted effort to highlight the work of BIPOC environmental leaders and to center environmental justice work as a whole. While we take responsibility for the work we need to do on our own racial equity journey, we also welcome suggestions and ideas from others.