Reframing climate justice: A BIPOC-led climate justice speaker series

When it comes to the climate crisis, one of the climate movement’s dominant narratives is that it will affect “future generations”. Yet, marginalised communities, including Black, indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) in Europe, are already being affected.

Systemic Justice is introducing an exciting speaker series that tells this alternative story from the perspectives of Black, indigenous, and people of colour in Europe who are actively resisting racial, social, and economic injustice.

Over five instalments, we delve into the root causes of climate breakdown and explore the links between the crisis and other systemic harms to understand the unique impacts on BIPOC communities, the community-driven action being taken to address this emergency, and how we as a climate movement can ensure no one is left behind in the pursuit of true intersectional climate justice. 

Watch episode 1

Our first episode of “Reframing Climate Justice” opens the discussion by challenging the mainstream narrative in Europe and delving into the ever-evolving definition of climate justice, together with Samia Dumbuya, UK-based facilitator and community organiser, Winta Berhe, anti-racist and antifascist environmental activist, and Systemic Justice Founder Nani Jansen Reventlow.

Watch episode 2

The second instalment of “Reframing Climate Justice” delves into the historical and systemic roots of the climate crisis. The conversation centres on the issue of racial capitalism – where social and economic value is tied to race – and its profound impact on how racialised communities experience environmental degradation. The speakers Nary Götze, organiser with Black Earth Kollektiv and ecology student in Berlin exploring non-western approaches to ecosystem stewardship, and Mama D. Ujuaje, co-founder of Community Centred Knowledge in the UK, explored the relationship between climate, race and racialisation, and the historical legacy of colonial systems, and how this has shaped the landscape (both literal and discursive) we find ourselves in while seeking climate justice.

Watch episode 3

The third episode dismantles the myth of a fair and just Europe by unearthing the harmful realities of spatial injustice. Unlike typical discussions focused on technical solutions, our speakers Niila-Juhán Valkeapää, Sámi youth activist and member of the Youth Council of the Finnish Sámi parliament, and Rukiatu F. Sheriff, co-organiser of the Collective Against Environmental Racism, delve into a more community-centred perspective of what it means to occupy space and co-exist under the lingering shadow of colonialism.

Watch episode 4

The fourth episode takes a deeper look at how the principle of self-determination can be applied to ‘newer’ concepts like “environmental racism” and “environmental migration” in order to propel transnational solidarity and understanding across borders. We were joined by speakers Rose Wanjiku, climate and social justice activist based in Berlin advocating for the rights of refugees and migrant women*, and Pelin Tan and Leyla Keskin, artists and educators part of the Arazi Assembly in Southeast Türkiye working with communities displaced by war and large-scale environmental infrastructure projects.

Watch episode 5

The fifth and final episode of the speaker series reflects on the current state of youth climate action, while looking ahead at the future of the climate justice movement in Europe with two climate justice activists: Salam El Youssef, based in Denmark, and Denise Mundia Sala, based in Milan, Italy.

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