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Climate Justice is Racial Justice, Racial Justice is Climate Justice

June 30, 2020

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., Shondaland

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. of Hip Hop Caucus explores and explains why the destruction of our planet means greater harm to Black and marginalized communities.

“In January of this year — before the pandemic — I was arrested for occupying a Chase bank on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. I was there with a handful of fellow activists to launch Stop The Money Pipeline, an effort to get to the root of the climate crisis — the money that props up the fossil fuel industry. Jane Fonda was outside the bank, rooting us on. Seriously.

The police didn’t rough me up (this time) before putting us into a city jail cell. My brother Bill McKibben — one of the climate movement’s most effective advocates — was locked up with me. He pointed out that the city jail is a much different place than the relatively comfortable holding rooms that the Capitol Hill police use.

We were sharing a cell with three young Black men who weren’t more than 20 years old. I was the only Black person among the climate activists, and with all the other activists being white, it was not a collection of people you typically see in Washington D.C. central booking.”

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