Racial Justice Feature Series: Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Environmental Justice

Loretto at the UN remains deeply committed to promoting racial justice. Because of this commitment, we have decided to do a series of posts sharing articles and resources from people working for racial justice at all of its intersections. 

Our first feature is from Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist, policy expert, and strategist from Brooklyn, NY. She is founder and CEO of Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm for conservation solutions grounded in social justice, and founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for coastal cities. You’ll find her at the nexus of science, policy, and communication, passionately advocating for coastal communities, and building solutions for ocean justice and our climate crisis. We are sharing an article she wrote which outlines the overlaps between solving climate change and ending racism. To quote a passage from her article– 

“Here’s the rub: If we want to successfully address climate change, we need people of color. Not just because pursuing diversity is a good thing to do, and not even because diversity leads to better decision-making and more effective strategies, but because, black people are significantly more concerned about climate change than white people (57 percent vs. 49 percent), and Latinx people are even more concerned (70 percent). To put that in perspective, it means that more than 23 million black Americans already care deeply about the environment and could make a huge contribution to the massive amount of climate work that needs doing.” 

You can find the article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/06/03/im-black-climate-scientist-racism-derails-our-efforts-save-planet/?fbclid=IwAR1pNP7ulrVLtSQH-ON5DDZYIFFmrlzL38YPRj1RrMN19WaDhWAPoAZrmYY

There is no such thing as sustainability without racial justice. As an organization committed to sustainability and caring for the environment, we must work together against racism and white supremacy in all of its many forms. 

Dr. Johnson’s website is https://www.ayanaelizabeth.com/ and she is also on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/ayanaeliza/)  and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ayanaeliza) if you would like to keep following her excellent work!