A Hard Look in the Mirror for Our Movement

by Mary Creasman

A Hard Look in the Mirror for Our Movement

Today is Juneteenth – the oldest holiday marking the emancipation of the last enslaved Africans in the United States. It’s a day not only for celebration, but for reflection; on Juneteenth, we take time to consider the destructive legacy of slavery –even more than 150 years after emancipation– and examine the role of white supremacy in our daily lives. Above all, today is a day to commit to anti-racist work to create the equitable world we all deserve.

The recent protests across the United States have forced a long-overdue reckoning with the white supremacy at our country’s core. Despite whatever progress we might believe we’ve made, racist ideas, assumptions, and practices infect every element of American life. If we’re going to address the moral failure of our country, then we all have to take an honest, difficult, look in the mirror.

That means that we, members of the environmental movement, need to face some hard truths.

Racism permeates every part of our culture, society, and interactions. It’s in the air we breathe. We need to stop being scared of being called racist, and we need to be more concerned about how we are perpetuating racism. Educating ourselves, understanding how we contribute to white supremacy, and actively working to dismantle racism, is part of the process.

We are planning a series of educational emails and blog posts on white privilege, the intersectional approach necessary for our movement, and tools for your own digital organizing. On social media, we will continue much of our messaging to uplifting Black, Indigenous, people of color who are working to protect our planet and our communities.

We’re refusing to look away from these facts and more importantly, we are committed to building an environmental movement that fights for all people – a movement that sees climate action and anti-racism as inextricably linked, and that searches for integrated solutions.

CLCV is focused on putting our resources behind policy action to directly address our racist and unjust criminal legal system. We are doubling down on the racial justice and equity work we’ve been doing internally with our staff and board, and we are working with our endorsed candidates to connect them with education and training required to directly serve all of their constituents.

We must bridge the gap between learning and action, and we cannot fight for climate justice without fighting for racial justice. We will continue to provide our members the necessary resources, and we ask for your courage to address racism and environmental injustice in your own community. Today, on Juneteenth, we pledge that we will be listening, learning, and taking action right beside you.

As always, we’re proud to stand by your side in this movement, and this moment.

Best,

Mary Creasman Chief Executive Officer California League of Conservation Voters

Posted on June 19, 2020 in ECOVOTE BLOG.

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