Sustaining All Life/United to End Racism Events Earth Day 2021
Eliminating the Effects of Racism in Climate Activism
Racism has had a deeply damaging and divisive effect on everyone. It shapes and perpetuates the inequities of our society. It has become part of our social institutions. Unless we address racism, it is replicated in any solutions we develop. Understanding and healing the effects of racism on us as individuals is a necessary step in creating a movement that can sustain all life and restore the environment.
In this workshop, we will:
★ Learn about the development and maintenance of racism
★ Examine the effects of historic and systemic racism on individual lives, interpersonal connections, relationships, and the climate movement
★ Examine manifestations of racism in the environmental movement and the global response to the climate emergency
★ Learn the approaches used by Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism to heal from the damage of oppression, increase our effectiveness in the climate justice movement, and prevent burnout
The Work of SAL and UER
It is possible to limit the effects of human-caused climate change and restore the environment—and some big changes are needed if this is to happen. Sustaining All Life (SAL) and United to End Racism (UER) believe the environmental crisis cannot be resolved without ending racism, genocide of Indigenous peoples, classism, sexism, and other oppressions. The impact of environmental destruction and climate change falls most heavily on the groups targeted by these oppressions, and on other vulnerable populations (including populations of people who are elderly, disabled and very young).
To build a movement powerful enough to resolve the climate crisis, SAL and UER believe that the following barriers must be overcome: (1) longstanding divisions between nations and between groups of people caused by oppression (especially by racism, genocide of Indigenous people, and classism), (2) wide-spread feelings of discouragement and powerlessness, (3) a too-slow response to the escalating damage to the earth’s climate, (4) difficulties in effectively addressing the connections between the environmental crisis and the failures of our economic system.
We have found that these barriers are most quickly overcome as people heal from the mental and emotional harm caused by oppression. SAL and UER events provide opportunities for people to take turns listening to each other while encouraging emotional release. We become better able to think, speak out, organize, unite, and lead others in building a sustainable world.
SAL and UER are projects of and use the tools of Re-evaluation Counseling, which currently exists in 95 countries.