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The Climate Crisis is NOW. So we start here, at this moment in our collective human history that cannot be denied, silenced, or forgotten. Extreme weather events are the new normal for the world and directly impact Black communities the most. Our planet’s climate is experiencing human-accelerated change that threatens all life on Earth. It threatens our physical health, mental health, air, quality, water access, food systems, and shelter, and is destroying the land that feeds our communities. Climate change impacts us all, but it affects some of us much more than others.

Between extreme weather events, floods, and global forest fires, we are collectively being exposed to the vulnerabilities in our infrastructure and our lack of governmental preparedness for this new climate reality. Extreme weather events that used to occur once in a lifetime are now happening annually. They consistently reveal how generations of structural discrimination have placed Black communities at the greatest risk. No one should fear physical violence or imprisonment while fleeing a hurricane or a fire. As long as prisons continue to exist, safe evacuation and medical care must be mandatory for incarcerated people during climate-related extreme weather events. Unless we take drastic measures, these kinds of events will continue to devastate our communities, who are already under siege. Our call for CEJ demands more than just a new global governmental response that protects and serves the people. We call for a response that places power into the people’s hands, rather than serving up our lives to the biggest profiteers and polluters.

The Black Hive @M4BL Demands:

  • Resources for Black-led agencies, nonprofits, cooperatives, community groups, and Black-owned businesses prioritizing climate preparation, adaptation, alternatives, and mitigation in Black communities
  • Recognition that systemic racism and violence have severely reduced the number of Black-led institutions; for this reason, governments and international bodies must make universally public options available to finance climate mitigation and adaptation, and distribute funds/implement policies in a manner that builds wealth and self-sufficiency for Black communities on the frontlines of climate change
  • Enactment of local, statewide assessments of the vulnerability of Black communities to the impacts of extreme weather or other climate‐related events and environmental risks
  • Healthcare for all as a part of climate disaster mitigation, adaptation efforts, alternatives, and solutions; climate change and toxic pollution are increasingly making us sick, and expanding the care economy will also create many new good, green jobs to transition away from polluting industries
  • No more adaptation apartheid—all governmental agencies across the globe funding disaster responses must establish and adhere to clear equity standards and CEJ guidelines for funding both disaster recovery and pre-disaster mitigation programs; Black homes, communities, and businesses can no longer be passed over for loans and grants from agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • An update to all policies and mitigation strategies addressing managed retreat related to sea-level rise and extreme weather, from a clear equity standpoint that considers the history of racist urban planning and ongoing climate gentrification
  • Legal migration and property protections, and just funding for those forcibly relocating due to the impacts of extreme weather events, paired with incentives to transform receiving communities into inclusive and sustainable societies
  • Implementation of an inquiry into the historic devaluation of Black-owned land linked to the National Flood Insurance Program, which encouraged “buy-outs” and relocation of Black families and communities
  • Divestment from carceral and police responses to climate disasters and investment in alternative emergency care
  • Creation of alternative emergency-response systems, divorced from police and military services, to respond to climate disasters
  • Cessation of use of unpaid incarcerated labor to fight wildfires, and removal of all barriers for the formerly incarcerated to find meaningful work fighting climate disasters moving forward
  • A guarantee that Black renters are not wrongfully displaced after an extreme weather event, without adequate compensation by flood or resettlement programs; this compensation must also factor in health, education, and healing

 “We also need to focus on social solutions . . . educating girls and young women is the sixth most powerful climate solution we have. As women are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, educating girls equips them with the tools they need to address the environmental challenges they’re facing. . . . We need to get behind solutions that we know will work and that will work right now. . . . My hope lies in the millions of young people who are speaking up and demanding action. Let’s continue doing that, because I know we will win.”
— Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan Climate and Environmental Justice Activist and Founder of Rise Up Climate Movement

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