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On November 7, 2020, Patricia Chong (Asian Canadian Labour Alliance) spoke at the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario’s (ETFO) Racialized Members Conference: Identity in times of Crisis. Patricia spoke about the ACW and Coalition of Black Trade Unionists’ Environmental Racism project with a focus on COVID-19. The conference continues on November 28, 2020.

Anti-Oppression & The Green Economy

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On Oct. 21, 2020, Patricia Chong (Asian Canadian Labour Alliance) spoke about the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces’ Environmental Racism workshop, the impact of COVID-19 on Racialized and Indigenous peoples, and the opportunities for resistance at the RISING TOGETHER: Women for a Just Economy webinar “Anti-Oppression and the Green Economy.”

 

The other panelists were:

Ellen Gabriel, Indigenous human rights and environmental activist

Harsha Walia, activist & BC Civil Liberties Association ED

Lylou Sehili, La Coalition étudiante pour un virage environnemental et social (CEVES)

Meg Gingrich, Researcher, United Steelworkers

 

This series of webinars was organized by the Equal Pay Coalition and the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, with the support of the Atkinson Foundation and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

 

More info here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzyY1jN9qFY&ab_channel=EqualPayCoalition-Ontario&fbclid=IwAR0Y4m1xalXZPLrJ6ouxEJqvlmFQ-ig84P7DEcDwvn7kvbPkQZTx3oOvTkE

CBTU calls upon Unions to take and implement anti-racist pandemic recovery plans in this moving and militant Labour Day message in Our Times Magazine. Yolanda K. McClean vows, “We will keep walking along the long road to Justice. We will not rest, we will not stop, we will not concede until our demands are met.” Happy Labour Day
#BLM #COVID19 #workersrights #socialjustice #LabourDay2020

https://ourtimes.ca/article/building-for-better-in-a-post-pandemic-recovery?fbclid=IwAR0O9oviEKYGxt-XrhabWby8eAy_Ne7P70nTrUBlQxDNTNPE4Ui6rg8AzuM

 

 

What Can Unions Do to Stop Environmental Racism?

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ACW, CBTU, and ACLA hosted a webinar and invited union and community activists to take action against environmental racism. In this moment of tremendous social change unions are asking themselves: how best can we act to stop racism in all its forms and ensure that the transition to a “new normal” does not reproduce the inequities of the old normal. The webinar engaged participants on a discussion on the nature of Environmental Racism, reviewed ER case studies in a Canadian content, explored the Environmental Justice movement and had group discussions on what unions can do to stop Environmental Racism. Here’s the link to the video

https://vimeo.com/444399829/4c62c452e2

 

Retooling Our World for the Future

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The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists joined Green Jobs Oshawa’s first “Retooling Our World for the Future” Summit; a summit for community leaders, environmentalists, labour and social justice advocates all working towards the common goal of public ownership and repurposing our world and jobs for socially beneficial manufacturing. Here is the link to the video of the summit and a description of the speakers on Youtube.

https://youtu.be/uYLCQC5LTfE

Environmental Racism Workshop in Hamilton

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists partnered with the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion Leadership Program to deliver “Unionism 101: Let’s Talk About Unions” to young civic leaders engaged in social justice activism on campuses and workplaces. The discussion explored the relevance of the the Labour Movement to young workers including the struggle to stop environmental racism.

For more information go to https://adaptingcanadianwork.ca/category/environmental-racism/

 

Working together to demand action on Environmental Racism

CBTU Canada has joined Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change to engage community and labour activists through a research project on environmental racism.

What does #BlackLivesMatter, and the unshakable moral principle that it represents, have to do with climate change? Everything. Because we can be quite sure that if wealthy white Americans had been the ones left without food and water for days in a giant sports stadium after Hurricane Katrina, even George W. Bush would have gotten serious about climate change.

Similarly, if Australia were at risk of disappearing, and not large parts of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Tony Abbott would be a lot less likely to publicly celebrate the burning of coal as “good for humanity,” as he did on the occasion of the opening of a vast new coal mine.

