Anti-Racism and Environmental Justice

The reckoning of the last three months has forced pluri-privileged white feminists and environmentalists such as myself to examine how our pursuit of "justice for all" has historically, and continues to, excluded BIPOC and LGBTQAI+ from the benefits of and conversations inside these movements. According the New York Times, STEM fields like "climate, conservation, environmental, earth and atmospheric sciences are among the least diverse in science. That lack of diversity sits uneasily with findings by numerous studies that people of color are more likely to live in places that suffer from pollution, and are more at risk of developing associated health problems, like asthma or heart disease."

In an effort to be a better ally and advocate for people, animals, and the planet, I wrote in to Grist's ASK UMBRA column inquiring about actions I could take to become a better intersectional environmentalist. What a delightful response I got!

Not only did intern Joseph Winters direct me to a 2017 book list that "goes beyond the standard old and white environmental canon," he and the Grist staff also added reading recommendations that begin with a science fiction novel by MacArthur genius and Pasadena native Octavia Butler, whose work I was first introduced to in 2017 at the Huntington Library.

May this be the first step in reimagining a supportive, inclusive, and compassionate world for all.

For more information on intersectional environmentalism, read this beautiful piece in Vogue from activist Leah Thomas.

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