I’ve been thinking about how best to honor this day on GreenLifeNH and decided to focus on environmental racism. It’s no secret that people of color and and lower income communities experience higher rates of pollution and other climate change effects than upper-income, white localities. One only needs to look at the Flint Water Crisis, high asthma rates in the South Bronx and the practice of shipping first-world plastic trash off to third-world countries. I asked a friend to help me write this post because I am admittedly not educated enough to do this topic justice. Her advice? Look to people of color and see what they’re saying. Here are some of the Instagram accounts I’ve recently started following in order to learn more. Note they are not all “climate change” accounts. Some aren’t even American. But they all allow access to a point of view that I cannot offer.
@marandasworld, @greengirlleah, @queerbrownvegan, @latonyayvette, @rachel.cargle and @wildberriesandfables. If you’re not on Instagram, here’s an article from an African American scientist and her thoughts on racism and climate change.
I’ve thought about how to best personally acknowledge this day. My children and I will talk about why they’re off from school and how we can make positive change. I will read more articles and think about how I can be an active ally. I will keep fighting for our environment and remind people that while we’re all one world, we don’t all experience life the same way. There are many inspirational MLK quotations that I know people are sharing today. In an effort to be honest, here’s the one that best speaks to me: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” I’ve used it on my own life when things feel overwhelming and/or I don’t know where to start. I hope it helps you, too – Rachel
(Above photo from quotefancy.com)