A protest sign saying "Climate Justice Now"

Discussion Links Environmental, Racial Justice Issues

July 21, 2020

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) held a discussion on environmental justice issues and how they intersect with public health and are often compounded by deep, embedded racial and social inequities.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the anti-racism movement in the US have brought to light the extreme inequality that many communities are experiencing. The speakers communicated how some of the most innovative ideas for how we deal with the climate crisis are happening within communities that are at the frontlines of climate change.

“For me, I’ve always wanted to hear what different communities have been going through more than anything,” said Sweta Daga, a freelance reporter based in India who served as a Fellow for the People’s Archive of Rural India (@DangerDaga). “It is about the communities that are being affected … I might not have enough data or may not know a lot about the science, but I definitely know what’s going on on the ground.”

Drew Costley, a staff writer and multimedia journalist at OneZero on Medium (@drewcostley), emphasized listening to your community. “The stories you should be covering are the ones the people in these communities say you should be covering. They know.”

“We have to continue to amplify the voices of the people doing the real work in communities, the frontline communities,” said Lisa Garcia, previously a senior advisor to the US Environmental Protection Agency and chief advocate for Environmental Justice for New York State who is now head of Fix, Grist’s solutions lab. “And it takes time … It’s not just climate in a bubble or environment in a bubble.” 

Resources/Further Reading

Check out EJN’s thread on Twitter for more. And check back soon the EJN website for additional resources on covering climate and environmental justice issues.

(Banner photo: by Markus Spiske/Unsplash/CC)