So, we know about social justice and environmental activism. But do we know there is a creek in between that is meant to tackle both the issues which are interconnected to ultimate sustainability?
It is called intersectional environmentalism.
'Intersectional Environmentalism is an inclusive version of environmentalism that advocates for both the protection of people and the planet. It identifies how injustices happening to marginalized communities and the earth are interconnected. It brings injustices done to the most vulnerable communities, and the earth, to the forefront and does not minimize or silence social inequality. Intersectional Environmentalism advocates for justice for people + the planet.'
- Leah Thomas, Green Girl Leah
We shouldn't have to silence parts of ourselves or overlook how our intricacies may affect how we view the world to be effective activists. Instead of categorizing social justice and environmentalism as two opposing poles, Intersectional Environmentalism recognizes how the two are inextricably intertwined and must work together to achieve environmental justice. To be truly inclusive, the sustainable space must be intersectional.
Recognizing the evidence detailing who is most harmed by environmental injustices is one of the most critical elements in becoming an intersectional environmentalist.
What is Intersectional Environmentalism?
To grasp the concept through the framework that we understand, Intersectional Environmentalism, as described by S. Ryder, is a connection between Feminist, Gender, and Environmental Studies. This concept is based on the word "intersectionality," which refers to people being treated differently based on their identifying characteristics. Race, gender, sexuality, ability, and social status are just some of the systems that fall under this umbrella.
Minority and low-income groups were statistically more likely to reside in environmentally hazardous neighborhoods, and are often silenced when they speak out against injustice. Environmental justice is intertwined with social justice, and environmentalism as a whole should be as well.
We need to take an intersectional approach if we, as a community of environmental activists, achieve any meaningful and long-term change. Without an intersectional strategy, "activists may think they're advancing towards meaningful social change, but they're only making progress for a tiny, limited number of individuals," as Ethical Unicorn put it.
We have always believed that Dreams Jumper, as a business can be a vehicle to a social change. Everyday we have to unlearn and learn again, acknowledge, amplify and give back. As we grow, we want to make a more noticeable contribution to our community. Starting this month ( and ongoing), Dreams Jumper will donate 2% of every purchase to charitable organizations and nonprofits dedicated to protecting, educating, and empowering women and children worldwide. This commitment comes from a place of deep respect for our intrinsic connection and responsibility to one another. As mothers, this is a very personal choice and responsibility. We can be one step closer to our joint goal - a better, safe, and more meaningful future for our children by small daily actions.
If we want to build a better future for everyone, we need to give everyone a place at the table, and those of us in positions of power must make way.