 

Continue reading on rabble blog

 

 

“Too White to Solve the Climate Crisis?”

Environmental groups have a diversity problem. Here are some ways we can fix it.
By: Jesse Firempong

 

A US group tracking green groups’ diversity, found 20% of staff at the largest 40 US-based environmental non-governmental organizations identified as people of colour in 2018, even though racialized people make up about 40% of the American population.

 

“People are scared to talk about race,” says Kenyan-born Wanjiro Ndungu, who works in fundraising at Greenpeace Canada’s Toronto office. She’s also our organization’s diversity manager. “I think what makes change happen is being able to deal with that uncomfortable experience,” she adds.

 

Greenpeace has created more diverse hiring panels and a new staff equity committee.

 

Continue reading article here

Gentrification is Environmental Racism

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Excellent Meeting today at the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL)‘s Executive Council meeting, chaired by their new President Patty Jarvis Coates. Ahmad Gaied, Secretary-Treasurer OFL, and Christopher Wilson, 1st Vice-President CBTU reported on the partnership between CBTU Ontario, Canada, and the OFL to put the pressure on governments at all levels to understand that: gentrification is environmental racism.

 

 

A new Legacies of Labour poster series and media campaign has been released demanding affordable housing for all. Janice Gairey is profiled in the campaign in recognition of her lifelong commitment to the elimination of anti-black racism, Islamophobia and racial inequality in all its forms.

 

Text CBTU to 647-797-9901 to get involved in this fight!  This project is in celebration of African Liberation and Black History Month.

For more information or to download the Generations of Justice campaign poster visit http://ofl.ca/janicegairey/

 

 

Building Solidarity & Overcoming Fear: Mexico, Canada, and USA Activists Gathering

 

The “Overcoming Fear: Creating a Trinational Workers Toolkit Conference” in Pennsylvania brought together trade unionists and Migrant Activists from Mexico, USA, and Canada. The trinational Conference was organized by United Electrical Workers, United Steelworkers, and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.

 

 

Patricia Chong, who designed the Environmental Racism workshop, attended the conference as as a representative for the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance (ACLA). Elizabeth Ha attended as a representative for Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW).

ACLA and CBTU have been partnering to deliver the Environmental Racism workshop across Ontario for over a year engaging over 500 union members and community activists in participatory discussions to both identify and stop environmental racism.

 

 

More Conference Information Environmental Racism Project Resources

 

 

Le racisme environnemental et les droits de la personne/ Environmental Racism – A Human Rights Perspective

 

UFCW Human Rights Committee Meeting

 

Le racisme environnemental et les droits de la personne

Les membres du Comité des droits de la personne du Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses unis de l’alimentation et du commerce (TUAC) d’un bout à l’autre du pays se sont réunis pour participer à l’atelier Green is not White Environmental Racism. Les discussions ont été très constructives et ont permis d’entendre des points de vue variés provenant de toutes les régions du pays. Nous avons également eu la chance d’entendre une personne déléguée du Québec, le frère Othman Benlemoudden, représentant syndical, TUAC 501, qui a apporté un point de vue éclairé (et bilingue) à la séance.

L’atelier s’est terminé par une question posée par Emmanuelle Lopez-Bastos, représentant des TUAC pour l’équité et les droits de la personne : « Quelles mesures les membres des TUAC peuvent-ils prendre pour mettre fin au racisme environnemental? » Denise Hampden (CBTU et AFPC) et Christopher Wilson (CBTU et AFPC) ont indiqué, qu’en s’appuyant sur les principes de l’éducation populaire, il fallait créer un espace pour permettre aux membres de s’exprimer sur cette question tout en étant confiants qu’ils et elles ont les connaissances pour y répondre. Comme Paulo Freire et Myles Horton nous l’ont enseigné : « C’est en marchant que nous construisons notre chemin ».

