We know we will never truly understand the meaning of police brutality, of systemic racism, of unequal employment and of the fear of being killed because of the colour of our skin, but we’re here to learn.
The toppling of Edward Colston’s statue has started a domino effect throughout the UK, and made us proud to be Bristolian! It’s sparked wider questions and arguments about accepted ‘norms’ which have been in place for years.
While we may never truly understand these things and what it feels like to live through them, we’re committed to learning and to educating ourselves so we can stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected. As an agency dedicated to fighting for the planet, and all people, we feel it’s our responsibility to help fight for positive change.
We straddle the industries of marketing and sustainability, which means we’re very much aware of the term white privilege, and we know both industries have a long way to go.
The issue of racial inequality is one which we come up against on a daily basis. Climate change impacts black and minority communities first and worst, yet their voices are often missed from policy responses and solutions.
Whether it’s floods or storms or the fossil-fuel-powered plants that are disproportionately located in black neighbourhoods, or even the 9 million tons of methane and toxic pollutants which are released into the air, which disproportionately affect African American communities across America. Something needs to change.
“The communities that are most impacted by Covid, or by pollution, it’s not surprising that they’re the ones that are going to be most impacted by extreme weather events. And it’s not surprising that they’re the ones that are targeted for racial violence. It’s all the same communities, all over the United States. And you can’t treat one part of the problem without the other, because it’s so systemic.” – Elizabeth Yeampierre
Inequality is intertwined with our climate crisis. Whether this is racial or gender, we can’t fight one without tackling the other.
We know we have a long way to go, and we know we can’t understand overnight, but we’re here for the long-haul in the fight for equal rights.
So what can we do?
Our first step is to continue to educate ourselves and to share the resources we have found useful for listening and learning.
Unequal Impact: The Deep Links Between Racism and Climate Change – Elizabeth Yeampierre
Climate change is environmental racism – Alexandra Phillips
I’m a black climate expert. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet – Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism – New York Times
White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
13th on Netflix
When They See Us on Netflix
The Black Power Mixtape 197 – 1975
Malcolm X – Amazon Prime