As an environmentalist, if you speak out against white supremacy and police brutality, you might hear some people say, "Stay in your lane," or "These aren’t environmental issues."
At the NC Sierra Club, we believe that racial and social justice are an integral part of environmental protection.
Black people are exposed to 50% more pollution than white people and are three times more likely to die from pollution than white people. Black children are 2 to 3 times more likely to suffer from lead poisoning than white kids and 10 times more likely to die from complications from asthma. Black folks pay more of their income on their energy bills than whites, and their families, homes and businesses are more vulnerable to climate impacts.
The NC Sierra Club is committed to environmental sustainability and a better tomorrow for all people. We believe we must use our power and platform to support the fight against white supremacy and institutionalized racism. The Sierra Club mission "to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment" cannot be realized if we ignore the pain and suffering of black, indigenous, POC, LGBTQ+, and all other marginalized communities.
The Chapter's Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee is dedicated to leading internal and external transformations. This committee works with Chapter staff to offer resources and trainings on environmental justice and how to support it, and how to create inclusive, equitable spaces based on the Jemez Principles.
- Racism is killing the planet, by Sierra Club staff Hop Hopkins, provides direct links between environmentalism and racism
- Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Diversity in the Environmental Movement, also by Hop Hopkins, discusses the difference of diversity and equity in Sierra Club.
- Building Inclusive Communities, from The Community Tool Box, a service of the Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas