We join the ongoing protests demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, and an end to the violence against Black bodies. We echo their urgent call to find ways that our various organizations and movements can do more to integrate anti-racism into our programming and to actively stand up for racial justice.
Dismantling institutional racism is not peripheral; it’s an integral part of building ecological civilizations. EcoCiv spent two years organizing justice events and the Plenary on Justice for the World Parliament of Religion. Supporting the transition to a just society is at the heart of our work as an organization. We recognize the ways in which Black communities and other communities of color are disproportionately affected by climate change and exploitative economic practices. We also recognize the ongoing systemic racism present both in the US and around the world.
We also acknowledge how frequently climate movements in the Western world have excluded communities of color across history. Early efforts of the conservation movement to “preserve nature” involved displacing Indigenous Peoples from their lands to create conservation areas. Environmental movements have centered on white voices and white priorities for decades, and many still continue to do so. It is essential to listen to leaders of color in order to hear their priorities and to better understand how climate change manifests in their communities. To work toward an ecological civilization is to work to overcome all forms of environmental injustice. It is absolutely clear to us that racial injustice constitutes one of the greatest injustices of our age.
We are all connected. Action toward global systems change requires seeing through an intersectional lens and recognizing how deeply intertwined human societies and cultures are. We invite you to join us in standing in solidarity with Black and Brown lives everywhere.
In pursuit of the wellbeing of people and the planet,
President, Institute for Ecological Civilization