Dans la semaine qui a suivi la présentation de cet atelier, nous avons appris que les documents de l’atelier de deux heures, les notes d’animation et les documents d’appoint sont maintenant disponibles en français grâce à l’excellent travail des traductrices de l’Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada. Vous pourrez trouver cette documentation ici:

 

Télécharger la présentation en français (PDF) Télécharger les notes d’animation en français (PDF)

 

Environmental Racism – A Human Rights Perspective

Human Rights Committee members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) came together from across Canada to engage in the Green Is Not White Environmental Racism workshop. Discussions were participatory with varied perspectives offered from regions across the country. We also had the chance to hear from a delegate from Quebec, Brother Othman Benlemoudden, UFCW 501 Union Representative, who brought thoughtful (and bilingual) insight to the session.

The workshop concluded with a question from Emmanuelle Lopez-Bastos, the Equity and Human Rights rep from UFCW. She asked: “What actions can UFCW members take to stop environmental racism?” Building upon the principles of popular education, Denise Hampden (CBTU and PSAC) and Christopher Wilson (CBTU and PSAC) responded: create spaces to ask your members that very question and trust the knowledge will be in the room. As Paulo Freire and Myles Horton teach us: “We Make the Road by Walking”

Within a week of delivering this session we received word that, the materials for the 2 hour workshop, both facilitation notes and handouts are now available in French thanks to the great work of translators at the Public Service Alliance of Canada. They can be found here:

 

Download the Presentation - French (PDF) Download the Facilitator Notes - French (PDF)

 

 

 

It takes a community to build Racial Justice

How can we stop environmental racism within our workplaces, Unions and communities?

“Many labour educators want to address racism through our work with members”, says Barb Thomas (Co-Author: Education for Changing Unions). But spaces for conversations around racism and white supremacy within the movement are disparate and often face resistance.

In March of 2018 twenty Labour educators from across Unions and community organizations came together in a meeting hosted by United Steelworkers to share their approaches and tools for talking about racism and every-day white supremacy with workers.

 

 

The session was so invigorating, another meeting was scheduled, this time in the offices of another union. The group has grown and continues to meet every three months, each time with a different organizing group, and a different aspect of racism to focus on.  At one session, people mapped where, in their organizations, discussions of racism are happening and not happening.

Members of the group are learning from each other, taking courage from initiatives in each other’s organizations, and sharing resources between sessions. This network calls itself Talking with Workers about Everyday White Supremacy. The word “everyday” refers not to the Ku Klux Klan style racism, but the everyday ways that white people benefit from their privilege, how privilege is harmful to people in equity-seeking groups, how racism is used to divide workers and how it is perpetuated.

The objective of this network is to Build a community and a collaborative space for reflection, experimentation and Action.

Building upon this community, Labour educators came together on September 4, 2019 to participate in and reflect upon the Environmental Racism project as part of a larger discussion of decolonizing Turtle Island. Workshops included: The Trouble with Land Acknowledgements, Environmental Racism – Green is Not White, the Game of life on Turtle island (part of unionism on Turtle Island) and an important discussion about what we need to start doing, what we need to keep doing and what we should stop doing to promote decolonization within our social movements.

The meeting was not an end but part of an ongoing process of design, participatory learning and support for more action.

When asked the question: “How do we stop environmental racism?” Sister Thomas replied by quoting Myles Horton and Paulo Freire “We make the road by walking.”

 

United to stop environmental racism

 

‘In Unity, Strength’ is the foundational belief of the labour movement, but what does unity look like? – Christopher Wilson, CBTU

Over 150 Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) delegates from across Canada and the United States came together to stop environmental racism by participating In the Green Is Not White workshop designed to expose the disproportionate impact of climate change upon racialized and Indigenous communities.

Christopher Wilson’s recent article in Our Times magazine takes the reader inside the room: “ ‘In Unity, Strength’ is the foundational belief of the labour movement, but what does unity look like?” Wilson is 1st Vice-President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Ontario, Canada Chapter; and project lead with the ACW’s (Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change) Environmental Racism Research Project. He is also the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s Ontario Region coordinator.

