We’re always learning, listening, and watching to deepen our understanding of justice, racism, and whiteness. Here are some resources we’ve found helpful, we hope you like them too.
Exploring Environmental Justice
“It takes a big cultural shift on the way we relate to one another.”
“100% of the risk from oil trains was borne by lower income people of color.”
“We need communities to define for themselves what the real solutions are.”
“Art has the power to move the climate conversation in a new direction.”
“Environmental justice demands that public policy be based on mutual respect.”
Embracing the integral connections between environmental protection and racial justice makes us better positioned to achieve our mission and win on our issues. We feel fortunate to work with and learn from others who champion work in this intersection. Below are some resources that guide our personal and organizational commitments.
This Agenda produced by the City of Seattle is their strategy to address environmental disparities and ensure that everyone benefits from the city’s progress. It reinforces Seattle’s commitment to racial equity and social justice in their environmental work.
In addition, WEC and WCV wrote organizational commitments and action items in response to the agenda. Read our commitments here.
Got Green and Puget Sound Sage set out to learn how communities experience climate change and collaborated to research and produce this report. The process shaped conversations with community, the public sector, and organizational partners as well as the development of the policy recommendations put forth in this report.
As the most comprehensive report on diversity in the environmental movement, this document provides perspective on the Green Ceiling, unconscious bias, and other issues around workplace diversity. A great way to understand the realities of the environmental movement in the 21st century.
Naming and challenging whiteness
“Examining whiteness as a social construct offers more answers.”
“Whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege.”
“We mostly talk about it as a kind of empty space, defined by what it’s not.”
“Let go of your racial certitude and reach for humility.”
Understanding inequality and systemic racism
“African Americans are six times more likely to be sent to prison for the same crime.”
“It ignores the ways that people are devalued or killed based on their race.”
“We cannot begin addressing this problem until we’re willing to admit this problem exists.”
“We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”
Racial Justice Book Club: Recent Reads
Brown is the New White takes an unvarnished look at the history of whites and people of color in America, revealing how the past has created current conditions that have revolutionary implications for U.S. politics in 2016 and beyond. Political leader Steve Phillips unveils how people of color and progressive whites add up to a new political majority—while exposing how far behind the curve Democrats are in investing in communities of color.
The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.
What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all—regardless of race—honestly reckon with our country’s fraught racial history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry, and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children’s lives have been taken as American plunder. Taken together, these stories map a winding path toward a kind of liberation—a journey from fear and confusion to a full and honest understanding of the world as it is.