Online events November 2020 - From the Ground Up: Global Gathering for Climate Justice

The Impact of the Climate Emergency on Frontline Communities


Online Forum

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This forum presents Indigenous activists and others from Frontline nations, tribes, and communities in Africa, the Americas, the Pacific Islands and other communities. They speak from their personal experiences of how the land and people's existence are being threatened by the climate emergency and how they are organizing to stop it.

Come learn from those who are directly impacted by environmental destruction. It is an opportunity to increase our awareness to more fully understand the worldwide scope of the climate emergency as well as learning more about how to support and follow the leadership of Indigenous and Frontline peoples. We need to hear these experiences as people share stories of hope, commitment, and courage. Their stories lead us to unite, inspire, and rekindle our spirit.

At intervals during the forum, we will take turns listening to each other in pairs. In this way, everyone will have a chance to process what they have heard, tell their own story, and express any feelings they have about the climate crisis. Sharing like this can be a powerful way to strengthen our resolve, commitment, and activism.

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.