Anti-Racism & Environmental Justice Resources

Sustainable Seattle stands in solidarity with the Black community and pledges to call out and work to dismantle our inherently racist and oppressive systems until there is true justice and equity for all. We won’t solve climate change without properly addressing social justice. Climate justice is racial justice. Here is a growing list of resources to learn more about the intrinsic link between anti-racism work and environmental justice: 

Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism by Somini Sengupta

Environmental Justice & Environmental Racism definitions by Green Action

From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement by Luke W. Cole and Sheila R. Foster

Failed Promises: Evaluating the Federal Government’s Response to Environmental Justice

Our People, Our Planet, Our Power by Got Green and Puget Sound Sage

Racism is Killing the Planet by Hop Hopkins

The Least Convenient Truth Part 1 – Climate Change and White Supremacy by Bani Amor

TOWARD A CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE STUDIES: Black Lives Matter as an Environmental Justice Challenge

White supremacy produces disproportionate environmental pollution by Jibril Kyser

COVID-19 Relief Resources

There are a plethora of organizations who have compiled a list of COVID-19 financial relief and resources for those living in Seattle and the Puget Sound Region. Here are the ones we’ve seen so far: 

COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund. Artist Trust. 

These unrestricted rapid response cash grants are intended to support the critical needs of working artists whose livelihoods are impacted by COVID-19. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and selected weekly. 

COVID-19 Artist & Community Resource List. Northwest Folklife. 

Northwest Folklife has compiled a community-generated spreadsheet of resources for financial assistance, mutual aid & advocacy, and informational support for those economically impacted by the crisis. 

COVID-19 Mutual Aid. It’s Going Down. 

This resource list breaks down relief funds by geographic region, for those financially impacted by the pandemic. 

COVID-19: Resources for Community. 

City, Community, County, State & Federal Resources for residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is updated as more resources develop. 

COVID-19 Response Fund. Seattle Foundation. 

The Fund provides grants to nonprofits working on the frontlines to provide our region’s communities most impacted by the crisis with emergency assistance, such as financial support, healthcare, and childcare. 

Cultural Relief Fund. 4 Culture. 

This relief fund will distribute $1 million through May 15 to cultural workers, both individuals and organizations, who are generating creative responses to the pandemic.

S2 Newsletter Archive

November 2019: Our Think Tank Series and “Refreshing the Sustainability Indicators.”

September 2019: “Sponsor Profile: Fremont is a sustainability leader in the craft beer industry.” 

August 2019: “Thoughts of a Seattle Resident on Smoke Around the Sound.”


On Eco-Gentrification

Discusses how large-scale “sustainable development” projects in urban areas often perpetuate housing affordability problems, displacement of multi-generational families, and systemic barriers to equity. 

On Collective Impact

Part of the “Essentials of Social Innovation series: A starter kit for leaders of social change.” By John Kania and Mark Kramer.

On Intersectionality

Lawyer, civil rights advocate, Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, and a leading scholar of critical race theory, Kimberlé Crenshaw delivers a masterful talk on “the urgency of intersectionality” in this Ted talk. 

On Just Transition 

A booklet created by Movement Generation that describes the concept of Just Transition, a framework for shifting to a thriving and sustainable economy that is ecologically aligned, community-based, and equitable for all. 

Seattle Equity & Environment Agenda

The city of Seattle’s strategy to address environmental disparities in which communities face greater environmental risks and which benefit the most from environmental progress. 

Whiteness & Racism in Environmentalism’s History

Many of the historic figures widely credited for founding the modern Environmental Movement did so on the basis of explicitly racist beliefs and principles. 


S2 Quarterly Theme Resources 

2020 Quarter 2: community/access/data

We’ve shifted our focus to match the needs of the moment, working to generate and share resources related to the impacts of the coronavirus on our community. Our quarterly theme of “community/access/data” complements this effort. 

Data Justice. Detroit Community Technology Project. 

A sponsored project of Allied Media Projects, the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition is comprised of people and organizations in Detroit who believe that communication is a fundamental human right. They outline the digital justice principles of access, participation, common ownership, and healthy communities.

“What is data justice? The case for connecting digital rights and freedoms globally,” Linnet Taylor. Big Data & Society. 2017.

Taylor posits that data justice is necessary to determine ethical paths through a datafying world.

“Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate,” Akilah Johnson and Talia Buford. Pro Publica. April 3, 2020. 

One of the few places in the country tracking the racial data on COVID-19 infections, Milwaukee demonstrates the disproportionate impact and spread rate of the virus on the black community. The CDC has yet to follow suit on releasing the racial breakdown of coronavirus cases. 

