Climate change is real.
That may sound like a superfluous statement but unfortunately, due to the rapid spread of online disinformation from detractors, it has to be said.
So much so, Pinterest has launched a new misinformation policy to combat the perpetuation of false and misleading claims about climate change and its effects on their platform, and hopefully others. They are the first to do so. This recent move comes as no surprise to those that have been fully dedicated to sustainability work and furthering climate mitigation and avoidance.
Although other groups have often been the face of this movement, Black environmentalists have made significant contributions to help prevent further escalation of the climate crisis among other issues that greatly affect the world’s ecosystem. After all, we are all sharing the same planet.
Here are some badass Black women environmentalists that are changing the world, literally.
Dorceta Taylor, Ph.D.
The Yale-educated environmental sociologist, historian, writer, and academic was the first was the first-ever Black woman to receive a doctoral degree from the University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
She has been extremely outspoken about the unique space she holds as both a woman and a Black person in environmentalism, a position that is rare. People of color only make up about 28 percent of all American STEM workers. Her report “State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations” dove into the intersection of gender, racial, and class diversity within NGOs, foundations, and government agencies. She further explored this in her 2014 book Toxic Communities which takes a deeper look at the impact of environmental racism on Black communities.
Intersectional Environmentalist and Author Leah Thomas recently partnered with Pinterest for their Inspire a Better Future campaign aiming to raise awareness of their new misinformation policy with the goal of “inspiring Pinners and creators around the world to learn more about making sustainable choices in their life – with food, fashion, beauty, wellness, travel, and more.”
For years, Thomas has used her large social media platform to urge all of us to lead a greener life. Her new book The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet, explores the relationship between social justice and environmentalism.
Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D.
Dr. Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, writer, and the founder and CEO of the Ocean Collectiv — a firm that consults with companies and organizations that provide “conservation solutions grounded in social justice.”
In 2019, Johnson gave a popular TED talk
on the ocean, coral reefs, and the impact of climate change on aquatic environments.
She has also been extremely outspoken about race, gender, and environmental justice. In a Washington Post article
in 2020, she called out the need for anti-racism within the environmentalist movement, specifically from white activists.
Adrienne Hollis, Ph.D.
As the senior climate justice and health scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UofCS), Adrienne Hollis, Ph.D. is responsible for driving environmental justice actions at the U.S.-based science advocacy nonprofit. As you can imagine, her background is incredibly impressive. Not only is she a biomedical doctor, she is also an environmental lawyer.
“People of color have been blatantly excluded from decision making,” Hollis said in an interview
. “This has resulted in adverse environmental exposures, poor public health outcomes, poor infrastructure, and economic oppression.”