The Women’s March On Washington: The Convergence Of Climate Change, Gender Equality, & Racial Justice

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Women's march on WashingtonThere is no question that the President-elect and his appointees are waging war on climate change, women’s rights, racial justice, and so many other important progressive values.

While we here at CleanTechnica usually focus on the climate change aspect, I think it’s important to focus on the convergence of these topics and the connection between climate change and gender equality, between conservation and racial justice. If you care about climate change, you must also recognize that racial, gender, and economic justice is intimately tied together within the climate change conversation.

The Sierra Club wrote back in 2014 that the links between climate, racial, and economic justice have never been clearer, citing Dr. Jalonne White-Newsome, of WE ACT for Environmental Justice, who “argues persuasively that environmental justice must be included in the push for social justice that’s grown following police shootings across the country.”

Worldwide, organizations like the United Nations, Greenpeace, and Sierra Club have focused on how “environmental racism” disproportionately affects women and their bodies.

If you care about the future of our renewable economy, it must be understood that renewable technologies are not enough to “solve” our climate crises: the conversation needs to also focus on how we can build healthier communities based on gender and racial equality.

To this end, I was heartened to hear that the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) has joined as a partner for the Women’s March on Washington. NRDC is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists.

This historic march will be held January 21, the first day of the new presidential administration, in protest of the sexist, racist, climate-denying politics of the incoming administration. It is expected to rally more than half a million humans in 270 marches across all 50 US states, 2 territories, and in 33 countries around the world. This is one way that women AND allies can come together to fight for what we know is right.

The NRDC stands with March organizers against attacks on fundamental rights and leads a call for clean air, safe water, and climate justice around the world — and we should all be paying attention. The press release further states what women and activists around the world know — but what the cleantech world, which is so male dominated – often fails to recognize:

“Women, low-income communities and people of color frequently bear the heaviest burdens from climate change and industrial pollution.  These communities face a greater risk of getting sick, losing their livelihoods, living in poverty, and being displaced when weather disasters strike.

“A healthy environment is a basic right for all of us—regardless of where we live, how we vote, or what we look like,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.  “Today, this right is threatened by an incoming administration that is putting corporate polluters before people. Together, we will fight these attacks and continue to build a just and livable future for ourselves, our children, and our planet. Women are not only on the frontlines of the climate crisis, we are essential to the solutions.”

Linda Sarsour, National Co-Chair of the Women’s March on Washington, states: “We must urgently address these problems with policy changes that ensure the fair treatment of all people, no matter their race, gender or income level. NRDC will expand the conversation about how climate change impacts everyone here and now, and we are proud to stand together in solidarity.”

If you cannot make it to Washington DC, you can choose to stand and march in solidarity in cities around the world: find a sister march here; connect with your community and organize at a local level to begin our grassroots pushback against the incoming administration.

Other partners for the women’s March include Planned Parenthood, Amnesty International, United We Dream, Muslim Women’s Alliance, and hundreds more.

Author note: just today (after publication) The Sierra Club sent a press release with the following information about a telepresser with Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and the Climate Justice Alliance about their involvement with the Women’s March on Washington. A recording will be available following the telepresser.

When: Tuesday, January 17 at 4:00 pm EST.

Where: Call in number: 877‑876‑9174

Pin: March

Who: Speakers include: Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), Juanita Constible, Special Projects Director, Climate and Clean Air Program, NRDC, A.Tianna Scozzaro, Gender, Equity and Environment Program Director, Sierra Club, Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice and Steering Committee Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance

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Andrea Bertoli

I'm a marketing and sales professional focused on mission-driven businesses. I'm a journalist, green investor, wellness educator, surfer, and yogi. Find delicious food and wellness stuff on my Instagram @VibrantWellness.

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