Connecting for Climate Justice

July 7, 2014

Small-group discussions at our final workshop

This June, ACE hosted three workshops on climate justice for members to discuss what climate change looks like in our lives and how it connects with our work for environmental justice.

During the first workshop, members identified climate change impacts in our communities like extreme fluctuations in temperature and food shortages that raise the cost of groceries. We explored the root causes of this crisis and its connection to environmental injustice, like how people of color and folks with low-incomes are the first to experience the negative effects of climate change. Drawing on connections between climate and environmental justice, we collectively came up with a working definition of climate justice.

The second workshop focused on local and global climate justice movements, with guest speakers sharing what climate justice organizing looks like in their communities. Joaquin Brito and Brian Gonzalez from UPROSE in Brooklyn, NY, video conferenced with us, and Ninya Loeppky from Boston Climate Action Network, joined us in person. Together, members discussed how we can work for climate justice at home by building up our own networks and local food sources to develop alternative and sustainable economies.

For the third and final session, members brainstormed how ACE can deepen our climate justice vision and strategy. Participants envisioned how our current work combating environmental injustice could be tied into a campaign targeting the effects of climate change in our community. Together, we brainstormed ways we can move the work for climate justice forward.

“I learned that ACE is heavily involved with changing processes for cleaner air and water,” said Jose Vazquez, a Bunker Hill Community College student who attended the third workshop. “My favorite part was the open discussion. Everyone was there for a reason, and everyone had a voice.”

A big thank you to our facilitators for a wonderful series: Mary Ann Babinski, Louise Baxter, Joaquin Brito, Brian Gonzalez, Penn Loh, Marcos Luna, Sara Mersha, Mike Prokosch and Becca Tumposky. Thanks to Dot 2 Dot Café for delicious catering and to members for an incredible potluck, and thank you for your help and participation!

For more information and to help develop ACE’s new climate justice strategy, join us at the next member meeting on Wednesday, July 23 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.