Racial Justice Toolkit

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Equal Representation in the Climate Movement

“Among the 40 largest green NGOs, only 20% of the staff and 21% of the senior staff identified as People of Color. Environmental foundations revealed similar numbers with 25% of the staff and 4% of the senior staff identifying as People of Color”.
Countries from the Global South and people of colour are disproportionately affected by Climate Change, however, are often not sufficiently represented in the Climate Movement.
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Black, Asian and minority ethnic (B.A.M.E) people are often under-represented in the climate movement. Historically, climate activism has been incorrectly perceived as a white, middle-class pursuit despite the disproportionate impact that climate change will have on people of colour and the global south. In reality, B.A.M.E. activists are central to the movement and have been for decades. The climate movement needs to address its diversity problem.
Media coverage does not sufficiently represent the global south and minority groups, and disproportionately leans towards white activists. An example of this was during the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos when Black Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate was cropped out of a photo by Associated Press.
In the United States, according to a report in the Green European Journal by Nafari Alast (2020), just one in every six newsroom employees belongs to a racial minority group. This impacts how important issues such as climate change are covered in the media. If the voices of people from the global south and minority groups are not represented then policies and projects are more likely to exclude and discriminate against such groups.

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