Youth Voices for Promoting Racial Understanding and Respect and Advancing Racial Equity, Inclusion,
and Environmental Justice
Many people acknowledge that climate change is real and believe that it is an environmental issue. However, the large majority of people are still unaware that climate change is a social, racial, and human rights issue.
Human activity has largely contributed to climate change. The major cause of global warming is the burning of fossil fuels because it releases an abundance of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In fact, people from higher-income communities often produce more greenhouse gas emissions from driving cars to get to their day-to-day places, flying planes to go on vacation, using air conditioning during the summer, and more. However, although people from higher-income families contribute more to climate change, people of color and individuals with lower income are usually suffering from the adverse effects of climate change. Disadvantaged and vulnerable communities often have industrial sites and toxic waste facilities placed near their homes. There is a clear inequality present.
The negative implications of climate change have made a disproportionate impact on communities with people of color and lower-income households. Clearly, climate change is not only an environmental issue but also a racial and social injustice issue as well.
Everyone must embrace diversity and inclusion within our communities as well as take an active role in ending racism. Thus, it is imperative to have healthy, honest discussions regarding race relations and empathy in order to advance racial equity, respect, inclusion, and social and environmental justice.
Our organization regularly organizes and hosts forums, symposiums, discussions, workshops, and trainings about racial understanding, diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice. We empower the voices in our community to bring to light the inequities and issues involving marginalized communities. Through our discussions and community forums, we identify links between racial equity and environmental justice and discuss the importance and implementation of environmental justice. We promote respect and understanding and brainstorm ideas to ensure social and environmental justice.
We also collaborate with a variety of school clubs and organizations to promote racial understanding, diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice together. We have designed and developed unique curriculums, lesson plans, and teaching materials for enriching and training this generation’s youths to be tomorrow’s racial equity and environmental justice leaders. By hosting our educational training webinars and workshops, we hope to inspire a multitude of youths to join and advance the environmental justice movement in order to make our communities safe, healthy, clean, and inclusive.
Our most recent two symposiums and workshops were held on November 27, 2021, and December 28, 2021. All participants interacted with peers of diverse ethnicities and races and courageously shared their honest thoughts and opinions in the discussions. The symposiums cultivated constructive conversations; we together embraced our identities, celebrated our diversity and cultural heritage, and promoted respect and understanding. The main goal of conducting these open dialogues is to inspire people to join us in the fight for racial equity, social justice, and environmental justice. We need to end racism and racial hatred together.
Our December 28, 2021 "Racial Understanding, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice" symposium presentation and Environmental Justice Leadership Training (including EPA's EJSCREEN) presentation are featured below. If you want to collaborate with our organization to host a symposium on racial understanding, diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice at your school, club, organization, or community, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to learn more about how to learn how to host a similar symposium, you can also download our "Racial Understanding, Social Equity, and Environmental Justice Guide" guide and curriculum by pressing the button.
We have educated participants about environmental justice and trained youths to become environmental justice leaders during our virtual Environmental Justice Leadership Training. We have taught them how to use EPA’s EJSCREEN, an environmental justice screening and mapping tool. EJSCREEN has helped the participants understand which areas are inhabited by ethnic minorities and low-income groups and which areas have potential environmental quality problems. It has also helped participants understand which areas are most severely impacted by environmental injustice and require more government attention.