In light of recent events during the past few weeks including the brutal murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Zero Waste Providence would like to show its support and stand in solidarity with the Black Community.
As an environmental organization, we acknowledge that environmental activism is in itself a privileged act. Environmental organizations are overwhelmingly composed of a white majority, including our own, and we see that having the time and resources in order to participate in organizations like ours is an example of white privilege. At the same time, we acknowledge that Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities are disproportionately affected by environmental issues such as climate change and pollution and the need for racial justice is extremely interconnected with the fight for a clean and healthy planet. We are taking steps to educate ourselves on these topics and exploring ways to address this challenge.
Additionally, we acknowledge that environmental movements have been historically exclusive, steeped in white privilege, and have perpetuated systems of oppression. At Zero Waste Providence, we realize that we must actively work to confront racism, white supremacy, and unjust systems of oppression. We have included a reading list of books on environmental activism, composted by black authors, as one possible starting point for self education. We plan to promote the voices of BIPOC zero waste activists through our outreach channels. We welcome suggestions for further action from our community.
We as a society cannot achieve our environmental and sustainability goals without the existence of racial justice. As individuals, we see that it is all our duty to examine and confront the biases that exist within ourselves and march together in solidarity to lift up all Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.
Recommended Literature on Environmental Activism by Black authors:
We would also like to share some organizations which are doing crucial racial justice work in Rhode Island and the Providence area: