Our Commitment To Equity

 Sierra club Virginia Chapter with LGBTQ Colors

 I really believe in my heart of hearts—after a lifetime of thinking and talking about these issues—that we will never survive the climate crisis without ending white supremacy. Here’s why: You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can't have disposable people without racism. 

Hop Hopkins, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club Virginia Chapter is committed to building a better world. Not a world that works for some. A world that values all lives, where all people have the opportunity to thrive without the fear of pollution and oppression. This commitment means we have an obligation to 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, brown, LGBTQ+, and all other marginalized communities. 

The climate movement is not mutually exclusive with the fight against social injustice, in fact, they are one in the same. It is not an accident that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by climate change, just as it is no coincidence that about 1 in every 1,000 black men are likely to be killed by police. Our energy system, our justice system, and so many of our institutions do not treat all lives as though they matter. 

Protecting the planet can not be limited to stopping disruption to our climate.  We must fight for a future that leaves no one behind. Confronting racism is essential for our shared success. This page is dedicated to uplifting voices for racial justice and sharing resources that may help our network deepen their understanding of anti-racism work. 


"Legacy factions of the climate movement have not adequately or consistently stood in solidarity with Black-led efforts to stem the systemic causes of harm to Black communities, nor have many incorporated a racial-justice lens into their work. And that must change now, especially as we hope to rebuild a post-pandemic world. There is no “just recovery” from the coronavirus or the climate crisis without a commitment to dismantling the systems of white supremacy that marginalize and destroy the lives of Black people."

Tamara Toles O’Laughlin

 Read Full Article

“How can people of color effectively lead their communities on climate solutions when faced with pervasive and life-shortening racism?...Black Americans who are already committed to working on climate solutions still have to live in America, brutalized by institutions of the state, constantly pummeled with images, words and actions showing just us how many of our fellow citizens do not, in fact, believe that black lives matter.”

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson 

Read Full Article

 “As a Black environmentalist, I’ve struggled with this. Why is fighting for my humanity considered an optional or special add-on to climate justice? I’ve stood beside white environmentalists during climate protests, but I’ve felt abandoned by my community during acts of unjustifiable violence toward Black and Brown people. I’ve had enough. The time is now to examine the ways the Black Lives Matter movement and environmentalism are linked.” 


 Read Full Article

 Together we can build a better society through efforts like a Green New Deal, but if we’re not intentional, we’ll build a better society for everyone except Black folks. As my comrades at Movement Generation like to say, ‘A transition is inevitable—justice is not.’ A world powered by clean energy can be “sustainable” but still leave Black folks behind.

Hop Hopkins

 Read Full Article

Learning About Anti-racism

Organizations to follow on social media:

Videos to watch:

Podcasts to subscribe to:

More resources: