The Tylt

The frontlines of climate change: How racial justice and climate justice are related

Racial justice is the bedrock of climate justice, but for decades, the climate movement has failed to highlight stories from Black communities, Indigenous communities and communities of color—communities who are often on the frontlines of climate change as a result of environmental racism.

As Zero Hour activists, Yolian Ogbu, 21, and Kaylah Brathwaite, 19, explain, there is a fundamental misunderstanding within the climate movement. The dominant narratives within the climate movement are of carbon emissions and rising temperatures; these often fail to bridge the gap to the consequences that climate change has on human life, such as famine, disease and lack of access to clean water. Nearly 40 percent of The Tylt's audience believes the environmental movement is "elitist." It's no wonder why; according to research from Dorceta E. Taylor, Ph.D., via Green 2.0, "the racial composition in environmental organizations and agencies has not broken the 12 percent to 16 percent 'green ceiling'” for decades.

In this episode of "Tell Me Everything," The Tylt's Editor-at-Large, Jessie Blaeser, speaks with four different activists, each with their own perspective on the crisis at hand. Their testimonies weave together to paint an image of the relationship between racial justice and climate justice. Listen now to learn more: