Intersectional Environmental Justice: People + Planet

Sat 12:00pm - 12:50pm

Venue: Convo 12


Environmental Justice. Racial Justice. Climate Change. Human Thriving. Sustainability. Intersectional Feminism. Anti-Racism. Non-Commodification. These are many of our hopes as we approach environmental work and tackle the biggest challenges of our generation. However, the path from outcry and acknowledgment to strategic action and systemic change is far from simple. It is an exciting but gravely serious time to be involved in the environmental movement in the US. Large entities and events are “going green” and most of our society has some awareness of climate change, clean water challenges, and flooding issues. Environmental organizations often have an appreciation and commitment to Indigenous Peoples and People of Color, but struggle to diversify their staff, boards and leadership. How do we fight for Environmental Justice in structures that are still majority middle-class and white? How do we build resilience in the face of climate change and navigate the tensions between “hurry and do it the way (our way, the middle-class white way) we know will fix this” –vs- true engagement of the people most affected & those who have been least engaged in decision-making? Can we build a truly multi-racial movement for people + planet that decenters cultural “whiteness” to the margins, where everyone else is, and build a new multi-racial center of leadership where no one culture dominates? Let’s discuss the future of the environmental movement – people + planet. Where the arts, spiritual and cultural connections the water and the earth sustain and motivate our actions. Let’s talk about intersectional environmentalism, environmental justice and community sustainability. Let’s acknowledge systems of oppression, hyper-segregation, marginalization of people of color, indigenous peoples, and women in our movement for a thriving planet. How can we honor and reignite the spiritual and cultural connections we have to our water, our land and our planet? What lessons can we learn from our native women and women of color who have been our water keepers? Join us as we share stories, lessons learned and inspiration to lead from a place of justice, inclusion, action and reflection. Milwaukee Water Commons is a multiracial-led, women-led, Environmental Justice focused organization that works on behalf of our peoples and our waters. As a cross-city community water network, we foster connection, collaboration, and leadership on behalf of Milwaukee’s waters. Through water stewardship, access, and shared decision-making, we are helping to catalyze Milwaukee as a model water city – where all have a stake in the health and care of our waters – and to catalyze justice and equity as defining principles of environmental action in the state, region and nation. Milwaukee is a segregated city with intersecting injustices, inequities and historical disparities. We also sit on the shore of Lake Michigan and at the confluence of three rivers. Our work is situated at the confluence of these realities.