Heatwaves. Arctic blasts. Droughts. Flooding. These patterns are accelerating toward a new rife of climate havoc, battering those most vulnerable to recover and adapt in its wake. The outcome of it has only shined a light on the disparities Black and Brown communities are facing, exposing them to higher pollution, while offering them little political or legal recourse against environmental injustices.
As humans, we are inextricably connected with one another,and each action we take has an effect. Not all harm is caused consciously, but the willingness to stay numb or unaware is a privilege and just as detrimental. Let’s change this.
There’s an enormous amount of power in elevating voices and organizations within your network. If you're looking to take more climate action by supporting an environmental justice organization, here are a few groups you can either volunteer with, donate to, or otherwise get involved with.
1. Climate Justice Alliance
Formed in 2013, Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on just-transitions strategies and practices that build resilient, regenerative, and equitable rooted economies.CJA members have combated against big polluters, preventing new carbon emissions from being released into the Earth’s atmosphere. Check out some of CJA’s highlights throughout the decade!
2. Intersectional Environmentalist
Intersectional Environmentalist is a climate justice nonprofit and resource hub that focuses on uplifting BIPOC and historically under-amplified voices in the environmental space. They provide environmental education through experiences, podcasts, and collaborations to connect their community with grassroots environmental justice efforts.
3. Earth Justice
The planet needs a good lawyer, and Earth Justice is the right organization for the job. With over 200+ lawmakers, this nonprofit environmental law organization works to tackle the most pressing environmental issues of our time. They’ve partnered with thousands of organizations and supporters to help promote communities pushing for clean energy, climate justice, and a healthy planet.
4. Black Millennials for Flint
Black Millennials for Flint is a grassroots civil rights organization bringing together like-minded members to act and advocate against lead exposure, specifically in Black and Brown communities. Six years ago, the city of Flint, Michigan’s water source was changed to the Flint River and never treated. This resulted in lead leeching into drinking water. Together, its members are holding officials accountable and fighting for their community.
Named after the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (350 parts per million of carbon dioxide), 350.org was founded in 2008 by a group of students. Their objective is to build a global climate movement that mobilizes communities to bring about change through grassroots campaigns and mass public action. Some of 350’s recent work includes campaigning against the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, stopping fracking in cities of South America and joining historic grassroots mobilizations like the People’s Climate March and Global climate strike.
As climate disasters unfold before us, it is important that we confront the harmful systems and policies which have caused the global climate crisis. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), new federal grants for environmental justice will soon be on their way. And about $30 million of this will be designated for community-based nonprofit groups like the ones above.
Humans are created to live in a community. Humans, like trees, need one another in order to flourish. We are stronger together, and injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere – stand up for mankind by getting involved and supporting these organizations above!