Environmental & Climate Justice: Solving Deadly Outcomes Hidden in the Land, Water, & Air
May 25, 2022 - 9:00am to 11:30am (PDT)
Co-facilitators: Deb L. Morrison & Chris Cameron
The NW Diversity Learning Series is presenting this session because the people who experience greater environmental threats to their health and well-being are also employees who come to work. The efforts to make workplaces more inclusive and equitable need to take these broader environmental and climate impacts into account.
Environmental injustices create structural inequities that affect People of Color, people at lower socio-economic levels, and women more than others. Too often, employees of these identities and their families are more directly affected by polluted land and air, unsafe drinking water, inadequate access to healthcare and transportation, food deserts, unsafe homes, and lack of proper heat in cold weather. These disparate impacts are well documented in higher levels of adverse health conditions, notably asthma, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, as well as many other adverse life impacts. Unfortunately, disinformation has seeped into the coverage of these environmental injustices as well as just a lack of reporting for and by communities most impacted, which results in our not being informed or getting the full story.
The goal of this session is to build participants’ understanding of environmental and climate justice (ECJ), and how to take just actions. Participants will discover how they can be more personally accountable for ECJ, and build authentic relationships among people with different perspectives in their organizations and in their communities. Participants will leave with the knowledge, motivation, and solutions to support their teams, and combat issues related to environmental and climate justice.
Presenters from CLEAR Environmental will facilitate the session, lifting the experiences and voices of ECJ Community leaders from across the nation. James Rattling Leaf Sr. of the Geo Indigenous Alliance, Solemi Hernandez of Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Southeast Region, and Taylor Morton of WEACT will be joining the conversation about what is happening around ECJ within communities and what is needed to accelerate this work.
At the end of this session, Participants will be able to:
Describe how environmental and climate justice (ECJ) connects to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in organizations.
Name and describe ECJ challenges and opportunities and how they apply to the workplace context.
Recognize their personal accountability for ECJ in their work life, and community.
Identify strategies for building authentic relationships across differences to engage in ECJ work.
Define solutions across multiple levels (individual, organizational, societal) to implement ECJ in their own spheres of influence.
Meet the Co-facilitators:
Chris Cameron is a life sciences researcher, published writer, community organizer, filmmaker and radio programmer. She focuses on working in relationality with community to collaboratively design solutions that act to dismantle environmental racism perpetuated by ongoing white supremacy and capitalism.
Chris co-facilitated a workshop series on Climate Storytelling with the UNFCCC’s Paris Committee of Capacity Building (PCCB) Network last summer that she presented at COP26 in November 2021; she continues to incorporate storytelling in her climate justice work. She also coordinates a community designed radio project called Sound Ecology - incorporating artists' climate oriented philosophies and cultural experiences presented as sonic toolkits to survive the changing world.
Deb L. Morrison is a climate and anti-oppression activist, scientist, learning scientist, educator, mother, locally elected official, and many other things besides. She works in research-practice-policy partnerships from local communities to international scales. Deb works to iteratively understand complex socio-ecological systems through design-based and action-oriented research while at the same time seeking to improve human-environment relationships and sustainability.
She is a well-published author on diverse topics that intersect with climate justice learning and continues to foster collaborative writing partnerships across disciplines and communities that have historically been disconnected. Information about Deb’s work can be found at www.debmorrison.me; www.clearenvironmental.org.
“America is segregated and so is pollution. Race and class still matter and map closely with pollution, unequal protection, and vulnerability. Today, zip code is still the most potent predictor of an individual’s health and well-being. Individuals who physically live on the “wrong side of the tracks” are subjected to elevated environmental health threats and more than their fair share of preventable diseases...Reducing environmental, health, economic, and racial disparities is a major priority of the Environmental Justice Movement.”
—Robert D. Bullard, Father of Environmental Justice