By Mark Reynolds, Executive Director
Citizens’ Climate Lobby supports racial justice and those who fight for it.
Our staff, volunteers and supporters are deeply saddened and angered by the most recent incidents of racist violence in America: Ahmaud Arbery’s murder while out for a jog in his Georgia neighborhood, the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in her Kentucky home, the threat of police violence against Christian Cooper in Central Park, and George Floyd’s murder in Minnesota. We denounce these incidents themselves, as well as the chronic injustice that plagues America and harms communities of color every single day. CCL’s mission is to build the political will for a livable world, but it’s clear that for so many people of color, America is a far cry from livable.
To our CCL volunteers who are Black and people of color: I know climate change is probably the furthest thing from your mind right now. That’s completely understandable, and it’s completely okay. I want you to know that you—your whole self—are welcome in CCL. That means we know and respect that you’re dealing with a lot right now, including structural barriers to your safety and wellbeing. Things shouldn’t be this way, and I’m so sorry that they are.
I also know that sorry isn’t enough. It’s not enough simply to list diversity as one of our values. The best way we can proclaim that Black lives matter to CCL, and that we care deeply about your wellbeing and your safety and your happiness, is for us to take concrete action. So we’re taking this moment to educate the predominantly white members of our organization about recent events and what they can do to help. We are making plans to offer additional training to our volunteers on racism, privilege, bias, diversity in the environmental movement, and more, including in a special seminar at our upcoming virtual conference.
We will continue to look for ways to do more, and to do better. Like climate change, there is no simple fix for racism—but we will not shy away from doing our part in this vital work.
Mark Reynolds is the Executive Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.