“The Coronavirus Outbreak Has Shown That Capitalism is Failing,” Chris Winters. Yes! Magazine. March 26, 2020. 

In this op-ed, Winters discusses how the coronavirus pandemic exposes the implicit fragility of capitalism as an economic system that is ill-prepared to handle the disruptions of any global crisis. 

“The CDC must release data on racial disparities of the spread & effects of COVID-19,” Seattle Indivisible. April 6, 2020. 

A call to action to ask our members of Congress to demand that the CDC collects and distributes demographic data on the disparities and inequities of coronavirus impacts to communities of color. 

“South Seattle Neighborcare Response to COVID-19 Exposes Healthcare Inequities,” Alexa Peters. South Seattle Emerald. March 29, 2020. 

Residents of South Seattle are at higher risk for the underlying health conditions that leave them more vulnerable to the effects COVID-19, as well as having lower rates of insurance compared to other areas of the city. This article highlights the challenging yet innovative measures South Seattle health clinics are taking to reduce patients’ chance of exposure, and the need to dramatically increase healthcare and financial support for the South Seattle community. 

2020 Quarter 1: The Relationship of Culture + Environment 

Climate Justice and Resiliency in Communities of Color

Millions of people in the world’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities experience the worst of climate change’s impacts. Listed in this short read are groups who are successfully working to alleviate the effects of climate change in their communities in sustainable ways. 

Kay Tita

Kay Tita is a social impact non-profit organization that serves as a conduit to provide changemakers in Haiti with a safe space and the resources they need to increase their impact, develop skills, and establish key partnerships. 

“Our People, Our Planet, Our Power,” Got Green and Puget Sound Sage

Got Green and Puget Sound Sage set out to learn how our communities in the Puget Sound region are experiencing climate change. This has shaped their conversations with community, the public sector, and organizational partners as well as the development of the policy recommendations put forth in this report. 

What is Community Resilience, and Why Does It Matter?

We’ve been talking quite a bit about community resilience lately – it’s an emerging theme in our work and in the conversations we’re having with community leaders. Institute for Sustainable Communities sat down with ISC’s President George Hamilton to ask him a few questions about community resilience. 

“Climate Change, Intergenerational Equity, and International Law,” Edith Brown Weiss. 2008. Georgetown University Law Center. 

In this journal article, Weiss speaks to the intergenerational justice and equity problems of climate change, and calls for a Declaration of Planetary Rights and Obligations. 

“Intergenerational Equity and the Sustainable Development Goals,” Otto Spijkers. 2018. MDPI. 

This research paper addresses how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) refer to the concept of intergenerational equity and reviews the international law literature on intergenerational equity. 

“The Path to Climate Justice is Intergenerational,” Nicole Greenfield. 2019. NRDC. 

Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based advocacy organization, UPROSE, has added climate justice to its top priorities for addressing equitable neighborhood development. 

“The Environmental Justice Movement is Rooted in Black History,” 2019. 

Honoring the origins of the modern Environmental Justice movement, discusses 5 critical ways that African American leaders have advanced EJ. 

“Indigenous song keepers reveal traditional ecological knowledge in music,” Dana Lepofsky, Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, and Oqwilowgwa Kim Recalma-Clutesi. January 2, 2020.  The Conversation.

Discusses the loss of Indigenous music that serve as repositories of vast traditional ecological knowledge, and the current movement to protect and honor these and other forms of cultural knowledge.

“How Indigenous knowledge advances modern science and technology,” Jesse Popp. January 2, 2018.   The Conversation.

One Indigenous scientist, who specializes in combining traditional ecological knowledge with wildlife ecology research, discusses how Western and Indigenous scientific approaches are complementary and can work together for the advancement of science and technology for generations to come. 

“Naomi Klein: Climate Solutions That Neglect Inequality Are Doomed to Fail,” Laura Flanders. January 24, 2020. 

An interview with journalist Naomi Klein on the current status of environmental justice efforts in the wake of escalating climate impacts, both nationally and on the global front. 

“During Black History Month, we celebrate 12 environmental leaders,” Felice Stadler. Environmental Defense Fund Blog. February 18, 2020. 

A post celebrating the work of 12 environmental leaders who have dedicated their careers to improving the health and safety of communities, creating a more just and equitable society, and stabilizing the climate. 

“Providence shows other cities how environmental justice is done,” Zoe Sayler. Grist. Nov 1, 2019. 

In fall 2019, Providence, Rhode Island released a Climate Justice Plan that by 2025 will collaborate with community organizations on every initiative it adopts, a model called collaborative governance. 

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