In partnership with Starbucks, NationSwell convened a digital discussion between four luminaries — Dr. Robert Bullard, Bill McKibben, Michael Kobori and Heather McTeer Toney — where we explored some of the most compelling and innovative potential solutions to the issue of climate justice.
Here are some insights from that conversation.

  • You can’t analyze social issues without considering climate change. America is segregated and so is pollution. Zip code is still the most accurate predictor of health, wealth and wellbeing.”

  • Climate justice can defined as making sure that no matter where you are or what you are, the institutions that surround you are ensuring equity in how we experience air, water and land.

  • Equality of response will not achieve equity — we must focus on the underserved.

  • Climate change will not wait for us, so we need to be bold now.

  • But justice is intergenerational work, so don’t expect quick wins.

  • No individual can change the course of climate change now — it will take collaboration, policy change and shift in power.

  • This is not about a filter we put on our cars; this is going to be about taking care once and for all of this confluence of problems and if we can’t do it together then we can’t do it. We’re not going to solve it one Prius at a time; the most important thing individuals can do is be less of an individual.

  • Women leaders are fundamental to social movements — from Civil Rights, to Women’s Movement, to Anti-War through Climate Justice; we should look to and lift up the female leaders who are bringing their community with them.

  • Follow young people: they are braver in demanding justice and have the most at stake.

  • Collaborative community organizations have the most power to build effective solutions — partnerships built on the idea that communities must speak for themselves and harnessing the energy of local students e.g. HBCU Community Equity Consortium

  • To activate more people, we need to stop being judgmental about climate activism — “Stop being judgmental about climate, stop putting climate issues in a box; I’m proud to be a climate activist and I love bacon, you don’t have to be vegan! There is a diversity of problems and and a diversity of solutions to those problems.

If you missed the event, you can watch it here.