Climate Change is a reality. Over 100 organizers and leaders from across the country came together in rural Virginia last weekend for the inaugural People and Planet First Summit in Richmond, Virginia. PLAN’s Environmental Justice team was proud and excited to participate in this amazing inaugural climate justice event.
The fight for water is a multifaceted fight that touches many different issue areas: contamination, drought, and flooding as just a few examples. By the end of the Summit, leaders, organizers and many others from all walks of life committed to a big and radical goal:
I was in awe of all the ways individuals are revolutionizing their communities in countless ways such as legislative accountability and city-wide cooperative projects. We participated in workshops to build leadership, narratives, and awareness of environmental injustices affecting communities of color, indigenous, and low-income communities. I fell in love with the vulnerabilities people were sharing for the sake of creating narratives to ignite our efforts in dismantling the current system that does not put People and Planet first.
The summit helped to clarify a national agenda focused on centering the leadership and interests of people of color and working class, and dismantle false narratives of people vs planet. It was an opportunity for our staff to form relationships with organizers from across the country who help to inform and inspire our own work, and who were informed of our work.
The environmental justice summit gave me a new ideas on what activism can look like, and what we can all do to protect our communities. Meeting organizations like PUSH Buffalo, Cooperation Jackson, and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth have shown me that the people can, and do, come together to rebuild their communities to benefit the people living there. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned and help Reno in becoming a community that creates sustainable economies, and provides for everyone that lives here.