Environmental Justice Activism Is Living Black History

Mar 13, 2020 | BM4F Spotlights, Events, Young, Gifted & Green Blog Series | 0 comments

There is no doubt that African Americans (and all members of the African diaspora) are a resilient people; however, there are so many acts of racism and discrimination that aim to destroy our greatness–environmental racism being a major factor. From the inhumanity of the transatlantic slave trade, the historic Sanitation Workers’ Strike, the Lead Paint Crisis in Baltimore, to the #FlintWaterCrisis, black people have been at the center of environmental genocide–but that does NOT mean we won’t give white supremacy dominion over our lives. Our form of resistance is through political advocacy, community organizing and education to create a healthier environment for all people.

Video Credit: JeterVision Productions

2020 marks a year of great promise as we have entered a new decade and are preparing to vote for the 46th POTUS. We need to get one thing straight…black millennials are more than prepared to carry the torch of environmental justice pioneered by historical legends like Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder of We Act for Environmental Justice, Dr. Beverly Wright, Founder and Executive Director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Hazel Johnson, the Mother of Environmental Justice, Dr. Robert Bullard, the Father of Environmental Justice…the list of BLACK environmental justice giants could go on and on, but who is representing the next generation of green warriors?

Photograph Credit: JeterVision Productions

On February 26, 2020 in the Black Mecca (or should we say former “Black Mecca” because gentrification) Washington, DC, Black Millennials 4 Flint (BM4F) partnered with We Act for Environmental Justice, The Black Millennial Convention, Black Swan Academy, the Environmental Defense Fund and members of US Congress at the ILLUSTRIOUS (of course founded by Howard University Grads **inserts** “HU…YOU KNOW!”) black-owned establishment, Broccoli City Bar, to celebrate the victories of black environmentalism and the road we face ahead. Panelists Included: LaTricea D. Adams, Founder CEO & President, Black Millennials 4 Flint, Kari Fulton, Georgetown University National Urban Fellow, Rhonda Hamilton, Georgetown University Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research, Shanita Rasheed, American Forests and Kerene Tayloe, Director of Federal Legislative Affairs , We Act for Environmental Justice. We engaged in a DOPE, black millennial-centered dialogue surrounding key aspects of the burgeoning black millennial environmental justice agenda: Climate Justice in the African American Community, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Green Jobs and Voter Engagement (this 2020 Presidential election is definitely a vote or die situation…PERIODT).

LaTricea Adams, Founder, Black Millennials 4 Flint (left) Kari Fulton, Georgetown National Urban Fellow (right) Photograph Credit: JeterVision Productions

It was inspiring to sit on a panel with all women who are leading in this sector and speak to a packed house of young professionals of color who are directly impacted by the fluctuations in environmental policy and the development of the green economy. I hope the event motivated someone to think about new ways to incorporate Environmental Justice into their chosen career fields and life paths.

Kari Fulton, Georgetown University National Urban Fellow

This convening of young black folk and allies was not just an event…it was not just a moment…it represents the legacy of black resiliency. If there is one thing black millennials know how to do, its to pull out receipts. While our ancestors and elders have a litany of achievements, we also recognize the need to learn from our history to create a better world for our black children and our black children’s children. The marathon continues…

Director of Federal Legislative Affairs , We Act for Environmental Justice
Photograph Credit: JeterVision Productions

Working alongside Black Millennials 4 Flint has been an effective way to engage younger Black professionals around environmental advocacy. Their unique perspective and keen understand of utilizing social media to tell our stories is incredibly insightful. I admire their grit and creative approach to making the issue of Lead exposure something everyday non policy wonks can understand. Whenever the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum convenes nationally, BM4F is a voice we desire to have in the room.

Kerene Tayloe, Director of Federal Legislative Affairs , We Act for Environmental Justice

Click below to checkout our Black History Month- Environmental Justice: 2020 & Beyond Community Impact Report

Interested in partnering with BM4F for a #LeadFreeUSA? Contact us at info@blackmillennials4flint.org and Follow us on: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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