On May 29th, 2020, 350.org posted the statement “What we must do to dismantle white supremacy” on their blog. If you have not already done so, I ask that you take a moment to read the post and reflect on the roles that you as a climate activist, and 350 Spokane as an organization of climate activists, have to play in ensuring the dismantling of institutions such as the carceral system and white supremacy.

As I reflect on the local protest this past weekend, I am struck by two things. First, the call to action by our community: White silence is violence. It is not enough to be against racism, but we must be wholly and actively anti-racist. Secondly, 350 Spokane’s mission statement advocates for “a just transition to 100% fossil-free energy and a low-carbon economy that works for everyone.” As we also acknowledge that the climate crisis is already threatening communities which are low-income, indigenous, and/or communities of color, so we must understand that the fight for climate justice is inherently an intersectional one. We must constantly be seeking ways to be and do better, and that includes amplifying voices of color, making space, and ensuring that 350 Spokane continues to grow with the anti-racism movement.

It is imperative that each of us reject the notion that nothing can be done about white supremacy. We have the power to take action. As outlined in the statement, some immediate actions include:

  • Watch 350.org’s webinar on What We Must Do to Dismantle White Supremacy which focuses on what it means to truly fight for climate justice and how to center racial justice and equity. The webinar discusses ways to work towards dismantling white supremacy and actions you can take where you live to support black lives.
  • Participate in the Movement for Black Lives ongoing week of action from June 1st-7th.
  • Sign this petition, and join other climate activists who support the Movement for Black Lives in their call to protect protesters, reallocate resources to invest in Black communities, and provide immediate relief for communities.
  • Donate generously to the NAACP and support their #WeAreDoneDying campaign.
  • Donate to The Bail Project, an organization with a local chapter in Spokane, which uses a revolving bail fund as a “critical tool to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system.
  • Call for justice for George Floyd. The ACLU in Minnesota can tell you how to do so.
  • Text ‘ActionNOW’ to 90975 to get regular updates from the Movement for Black Lives about actions you can take.
  • Share these resources and actions with your community.

Additionally, it is essential to listen to the people most impacted by our racist system and build a movement that is rooted in the needs of the most oppressed, to think critically about the narratives we tell, and to exercise compassion toward one another. It is important that each of us do the work to discover our individual biases and confront our own racism, in a way that does not burden Black people or people of color. In addition to the resources listed by 350.org, read about what white people can do for racial justice, and pay special attention to local Black-led efforts here in Spokane.

I will end this with a few words from Dominique Thomas, a 350.org member and organizer:

There is no just recovery from this pandemic or climate justice without addressing systematic extraction, harm, and violence towards Black communities. To build the world we want, it requires more than transitioning our energy sources. We have to live and breathe in the defense and justice for Black lives every day, not just when their lives are taken on video. That means being more radical, more nimble, and intersectional in our work in order to confront white supremacy in ourselves and in every facet of our society.”

In solidarity,

Emily Grant
350 Spokane activist