 

Read the article on Ourtimes.ca

 

The workshop, delivered at the CBTU Region 1 Conference, opened with a Territorial Acknowledgement that drew linkages to the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples both north and south of the border with a call to action to Trade Unionists to engage in a process of decolonization across Turtle Island.

 

Read Territory Acknowledgement – Environmental Racism (PDF)

 

Credit to Denise Hampden, Regional Education Officer Public Service Alliance of Canada

 

 

Our Times magazine’s union exchange on “Green is not white”

Green is not white: Environmental Justice for all
by Shanice Regis

The Green is Not White workshop brings cases of environmental racism closer to home by providing local examples and giving participants the tools to identify environmental injustices in their own homes, communities, and workplaces.

The workshop explored the problem of environmental racism, analyzing it within the scope of pressing environmental and climate change issues.

Anishinaabe guest speaker Danielle Boissoneau, of Garden River First Nation, spoke about the resilience of Indigenous peoples in the face of environmental genocide perpetuated by Canadian governments — from the poisoning of their land and water to the forcible removal of Indigenous peoples from their homes. She also discussed her role in helping to organize the Hamilton Harbour Water Walk, which brings awareness to the environmental issues happening in the harbour.

 

Read more on OurTimes.ca

 

Environmental Racism and Work in a Warming World Workshop

 

Patricia Chong (Asian Canadian Labour Alliance) and Chris Wilson (Coalition of Black Trade Unionists) co-delivered a 2-hour module of the Environmental Racism Workshop at the Indigenous and Workers of Colour Conference organized by the Toronto and York Region Labour Council on June 1st, 2019.

 

 

 

 

2-Hour Workshop for Large Groups

Environmental Racism and Work in a Warming World Workshop: Facilitator Notes

By The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists & Adapting Canadian Work & Workplaces

Workshop Learning Objectives

By the end of the 2-hour workshop, participants should be able to do the following:

1) Explain what environmental racism is and how it impacts Racialized and Indigenous communities in Canada;

2) Describe the connection between environmental racism and the workplace;

3) Explain how Racialized and Indigenous workers have been marginalized by the Green Jobs Revolution;

NOTE:

• These are suggested workshop facilitation notes. Users are encouraged to adapt the workshop to fit their needs
• This 2-hour workshop is a shortened version of an 8 hour (full-day) workshop. For the full-length version of the facilitator notes, the participant companion guide, additional resources, please visit: https://adaptingcanadianwork.ca/environmental-racism-acw-workshop-companion-guide-facilitators-notes/
• Bibliographic information is provided in the workshop companion guide

 

Download Workshop Guide (PDF)

 

Download additional notes (PDF)

 

Download the Presentation (PDF)

 

 

 

Environmental Racism: Shannon Holness Speaking Out Against Forced Family Relocations in Jane-Finch

 

Gentification is Environmental Racism
In recognition of #MLK day, CBTU is launching the 7th video in our video series on Environmental Racism with a profile of Shannon Holness speaking out against forced family relocations in Jane-Finch along with her work with the Toronto Community Benefits Network

 

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists: “Gentrification is Environmental Racism” from Potential Films on Vimeo.

 

Watch on Vimeo.com

Environmental Racism presentation at XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology

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The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists was invited along with Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change (ACW) to the XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology to make a presentation on the Environmental Racism Research Project.

 

Environmental Racism presentation at XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology from Potential Films on Vimeo.

 

 

 

Watch on Vimeo.com

Environmental Racism: “Natural Disasters” by Shadiya Aidid

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Shadiya Aidid, Spoken Word Artist and Activist, presents her poem “Natural Disasters” at the CBTU General Membership Meeting. CBTU is releasing this video as the 2nd part in a video series on Environmental Racism in recognition of Earth Day on April 22nd. #EnvRacismCBTUACW

 

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists: Shadiya Adid from Potential Films on Vimeo.

