The past few weeks have been both heartbreaking and inspiring. We have seen Black and Indigenous people reach a collective breaking point and come together to demand justice and change. In our hearts and minds, we have heard these demands and know that we must do our part—in our work, in our homes and communities.
As an organization that fosters community-based environmental change, we can play a role in breaking down the long history of racism that exists in Canada. Now more than ever, we realize that supporting sustainable communities includes social justice. It means recognizing that there is a lack of representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) within the mainstream environmental sector. It means acknowledging the exclusionary culture of mainstream environmental causes. And it means recognizing that environmental and climate issues often hit marginalized populations far worse.
We have begun internal discussions about what actions we need to take to support greater inclusion, equity and conversation. We have been thoughtfully reading articles written by BIPOC and sourcing learning opportunities for our staff—so we can start to take informed steps towards change.
We understand that some of this work will take time. It requires us to keep learning and unlearning while engaging different stakeholders and building new relationships. However, we are making these commitments today and they will continue to evolve as we deepen our empathy, engagement and action:
- We will support the work of BIPOC-led environmental and climate action groups by amplifying their voices through our channels
- We will listen and learn from these organizations and seek out opportunities to collaborate and engage through allyship and programming
- We will work to make our staff, board and membership more diverse and inclusive and will be actively seeking out BIPOC board members to ensure their voices and leadership are represented
We stand in solidarity with the Black community, Indigenous communities and people of colour across Canada. We are with you in this movement—to ensure this is not just a moment—but a turning point for true change.
The GCC Team
Here are some useful articles and resources that speak to the links between environmental and social justice. We hope you find them helpful: