This story is part of “Earth Day Every Day,” Word In Black’s series exploring the environmental issues facing Black Americans and the solutions we’re creating in the fight for climate justice.
Some social movements ignite, burn bright, then die down with no actual change. But whether it’s the fight for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, gun reform, climate justice, or equal education, one thing stays the same in every movement in United States history: the presence of Black folks.
Climate change isn’t just a white fight — or an issue affecting white America. It’s a global issue. So as glaciers continue to melt and tornadoes decimate towns, the need to teach and inform students, especially Black students, about the climate crisis is a pressing issue among educators, climate justice leaders, and environmental groups.
“There are many manifestations of environmental racism, and climate change is definitely part of that,” says Jesse Hagopian, a teacher and an organizer of the Teaching for Black Lives Campaign. “Our Black students deserve to learn about that.”