Divest Carleton Racial Justice Solidarity Statement

With so many others around the world, Divest Carleton mourns the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the countless individuals before them whose lives were cut short by racism and racist violence.

We stand in solidarity with the protesters fighting for justice, with the Black Lives Matter movement, with the free press, and with the Carleton organizations that are working to push our own community toward greater equality, including Black Student Alliance (BSA), African and Caribbean Association (ACA), Men of Color (MOC), Women of Color+ (WOC+), Students with Interracial Legacies (SWIRL), and Africana Studies Student Department Advisors.

Alongside these communities and organizations, we demand justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. We demand that Carleton provide appropriate accommodations for Black students affected by national events, including academic, mental health, and emotional support. Divest Carleton stands behind the demands of BSA in response to the current crisis, which are found in this document.

We stand as firm allies with any in our community who need or ask for support around racism and equality. People who suffer under systemic discrimination every day should not, by themselves, have to carry the burden of constantly speaking out against it. This commitment also means assisting each other in self-examination of our own internalized racism; racism that affects how we see and treat those who look like us, and those who don’t.

The fossil fuel divestment movement strives for a just and healthy world not only for future generations but for everybody alive today. Marginalized communities in our nation and worldwide are disproportionately affected by both the toxic outputs of the energy industry and the ecological disasters caused by the climate crisis. Divest Carleton holds that our future will not be sustainable unless it is just. Nor will it be just unless we have a sustainable environment for all.

The racist violence of our police forces directly undermines the changes sought by the environmental movement, as the communities most affected by environmental degradation cannot protest safely. When the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe defended their land from the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016, police used tear gas and bean bags to remove them, labeled the movement a riot, and arrested journalists. Divest Carleton recognizes that we will not accomplish our environmental goals without overcoming systemic racism and its many effects, including police brutality.

BSA’s Townhall Takeaways includes ideas for things to do at home, places to donate, and how to join a working group to help affect change. Below you can find some articles exploring the intersections between climate justice and racial justice. Please join us in supporting current Carleton students and standing in solidarity for racial justice all over the country.

Onward,
Divest Carleton

Why Every Environmentalist Should Be Anti-Racist

Black Environmentalists Talk about Climate and Anti-Racism

I’m a black climate scientist. Racism derails our efforts to save the planet.

The Climate Justice Movement Must Oppose White Supremacy Everywhere–By Supporting M4BL

Climate Activists: Here’s Why Your Work Depends on Ending Police Violence

The climate movement’s silence