 

 

Watch on Vimeo.com

 

Environmental Racism-ACW Workshop Companion Guide and Facilitator’s Notes

Environmental Racism & Work in a Warming World:
Workshop Companion Guide and Facilitator’s Notes

Green is not White
Art by Favianna Rodriguez

Research Partnership: ACW & CBTU

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) was invited to become a partner organization with Adapting Canadian and Workplaces (ACW) given the organizations unique mandate to provide a voice for workers of African-descent along with CBTU’s engagement within the environmental justice movement. The research uses an approach (participatory action research) to research in communities that emphasizes participation and action. It seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, collaboratively and following reflection.

The workshop was based on this research partnership.

 

As the pressure of global warming upends jobs, education, health and our communities, the impact of environmental racism exposes the destructive suppression of Racialized and Indigenous dreams and aspirations for economy equality. At the same time, Climate Change can serve as a social catalyst through the creation of new economic opportunities for Canada’s Racialized and Indigenous communities but if we are not active the transition to a green economy will not be just and we will again be on the margins.

The workshop explores the following research framework themes:

1. The impact of environmental racism exposes the destructive suppression of Racialized and Indigenous dreams and aspirations for economy equality.
2. At the same time, Climate Change can serve as a social catalyst through the creation of new economic opportunities for Canada’s Racialized and Indigenous communities. It presents us with an opportunity to change.
3. If Canada’s Racialized and Indigenous communities are not engaged in the struggle, the transition to a green economy will not be just. There can be no change without a struggle.

This workshop companion guide:

• Contains all participant materials
• Provides information about workshop origins and research framework
• Provides more in-depth information and resources of issues and concepts addressed in the workshop
• Lists relevant research
• Lists community, environmental, and labour organizations
• Lists ways for participants to take action

 

Download Companion Guide (PDF)

 

Environmental Racism and Work in a Warming World Workshop

FACILITATOR NOTES
By The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists & Adapting Canadian Work & Workplaces

 

Download Facilitator's Notes (PDF)

 

Our Times Cover Story: A Green Economy for All

The cover story of latest issue of Our Times, Canada’s independent labour magazine, features the Environmental Racism project of Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW). Journalist Hanseena Manek takes us inside the workings of this exciting initiative which is a partnership between ACW and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. Photos for the article were provided by Rose Ha of Photography for Social Good.

“We want to ensure that the new green economy is inclusive of racialized people,” says Christopher Wilson, a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), and Ontario regional coordinator for the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC). “Climate change is at the forefront of a number of policy discussions, and we want to be part of that process. If we’re not, the transition to a new green economy is not going to be just, and we’re going be left on the margins.”

Wilson, along with PSAC Ontario union negotiator Jawara Gairey, is leading a ground-breaking research project called Environmental Racism: The Impact of Climate Change on Racialized Canadian Communities: An Environmental Justice Perspective. The initiative was launched in 2017 by York University’s ACW project, in collaboration with CBTU. Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change (ACW) itself grew out of the university’s Work in a Warming World research program, founded and headed by professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé.

 

Read more on OurTimes.ca

 

Discussing Environmental Racism on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

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Payton Wilkins video
Payton Wilkins (Exec. Director of CBTU Education Center and CARAT Teams) speaks out on Environmental Racism at the CBTU General Membership Meeting during African Liberation/Black Heritage Month. CBTU is releasing this video as the 1st part in a video series on Environmental Racism in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination #EnvRacismCBTUACW

Coalition of Black Unionists: Payton Wilkins from PotentialFilms on Vimeo.

 

Watch on Vimeo.com

CBTU Leads Environmental Racism Workshop for Teachers

 

Jawara Gairey
Jawara Gairey of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists facilitated the workshop on environmental racism for Elementary Teachers of Toronto

Elementary Teachers of Toronto (ETT) invited Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) to come speak to their Environment Committee around the issue of Environmental Racism and Work on the morning of Federation Day (December 1st, 2017). The workshop was slotted to be from 9:00am to 10:30am followed by a 10:30am to 12:00pm presentation by LeRoi Newbold of #BLMTO on addressing systematic anti-black racism in our schools and communities. It was held at SH Armstrong Community Centre at 56 Woodfield Rd. (Queen E. and Greenwood).

