April 22nd is Earth Day, and we are thrilled to share some information about this day and how you can make a difference.
EarthDay.org is a wonderful resource for learning more about our impact on the environment, and how we can each take part in preserving our planet. Keep reading to learn more about their mission as described on their website.
Our world needs transformational change. It’s time for the world to hold sectors accountable for their role in our environmental crisis while also calling for bold, creative, and innovative solutions. This will require action at all levels, from business and investment to city and national government.
That’s where you come in: As an individual, you yield real power and influence as a consumer, a voter, and a member of a community that can unite for change.
Don’t underestimate your power. When your voice and your actions are united with thousands or millions of others around the world, we create a movement that is inclusive, impactful, and impossible to ignore.
Every Earth Day can drive a year of energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to create a new plan of action for our planet.
The Biden Administration has decided to convene a global climate summit on Earth Day 2021. Many important environmental events have happened on Earth Day since 1970, including the recent signing of the Paris Agreement, as Earth Day continues to be a momentous and unifying day each and every year. We look forward to being a part of this historic climate summit and making active progress to restore our earth.
EarthDay.org has created some incredible resources to highlight several crucial topics in relation to climate change and environmental preservation. One of our favorite resources is their toolkit dedicated to educating people about intersectionality in environmentalism. Here are some helpful excerpts from their findings:
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups”. To move beyond this basic definition, it is important to first understand the roots of intersectionality. Intersectionality is a concept that has been used by Black women since the 1960s and was first defined in the academic space by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. In her paper, she describes how the oppression experienced by Black women is an intersectional experience where the impacts are “greater than the sum of racism and sexism” alone.
The term intersectionality developed to describe the way that both the feminist and the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s and 70s excluded Black women, as they were facing a unique experience due to the overlapping experiences of oppressions. As Black female lesbians, the Combahee River Collective expanded on this work by including the intersection of sexual orientation. These overlapping oppressions are an intersection of oppressions. People can have many overlapping oppressions in their life that create an experience unique to them. Intersectionality aims to be applicable to all people and their different lived experiences.
One great example of intersectional environmentalism comes from community gardens in low-income areas. There are many communities that do not have access to affordable and healthy foods. It is especially difficult for some communities to obtain fresh and nutritious produce. This is partially due to the fact that many low-income communities and communities of color are located in food apartheids. Food apartheid is generally defined as areas where there is little to no affordable or accessible good-quality and fresh food. Creating a community garden can construct a gathering place that is also a source of fresh and nutritious food. Community gardens challenge systems of racial and economic inequality, making them intersectional.
Where To Begin?
-Do a lesson on intersectionality for your group. Check out this lesson plan from the NAACP.
-Engage with diverse organizations or clubs for collaboration on your topics.
-Practice reflexivity throughout planning – This means taking time to examine your own motives, influences, and reactions.
-Assess your projects for focus on whiteness, heteronormativity, and/or able-bodiedness. Ask yourself:
- Is this project inclusive and accessible to all people?
- Is it beneficial to the community we are aiming to serve?
- Does my project incorporate diverse worldviews?
- Is my project participatory?
- Are we amplifying marginalized or excluded voices?
- Does this project perpetuate colonialism?
-Invite intersectional environmentalists to speak at your school. Examples of these people could be People of Color who work in the outdoor space or environmental field, environmental feminists, queer environmentalists, and people who are working to make the environmental and outdoor industries a more inclusive space for all.
-Send out an email to environmental clubs or groups at your school encouraging them to be more intersectional.
-Host a teach-in and educate your community on environmental justice issues.
To find an Earth Day event near you, follow this link –> Earth Day Events
For more resources supporting environmental awareness and celebrating Earth Day, follow this link –> Earth Day Resources
How are you participating in Earth Day? We’d love to hear about your action plan!
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