In any crisis, it is the most marginalized and vulnerable that suffer the greatest impacts — climate change is no different.
In the United States, disproportionate percentages of Black people live in places that are polluted with toxic waste, leading to negative health effects like cancer, asthma, and more.
Black communities are also disproportionately located in areas that are physically vulnerable to climate hazards like hurricanes and flooding. Make no mistake: this is intentional. This is directed, targeted violence towards Black communities, who are routinely pushed out of their communities and into vulnerable margins. We’ve also seen this first hand with Hurricane Katrina and Harvey ravaging the cities of New Orleans and Houston, impacting nearly 30 million people.
Last week and this week mark the anniversaries of those two hurricanes making landfall, and we are reminded that climate justice is racial justice.
That’s why we are centering racial equity and justice in seeking meaningful solutions for the climate crisis by highlighting local organizations in the Gulf Coast doing phenomenal work on the ground to tackle climate justice within Black communities.
We’re proud to support the work being done by the organizers on the ground and would love a chance to tell you more about the organizations and why you should support their efforts.
RISE St. James
RISE St. James is a faith-based grassroots environmental organization located in St. James, Louisiana. They fight to keep chemical/industrial plants and facilities out of their already polluted community.
The predominantly Black community of St. James has already been sickened by industrial polluters. The region is referred to as “Cancer Alley” or “Death Alley” by those who live and die there, and a new plastic plant will pose a greater risk to public health.
They are currently advocating to stop Formosa Plastics, a Taiwan-based company, from building the largest facility in North America in St. James. If built, the plant would double the level of toxic emissions in the parish — which is already among the highest in the country.
Gulf South for a Green New Deal (GS4GND)
GS4GND was launched in 2019, starting with a critical analysis of US House Resolution 109 — better known as The Green New Deal. It’s a major organizing project of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, which was born out of Katrina.
The GS4GND is a multi-year, multi-state initiative to address the climate crisis through the advancement of equity and justice along with the creation of living wages and ecologically sustainable jobs.
GS4GND’s mission is to advance regional grassroots policy and practices that center laborers, farmers, fisherfolk, tribal nations, and frontline communities in a just transition away from extractive economies that accelerate the global climate crisis, and is building regional power to advance a uniquely southern, collective, frontline vision for a sustainable future.
Supporting organizations like these that are committed to racial and climate justice and eradicating policies that marginalize Black people is paramount. The work these organizations do around climate justice is leading us one step closer to Black liberation.
Join us in directly supporting the incredible work these organizations are doing on the ground by chipping in $5. Your contributions to RISE and GS4GND will not only go on to fight for climate justice in Black communities but further the fight for Black liberation overall.