Today millions of people are taking to the streets across the country with the energizing spirit of Juneteenth, Freedom Day, the day that commemorates the end of slavery. These millions are protesting injustice and bearing witness to the racial oppression that has shattered Black lives for centuries in the United States. And they're celebrating because Black lives matter!
For Baykeeper, the events of these past few weeks have inspired us to look more closely at the ways we conduct environmental advocacy, how our actions are rooted in privilege, and how we are reinforcing institutional racism. Yet against the current backdrop of coronavirus shutdowns, economic turmoil, and demand for justice around the world, Baykeeper's work defending San Francisco Bay and fighting for healthy Bay Area communities has never felt more urgent.
I know from personal experience that protecting the environment and supporting the people who live in it are inseparable. That's why the environmental movement must actively seek out racism and dismantle it, and build stronger alliances for justice all around us.
Justice is not the byproduct of doing the right thing—justice needs to be planted and nurtured with purpose. If every environmental advocate does that, from whatever our position or platform, we will all move closer to a safe and just world.
I heard from many of you in response to my last email, where I reflected on how the line between racial and environmental justice is really invisible. Thank you for reaching out. Your notes of support mean a lot to me and give me the spirit to keep going.
The Baykeeper team is committed to build an organization that advances a just future. And as we embark on that challenge, I'd like to share some of the thoughts and experiences that members of the team have found important, inspiring, and just plain moving.
Black Lives Matter!