Today, this third Monday in January, we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. in US. Climate activists across the movement are using this opportunity to reflect on the interconnectedness of climate justice with racial justice, economic justice, and social justice more generally. To quote the reverend doctor:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
As we confront climate change and the fact that all of us humans have this one planet to share, this quotation seems eerily prescient. Though it may be obvious now that people are affected by climate change disproportionately based on race, class, age, and other factors, it has not always been so. Indeed, it was not long ago that “environmentalism” was coded as a white, elite issue (even as many non-white, non-elite folks were at the forefront of various environmental fights), and even now, the movement still has struggles with inclusivity. For all of our sakes, it’s clear we need to keep working on climate justice for all.
All this to say, I enjoyed many of the essays/articles I read today on the intersection of MLK and the climate movement, as they were a good reminder of how the movement has come in recent decades, but also how far we have to go. Here are a few:
- Inspired by King’s Words, Experts Say the Fight for Climate Justice Anywhere is a Fight for Climate Justice Everywhere by James Bruggers
- “A Radical Revolution of Values” by David Sirota
- 3 Lessons From Dr. King’s Letter From A Birmingham Jail For The Climate Crisis by Marshall Shepherd
Looking for actions to take this week? Check out how you can support the pursuit of justice through encouraging lawmakers to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Law: