On Thursday, the Alliance For Climate Education (ACE) hosted the online webinar On The Frontlines: Black Lives Matter and Climate Justice. The event’s moderator was Vic Barret, the Democracy Organizer for ACE, and it featured four panelists: Dany Sigwalt, Kaylah Brathwaite, Anthony Rogers-White, and K Agbebiyi.
Throughout the course of this event, the panelists focused on discussing intersectionality between the climate movement, and black lives. That is, the injustices that are happening to the Earth interconnect with the injustices faced by communities of color. Many feel the climate movement must do more both to show support for black lives and address racism. The panelists provided insight on topics such as spaces for people of color in organizations, how to make the climate movement truly international, how abolition relates to the conversation, and more.
More About The Panelists
Dany Sigwalt: Co-Executive Director at Power Shift Network
On steps toward making the climate movement truly intersectional:
“Extractive capitalism and white supremacy. Those are the systems in our country that, over and over again…privilege and prioritize the protection of property and resources. When I think about intersectionality, I think people need to come to movement work with an understanding of the systems that undergird every social justice issue we’ve been fighting for decades.
Kaylah Brathwaite: Director of Operations at This is Zero Hour
On ways to make organization spaces more inclusive:
“I find that a lot of white organizers will say ‘my chapter of my organization is very white-centered, we need to bring black people into here!’ But there’s a reason black people are not in your space, and that’s because it’s unsafe for them. Emphasizing making your spaces beneficial to us is one way to make the movement more intersectional.”
Anthony Rogers-White: GND Policy Lead at Climate Justice Alliance
On why climate groups shouldn’t limit the injustices they fight to just climate:
“If we have 10 years to address the climate crisis, we have 4 years to address and dismantle white supremacy. We will never have climate justice until white supremacy is dismantled. But that causes historically white-led, majority-white environmental groups to look really deep.”
K Agbebiyi: Survived & Punished, NY Chapter; Free Them All 4 Public Health; Co-Creator of 8 to Abolition
On how the abolitionist movement positively impacts the push for climate justice:
“One of the things I like about the abolitionist movement is it provides us an entryway, an invitation to think creatively about a lot of different issues. I think this analysis can be used in the climate justice movement as well.”
Show Your Support
Please visit the Alliance For Climate Education’s Facebook page to view the full webinar event, in case you missed it. Then, you’ll be able to hear the panelists’ in-depth responses to the questions on intersectionality. Also, if you attended or were able to view this event, please let us know some of your thoughts in the comments down below.
For other environmental news, check out this article on Duke Energy and coal ash lawsuits.