- April 28, 2021
- 7:00 pm
- Online (U.S. Pacific Time)
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Racism permeates every aspect of society. The way environmental racism and climate change impact marginalized populations can be seen and heard in the broader media landscape, but the full extent of their effects on Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities are often not fully seen or addressed.
Environmental racism is a form of systemic racism in which people of color are disproportionately burdened with health hazards through policies and practices that force them to live in proximity to sources of toxic waste such as sewage works, mines, landfills, power stations, major roads, and emitters of airborne particulate matter. As a result, these communities suffer greater rates of health problems caused by hazardous pollutants.
From the recent news of environmental disasters across Texas, to the Flint water crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline, environmental racism is deeply connected to our changing climate, and both must be addressed for equity, safety, and the betterment of everyone.
Join co-founder of Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project, Gopal Dayaneni and community organizer and environmental justice advocate Carla Maria Pérez for a powerful conversation exploring the connections between environmental racism and climate change and what we can do as individuals and communities to address and heal from the harms of both.
Gopal Dayaneni has been involved in fighting for social, economic, environmental, and racial justice through organizing, campaigning, teaching, writing, speaking, and direct action since the late 1980’s. He is a co-founder of Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project (MG), which inspires and engages in transformative action towards the liberation and restoration of land, labor, and culture. MG is rooted in vibrant social movements led by low-income communities and communities of color committed to a Just Transition away from profit and pollution and towards healthy, resilient and life-affirming local economies. MG is a founding member of the Climate Justice Alliance. Gopal has served on the staff-collective and is now a member of the Planning Committee.
Currently, Gopal supports movement building through his work with organizations including The Climate Justice Alliance, ETC group, and the Center for Story-based Strategy. He is also a Fellow with the Center for Economic Democracy. Gopal teaches in the Urban Sustainability program where he teaches Ecological Systems Thinking, in the undergraduate program at Antioch University in Los Angeles; and at San Francisco State University in the Race and Resistance Studies program.
Gopal is a trainer with The Ruckus Society and serves on the boards of The Center for Story-based Strategy, The Working World, and Occidental Arts and Ecology Center. He is also on the advisory boards of the Catalyst Project and The Sustainable Economies Law Center. Gopal works at the intersection of ecology, economy, and empire.
Gopal has been a campaigner for Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition on human rights and environmental justice in the high-tech industry and the Oil Campaigner for Project Underground, a human and environmental rights organization that supported communities resisting oil and mining exploitation around the world. He has been active in many people powered direct action movements, including the Global Justice/Anti-Globalization Movement, Direct Action to Stop the War, the Climate Justice movement, Take Back the Land, Occupy and as an ally with Black Lives Matter and Indigenous solidarity struggles.
Gopal was an elementary and early childhood educator, working formerly as a teacher and as the co-director of the Tenderloin Childcare Center, a community-based childcare center supporting children and families forced into homelessness. He has worked in teacher education and education organizing in the US and in India.
Most importantly, Gopal is the parent of two amazing young rabble-rousers. He lives in Oakland in an intentional, multi-generational social justice community of nine adults, eight children, and a bunch of chickens.
Carla Maria Pérez is a dedicated mother and community organizer of Native Mezo American and Spanish heritage residing in Oakland, California. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1999 with a BS in Conservation & Resource Studies with an emphasis on Environmental Racism. She has worked on issues of environmental justice and sustainable agriculture with community groups from Yucatán, Mexico to Bay Area environmental justice communities such as Richmond, East Oakland and Bay View Hunters Point in San Francisco.
Prior to joining Movement Generation (MG) in 2007 as a co-founder of the Justice & Ecology Project, Carla spent eight years as staff at Communities for a Better Environment (CBE). She is certified in Popular Education Training and Indigenous Permaculture Design. Carla also actively organizes in her spiritual community.
Today, Carla continues to be a member of the MG collective in addition to being the founder & Lead Coordinator of the Healing Clinic Collective. She is dedicated to developing her healing and spiritual work including studying with her teachers around plant medicine, prayer, energy healing and the traditional Mexican temazcal.
Carla’s hard work is done in dedication to her parents, her daughters and to the Spirit of Creation.