Environmental justice is racial justice
As people of faith, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves and to put our faith into action for justice. So let me be clear: Black Lives Matter. Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light unequivocally condemns racism, police brutality, and state-sanctioned violence against Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other people of color.
Environmental justice is deeply interwoven with social and racial justice. We work toward climate justice because all beings deserve a healthy environment, and because we strive to preserve our planet for generations to come. The violence of white supremacy strikes at the heart of our vision, and it withers our work toward a sustainable planet.
Systemic issues like corporate power and roadblocks to democracy place the burden of environmental pollution on Black communities first and hardest. These same systems perpetuate the marginalization and killing of Black people. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Indigenous people, the health disparities of people of color due to pollution, and the significant impact of the climate crisis being felt by these communities are all part of broader institutional racism that permeates our nation's past and present. The climate crisis is a racial justice crisis. We know we will only achieve an environmentally just future for all when we build a racially just one.
As a historically white organization, Earth Ministry/WAIPL is doing our own work to educate ourselves, shift our status quo, become better allies, and advocate for justice. It takes intention, and we will stumble along the way. But our faith calls us to take these steps to reject systems of white supremacy that oppress, marginalize, and outright kill people of color every day.
We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and Black- and people of color-led organizations at the forefront of this fight. We honor and support their leadership, and encourage you to give of your time, energy, and money in support as well.
Here are some immediate ways to help those on the frontlines.
• Donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund started by his brother, Philonise Floyd.
• Donate to Black-led groups
• Donate to environmental justice groups
• Donate to the all-volunteer, Native-led Navajo & Hopi COVID-19 relief fund and the Washington State Undocumented Workers COVID-19 relief fund.
• Call for justice for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for Tony McDade, and for Ahmaud Arbery.
• Sign up for updates from the national Movement for Black Lives network.
• Engage with your local Black Lives Matter chapter, contact through BLM Seattle-King County.
• 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
• So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
• How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi
• Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad
• Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
• White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin Diangelo
• Dear Church: A Love LeCer from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US by Lenny Duncan
• Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment by Manish Mishra-Marzef and Jennifer Nordstrom (Editors)
Join us in working to dismantle structural racism to help build a more
healthy and just future.
LeeAnne Beres, executive director, Earth Ministry/WA Interfaith Power & Light
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, June, 2020