Racial Justice vs. Climate Justice? Why the one can’t be without the other

Burning forests in the US and Europe, droughts in Sub-Sahara Africa, racial injustice not only in the US, but all over the world. The fights against the climate crisis and racial injustices are the most pressing issues of our time. While media coverage often suggests that these are two distinct phenomena with no connecting links, others would disagree.

The climate crisis affects people around the globe in an unequal and unjust manner. While the privileged few remain responsible for most emissions and fossil fuel pro-politics, the effects hit ethnic minorities and marginalised communities the hardest, especially in countries outside of Europe. Engaging in the fight for climate justice and against racism should not be seen as opposite. Instead, they can be understood to be connected and as the only way to fight global injustices on a whole.

How is the fight for climate justice linked to the fight for racial justice? What role did and does European colonialism still play in creating and upholding injustices? How can we ensure that European climate action accounts for injustices and works toward lessening them? And how can the fight against the climate crisis become more inclusive, diverse, and participatory?

We would like to discuss these questions with the former MEP and activist Magid Magid (Union of Justice/UK). The event will be moderated by environmental and social activist Zade Abdullah.

Magid Magid is a Somali-British race and climate justice activist/organiser and author who came to the UK as a refugee aged five. He is Founder & Director of Union of Justice, a European, independent, people of colour led organisation dedicated to racial justice and climate justice. He was a member of the European Parliament representing Yorkshire & the Humber, Mayor of his beloved city, Sheffield and was also an elected councillor representing his community. Magid was named one of TIME’s 100 rising stars shaping the future of the world.

Zade Abdullah is a social justice activist, trying to decolonize the white domiated german climate justice movement. This August she organized the first BIPoC Climate Justice Conference in order to create a community space for BIPoC activists to center their otherwhise marginalised voices. She also organises solidarity actions to support refugees targeted by racist police violence in Calais, Northern France.

This digital lecture is hosted by the Schwarzkopf-Stiftung’s two-year project Postmigrant Europe, funded by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb).

Postmigrant Europe is a digital journey and learning platform on postcolonial and racism-critical thought.

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