Latinx Heritage Month: Why Latinx Inclusion Matters in the Environmental Justice Movement

Considering that the majority of public figures that are centered in the environmentalism movement are very White, it’s easy to assume that Latinx folks aren’t as involved or interested in the space. However, we know that many Latinx communities face the repercussions of the climate crisis and know firsthand that it is in fact a crisis.   

Take California, a state where the majority of the population is Hispanic or Latino, at almost 16 million people. According to Mother Jones, “The polls tell us that 73 percent of California Latinos are in favor of legislators’ more ambitious goals to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Seventy percent say that global warming is a very serious threat to our economy and quality of life.” It isn’t a coincidence that people most affected by the climate crisis are also the most concerned. 

At Power Shift, we have been sharing some Latinx EJ activists on Instagram — some U.S. based, some in Latin American territories, some who focus on seeking resources for women of color, but all with the goal of achieving climate justice through racial justice. Take Latino Outdoors founder, José G González, who engages Latinx communities to embrace culture and family as part of the outdoor narrative. By incorporating his own experience as a Mexican man and exploring the connection between identity, the history of colonization and sociopolitical issues, it opens up a space for Latinx folks to be heard and fought for. 

Involving Latinx voices to use their creative storytelling skills will encourage other Latinx folks to get involved in the conversation while encouraging their own neighbors to acknowledge their experience with environmental racism. 

Twice the percentage of Latino, Hispanic, and Black people said they “definitely would” participate in climate activism, significantly higher than White counterparts says this Medium article. Latinx activists are not sitting idly while their communities go up into flames. If they do, it will only continue to burn to the ground.  

We’re proud to have a network of BIPOC organizers who we can support in their act to simply survive. Students of Color Environmental Collective, Newark Water Coalition, and Green Deshis are some of the POC-led organizations part of our network that are calling out this country’s racist system and leading campaigns to control the narrative.

Support the Latinx EJ activists who despite facing environmental injustices are leading the systems that don't always support them back.

Tags: Heritage Month