David Vognar: Conversation With NAACP Climate Justice Initiative Director Jacqueline Patterson
For more than two years the NAACP Climate Justice Initiative has been working to address climate change and help people understand how climate change will impact minorities and low-income communities. Funded at first by grant money, the initiative has developed from one person going around the country teaching climate justice workshops to placing environmental and climate justice ambassadors at the state and local level -- and today even has four fellows. I talked with Jacqueline Patterson, the director of the program, about how her work is going.Climate Justice Initiative | NAACP
Climate Change is about Katrina, Rita, and Ike devastating communities in Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas, Climate Change is about our sisters and brothers in the Bahamas who will be losing their homes to rising sea levels in the coming few years. Climate Change is about people in Detroit, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere who have died and are dying of exposure to toxins from coal fired power plants.
Climate Change is about sisters and brothers in West Virginia who are breathing toxic ash from blasting for mountain top removal. Climate Change is about our folks in Thibodeaux, Louisiana who are being forced to move within the next 10 years because rising sea levels will result in the submersion of the coastal land that is their home currently.
It's about the fact that race--over class--is the number one indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in this country. Climate change is about the fact that in our communities it is far easier to find a bag of Cheetos than a carton of strawberries.