June 5, 2020
We are deeply saddened, enraged, and disgusted by the tragic loss of life in the Black community. We understand that racial violence is not new and persists due to the systemic racism embedded in our institutions and due to the beliefs of too many in our society who continue to uphold racism and its associated violence as the status quo.
Environmental Advocates of New York has long been an advocate for the needs of environmental justice communities. Nevertheless, we also recognize that we have a lot more work to do. We will be taking the following immediate actions and asking our ally organizations with majority white staff to do the same:
- Reassess strategic and policy priorities to adopt an intersectional approach to environmentalism and social and racial justice.
- Use our voice to educate elected officials and the public to effectuate meaningful, sustained change to end systemic racism in New York State.
- Intentionally uplift and support Black lives and environmental justice and follow the lead of marginalized communities in our fight for clean water and air, a clean energy powered economy, and healthy communities.
- Commit to anti-racism focused discussion as part of our anti-discrimination trainings for staff and board members to foster a self-aware organizational culture.
We reaffirm our commitment to an ongoing process of listening, learning, and growing so that our racial justice advocacy remains impactful. We have been working through grief, and we stand with Black Lives Matter in affirming Black life.