Environmental Racism – When #BlackLives Don’t Matter

Juneteenth Statement – 19 June 2020 by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network

Black lives are disproportionately affected by police brutality; COVID-19 sweeps through crowded vulnerable communities unable to socially distance; toxic dump sites are placed next to poor communities of Black people; indigenous people are forced off their land.

The world is slow to respond to climate change, hanging on to an increasingly precarious and unjust economic system. It is predominantly Black lives that are being impacted by drought, flooding, storms and sea level rise. The delayed global response to climate injustice gives the impression that #blacklivesdontmatter. Without urgent action Black lives will continue to be the most impacted, being dispossessed from their lands and becoming climate refugees.

We stand at a Kairos moment – in order to fight environmental injustice , we must also fight racial injustice.
In the words of Archbishop Tutu “If you are neutral in times of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

The Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) calls attention to environmental racism. We issue this urgent statement today, June 19 2020, a day known as Juneteenth in the United States, marking and remembering the official end of slavery in that country in 1865.

Read the Statement (pdf)

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