In this moment it is important for us to create space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) organizers and activists to consider new ways to reimagine the world without systems of oppression, whilst discovering new ways to find connections of joy, love, fear, loss, and harm.
We know personally and deeply how the climate crisis, environment racism and injustice disportionately affects BIPOC communities globally, putting our bodies on the line to reduce harm. Movement leaders such as Dr. Robert Bullard have modeled what it looks like to show up in your integrity and truth as a Black human; regardless of the narrative Dr. Bullard was clear on what his community needed.
In all of the work that we engage with, if we do not steep joy and love into its foundation we will not win. As a collective of BIPOC people we believe we need to find the common threads that unite us and have a deep understanding that our collective liberation is linked to one another. This is a struggle we all share. As climate justice organizers, we understand that the climate movement can be heavily siloed. For example, the same white supremacist racial capitalist violence the fossil fuel industry thrives on is the same system policing is based on. It is important to have this deep understanding so that we do not create more threads of white supremacy, xenophobia, colonialism, capitalism, misogyny, police and prisons etc. We understand liberation rests at the strategic intersections of fighting against systems of oppression. We want to create new ways of being that support all marginalized people even as we increase social mobility and access for ourselves and others through a BIPOC Climate Leadership Program.
Our Collective Mission
As Black people we are the gatekeepers of our culture and it is our right to preserve ourselves and things that are sacred to us, ie.: the ways the repackaging of our culture is hurting us, how our inherent resilience is helping us, where do the tools to liberation reside and how can we create new avenues.
We seek to create means for our people to shift their mindset surrounding ownership, cooperation, and trust through embodying the truths of our ancestors who have come before us in a way that is true to each individual and the collective vision towards liberation.
We can have discussion and get clarity on what’s going on without jumping to conclusions and generalizations. Blackness is consistently being capitalized upon by those outside our community.
We want to create context for strategizing from a place of agency that awakens the organizing orientation in all BIPOC people so that they can imagine, envision, strategize and organize that sense of agency and what that agency would look like without systems of oppression trying to dismantle, taint or spoil it.
We envision doing so through: talking about ways to learn from and with others from a place of love, respecting boundaries and sitting with what is, understanding that with agency actualized sustainable change becomes a reality. Dismantling the false narrative around pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, or if they knew better they would do better. These do not address the root cause.
Climate justice is about the understanding that our lived experiences position us in a place to lead and strategize around this work. We need to understand that these different movements are connected and all feed through a thread of oppression.
Our Collective Transformational Values
Uncomfortability: Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean its bad
Compassion: how do we have compassion for all people as they move through learning and unlearning. Remembering intention and holding intention
Inclusion: how do we create ways to not dispose of problematic people (for causing harm) or most marginalized people (for not being “useful” or “educated” enough)
Time: how do we deconstruct the concept of time and make clear the process of unlearning that must take place (time is not the great equalizer transformation is)