DoSomething.org Launches Climate Equity Campaign to Help Young People Advocate for a Green Future
NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Many communities across North America, especially communities of color and marginalized rural communities, are negatively impacted by environmental racism and climate injustice. DoSomething – one of the largest organizations exclusively for young people and social change – is activating young people to share personal stories of the impact of environmental injustice on their communities. These stories will be reflected in an interactive heat map – the first-ever Youth Map of Climate Injustice – to illustrate the need for legislation and/or regulations to address climate-related issues and create long-lasting change.
Marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis, causing climate injustice. These same communities are more likely to experience environmental racism since they are more likely to live near contamination sites, such as power plants and toxic landfills, and further away from sources of clean air, water, and soil. Both issues are a direct result of systemic neglect from legislators, corporations, and institutions. Research indicates that people of color and low-income communities are more likely to breathe in pollution, suffer from medical conditions, and experience natural disasters because of such systemic inequities in addressing climate and environmental issues. These issues are exacerbated by a worsening climate crisis and plaguing young people in underserved communities across the U.S.
According to a recent statistic, 95% of complaints by people of color have been denied by the EPA. “It is time for legislators and regulatory bodies to listen to the voices of young, marginalized people who are emphatically and unapologetically advocating for systemic change to address climate change,” said the CEO of DoSomething, DeNora Getachew. “Action to ensure equal access to clean energy and water, and to stem the tide of devastating fires, hurricanes, and warming temperatures annually shouldn’t be aspirational. It’s long overdue and vitally necessary. We must heed the voices of young people around the world advocating for change – DoSomething is doing our part to amplify those voices through this campaign.”
See Us, Hear Us: Climate Injustice activates young people to highlight how their community is being affected by climate change by taking the following three steps:
- Educate yourself about climate injustice and environmental racism
- Share how your community is facing or may face climate injustice
- Share your vision for a greener future for your city
Young people who submit their stories are automatically entered for a chance to win a $2500 scholarship, and DoSomething will elevate their stories on the first “Youth Map of Climate Injustice.” The map shows the areas in the U.S. impacted by climate injustice based on the stories shared.
“I live in the Salt Lake Valley where pollution is a large issue. The sky is often visible grey and smoggy due to air pollution. In combination with the COVID-19 pandemic and its respiratory effects, the health of susceptible populations such as the elderly and children are greatly impacted,” said DoSomething Member Abigail. “My vision for a greener future is access to carbon-neutral transportation for all communities in the valley. Public transportation is a great start to reducing air pollution but utilizing green energy would help solve this problem. I would also like to see funds go towards technology to reduce the number of air pollutants that already exist.”
For more information on “See Us, Hear Us: Climate Justice,” please visit https://www.dosomething.org/us/stories/climate-justice
DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations exclusively for young people and social change. We’re activating 5 million young people (and counting!) to make positive change, online and off, in every U.S. area code and over 131 counties.
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