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

 

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