Practice Brief 70

How can environmental educators practice intersectional environmentalism?

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WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU
  • Environmental educators should take up an intersectional approach, disrupt human exceptionalism through activities that address intersecting systems of oppression, and help people build caring relationships with places & other species.
  • Organizational leadership should expand their mission to include the intersecting empowerment of people and place.
  • Board Members and Donors should consider funding models for reparations to the Indigenous people whose land environmental organizations profit from, and prioritize partnering with organizations led by BIPOC.

What Is The Issue?

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities have histories of environmentalism and relationships with land that are often made invisible in environmental education. At the same time, BIPOC communities face disproportionate social and environmental injustices. Environmental educators must foreground the diverse ways that BIPOC’s lived experiences, community practices, adaptive resilience, and social justice movements can undergird environmentalism. This can help desettle white-dominant narratives and build relationships between humans and with the natural world.

Image: Photo courtesy of IslandWood

Authors:

BY LAURA BROWN, CHRISTINA GUEVARA, RAE JING HAN, ABBY RHINEHART & DÉANA SCIPIO


Reflection Questions

  • Whose histories, values, beliefs, and imagined futures are embedded within your programs? What counts as “nature”? Whose ways of relating with nature are modeled in your program?
  • Who holds decision-making responsibilities within your organization for environmental experiences? To what extent are BIPOC educators recruited, supported, and empowered?
  • How might you center learners’ and communities’ knowledges and experiences in environmental efforts?

Things to Consider

Attending to Equity

Recommended Actions You Can Take



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