Jawara Gairey facilitated the workshop, which ran for about 1.5 hours. The workshop focused on how climate change exposes structural racial inequality and the opportunity that this exposure provides racialized communities to strategize towards a just transition. Jawara presented a PowerPoint to a group of around 40 ETT activists. The workshop also included interactive participant activities to add their knowledge to the discussion. The feedback received from ETT activists included how to implement strategies within their respective schools and communities to engage students and adults on the topic. ETT activists also submitted a variety of ideas from creating intentional action such as teaching children to create food gardens at school and promote local consumption practices, free cycling hubs for children to commute to school, and developing strategies around the skills required for racialized students to be prepared for the Green Economy from the K-8 grades.

ETT Executive Member Joy Lachica spoke with members about sharing these ideas with the executive in order to get some traction within ETFO and have deliberations with the Government on the need to promote these initiatives for structural change in the education curriculum. Joy Lachica captured members’ experiences:

“It was such an amazing workshop; activists and curious members were there because they chose to be over many other offerings. Thus, the group conversations were rich and insightful. I felt that the passionate hearts for these issues who ventured to the east end, found resources, support and new vision for this work at their sites.”

The next steps following the workshop included the contribution to research from the participant’s feedback, sharing of the research initiative on social media, connecting with ETT for initiatives linking to our research.

Environmental Racism: Adding African Canadians’ Voices to the Climate Change Debate

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By Mark Brown

A ground-breaking undertaking between The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Canadian Chapter (CBTU) and an organization known as Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW) threatens to blow a hole through the climate change debate that rivals the current hole in the ozone layer.

With the inception of a ground breaking research initiative called “The Impact of Climate Change on Racialized Canadian Communities: An Environmental Justice Perspective” the two organizations have lunched a research initiative on Environmental Racism. The goal of the research project is to assess the effect of climate change on racialized communities within Canada. The Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW) is a partnership grant of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Photo of Carla Lipsig Mumme
Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé
Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW)

Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé is the Principal Researcher for Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW). When asked how did the CBTU/ACW partnership came about Dr. Mummé stated that the ACW is a 7-year grant funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). With 47 individual researchers and 24 partner organizations the ACW spans 4 countries. Included among the list of organizations were York University, (Lead Organization), the Canadian Labour Congress, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Ontario Federation of Labour and more. Dr. Mummé went on to say that “CBTU was invited to become a partner organization given the organizations unique mandate to provide a voice for workers of African-descent along with CBTU’s engagement within the environmental justice movement.”

Dr. Mummé was then asked what the ACW expects to achieve by this project? “Climate literacy for every stage and age in the Canadian workforce,” she stated. “Community involvement and mobilization in the struggle to slow climate change; making resources and curriculum available for green training and education by unions for labour environmentalists and students; Youth—young workers and young students—taking leadership to reduce greenhouse gases in their schools and their workplaces; a larger role for young people who are passionate about the environment, in shaping union renewal. Linking greening work and youth union activism in union renewal. ACW hopes that Black Trade Unionists, and other racialized communities’ engagement in the fight to slow global warming will point the way to new pathways to green jobs. CBTU is very well placed to recognize pathways to new green jobs that are developing from responding to the threat of climate change, and to take steps so that this and the next generations of Black Trade Unionists are leaders in the shift to a green world of work. CBTU is very well placed to be a model for other communities as well.”

Photo of Chris Wilson
Chris Wilson, 1st Vice President and International Board Member of CBTU Canada

Chris Wilson is the Project Lead, 1st Vice President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) in Canada and an International Board Member. When asked why African-Canadian workers should be concerned about climate change? He responded by stating that, “The destructiveness and speed of climate change is a call to action. This project is designed to explore the impact of climate change upon racialized communities within Canada.”

Wilson went on to say that, “A significant amount of research has gone into exploring the impact of Climate change upon indigenous peoples with the Idle No More movement. This project intends to bring this vision of community mobilization around climate change to other racialized communities by drawing Black Trade Unionists and other racialized communities into the fight to slow climate change while linking this fight with the development of pathways to good green jobs for the aforementioned communities.”

Wilson further stated that, “The debate over climate change is already here and the consequences are real; CBTU and ACW want to ensure that the voices of Black Trade Unionists are included in this debate to ensure that as our economy evolves and adapts to climate change and the voices of racialized workers are heard.”

According to the ACW’s website the research project is expected to encompass multiple stages with a focus upon research and mobilization.

The first stage is described as a participatory research model which evolves the use of social media to engage anti-racist activists in the process of collecting written materials that have been composed about environmental racism.

The second stage of the project is comprised of a workshop/focus-group of Black Trade Unionists. The purpose of this stage is to accumulate research data on the participants’ experience surrounding climate change and environmental racism.

The third stage is expected to provide a workshop/community forum for community engagement. The themes of the workshops include:

  • What is to be understood by the words “environmental racism?”
  • How it is affecting communities and their environment?
  • Exploring case studies in Canada.
  • The present and future role of racialized communities in the “Green Economy” and Developing an Environmental Racism Charter

The fourth and final stage of the project will be a joint report and video. Both the video and report are expected to be housed on the ACW and CBTU Canada websites.

Whether one believes in the existence of climate change or believes that climate change is fiction what is evident is that the debate on climate change has been ongoing for some time. What is also apparent is that if the African Canadian voicesof this generation continue to be omitted from the debate the African Canadians faces of the next generation risk being omitted from the solution.

Picture of Mark Brown

 

Mark Brown is the Chair of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council’s Equity Committee, an Executive Board Member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist (CBTU), An Executive Board Member of the Labour Education Center and a member of the Toronto Local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Contact him on Facebook and Twitter @MarkAAABrown

ACW and Black Trade Unionists launch Environmental Racism project

posted in: Environmental Racism, Posts | 0
Project Description Bibliography Workshop

 

Green is not White
Copyright 2018 Favianna Rodriguez, Favianna.com

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Canada (CBTU) has joined the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW) research project as a partner organization by launching an action research initiative on Environmental Racism. The destructiveness and speed of climate change is a call to action. CBTU will explore the impact of climate change on racialized communities within Canada. CBTU is a community based organization that gives voice to Black Trade Unionists on issues that impact upon people of African-Canadian descent. www.cbtu.ca ACW is a partnership grant of Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Working with 47 individual researchers and 24 partner organizations in 4 countries, ACW seeks to slow global warming by developing tools to green the workplace and work itself. ACW is Canadian-focused and national in scope. http://www.adaptingcanadianwork.ca/

The CBTU Environmental Racism research project brings a vision of community engagement and mobilization around climate change by drawing Black Trade Unionists, and other racialized communities, into the fight to slow global warming while developing pathways to green jobs.

To start the project, CBTU is launching a social media campaign to engage racialized and indigenous communities in the process of discovering what has been written so far about environmental racism in the fight against climate change. Our focus is Canada, but we are including experience from the U.S. or the world if it is relevant to our situation. Using the hashtag [#EnvRacismCBTUACW], the project seeks to engage climate justice activists through Facebook and Twitter to identify the varying contexts of environmental racism. This type of crowd-sourced syllabi models similar participatory research campaigns such as #BlackLivesCDNSyllabus and #PrisonAbolitionSyllabus.

You can help to enrich the dialogue on environmental racism in Canada. Please click here to learn what we know of so far, then share your thoughts with us on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #EnvRacismCBTUACW. We will incorporate suggestions into a final bibliography which will be used to design a participatory training workshop to engage the community in the struggle to slow climate change and identify pathways to green jobs.

 

Dr. Carla Lipsig-Mummé,
Principal Researcher,
Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW)

Christopher Wilson,
Project Lead,
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Canada (CBTU)

 

Search Twitter for the hashtag #EnvRacismCBTUACW

#EnvRacismCBTUACW