By Karen L. Smith-Janssen
Colette Pichon Battle gave a December 2019 TEDWomen Talk on the stark realities of climate change displacement, and people took notice. The video racked up a million views in about two weeks. The attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) advocates for climate justice in communities of color. Confronted with evidence showing how her own South Louisiana coastal home of Bayou Liberty will be lost to flooding in coming years, the 2019 Obama Fellow dedicates herself to helping others still reeling from the impacts of Katrina face the heavy toll that climate change has taken—and will take—on their lives and homelands. Her work focuses on strengthening multiracial coalitions, advocating for federal, state, and local disaster mitigation measures, and redirecting resources toward Black communities across the Gulf South.
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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator (EPA) Andrew Wheeler gave a speech Thursday where he accused Democratic efforts to stop the climate crisis as actions that have hurt poor and vulnerable communities. He also laid out a vision for a second Trump term, saying it would bring a new wave of deregulation and support for economic development, according to Reuters.
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A Look at Why Environmentalism Is So Homogeneous — and How Organizations Might Cultivate Genuine Diversity
By Ambika Chawla
As a child growing up in Los Angeles, Erynn Castellanos would spend hours exploring her grandmother's backyard garden, an oasis of greenery filled with oranges, sugarcane, yerba buena, guava and herbs.
Underrepresented<p>In 2014, Dorceta Taylor, a professor of environmental justice and food systems and the director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability, published a landmark <a href="https://www.diversegreen.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/ExecutiveSummary_Green2.0_FINAL.pdf" target="_blank">study</a> of racial diversity in green NGOs, government agencies and foundations. She reported that 16% or fewer of staff in these organizations were people of color and less than 12% occupied leadership positions.</p><p>A <a href="https://www.diversegreen.org/leaking-talent/" target="_blank">follow-up study</a> published in 2019 by Stefanie K. Johnson, associate professor of Management at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado, reviewed 40 green NGOs and foundations and found that green organizations were still overwhelmingly white, with only 20% of NGO staff identifying as people of color. In fact, the study found that from 2017 to 2018, the percent of senior staff positions at green foundations held by people of color fell from 33% to 4%.</p><p>And a <a href="https://www.mediamatters.org/broadcast-networks/how-broadcast-tv-networks-covered-climate-change-2019" target="_blank">recent study</a> by Media Matters for America found that people of color comprised only 10% of people interviewed or featured in media coverage on climate change.</p>
Root Causes<p>What's behind the lack of proportional representation of communities of color in the environmental workforce?</p><p>Peggy Shepard, co-founder and director of <a href="https://www.weact.org/" target="_blank">WE ACT for Environmental Justice</a>, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes underrepresented communities around environmental justice education, energy efficiency, toxins in consumer products, climate justice, clean air and more, says it's part of a far larger societal malaise. WE ACT also engages in policy advocacy at the city, state and federal levels.</p><p>"I see the fight for environmental justice, housing justice, Black Lives Matter, prison reform — all of those are linked by the underlying systemic racism that really mandates that we have organizations to safeguard our lives from the police, and to safeguard our environment," she says. "All of those issues that are about protecting rights, and justice is what really links us all."</p><p>Castellanos says that, in addition to not seeing people like them already engaged, some members of the <a href="https://ensia.com/articles/latinos-care-about-the-environment-so-why-arent-green-groups-engaging-them-more/" target="_blank">Latino community</a> view environmental problems as less pressing than other issues. "Immigration is number one, with people being detained," she says. "How can you tell your students to care about the environment when they are afraid that their parents won't be home?"</p><p>Virginia Palacios, a climate change consultant for <a href="http://www.greenlatinos.org/" target="_blank">GreenLatinos</a><u>,</u> says that people of color may have fewer opportunities to engage in environment-oriented activities that require financial resources when they are growing up, such as summer camps. As a result, they may not have a background that predisposes them to moving into green careers or being active in environmental groups.</p><p>"People who are low income are more likely to be people of color," Palacios says. "When you are coming from that background, you are not going to have the same opportunities as a person who is more affluent had in their life. You might not have been able to go to the summer camp that prepared you to go to college. You probably didn't get to do all the extra stuff that people use to stack up their resume."</p><p>One of the findings in Taylor's 2014 report was that in addition to overt discrimination, unconscious bias often perpetuates workplaces that lack diversity in hiring and promotion practices.</p><p>"Homogeneous workplaces arise because of adherence to particular cultural norms, filtering, network structure, and recruitment practices. These are forms of unconscious or inadvertent biases that can lead to or perpetuate institutional homogeneity," states the report.</p><p>Palacios contends that implicit bias often occurs as part of the hiring practices of green groups. "People tend to hire people who look like them or who went to the same schools as they did. Or, they get a good feeling from this person because they are like them."</p>
Strategies for Change<p>Palacios says she believes training workshops on implicit bias can be an effective strategy for increasing diversity.</p><p>"Organizations that want to improve diversity have to know that they have unconscious bias. They will have to go through a process of unlearning habits," she says. "One of the things that has been the most successful in my experience are being able to go through an in-person training with your peers and then being able to have a conversation, to process things verbally. I think unconscious bias trainings are one of the first things that white folks can do to understand how they have been programmed."</p><p>The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has begun such trainings, according to senior vice president and chief human resources officer Sean Cook, in addition to other initiatives to promote diversity in the environmental workforce, such as fellowships and partnerships with universities.</p><p>"One of the initiatives that we have recently undertaken is unconscious bias training. Last year, we worked with an outside firm called Kaleidoscope to help us roll out this training initiative, which included increasing our knowledge of race and equity, leading inclusively, leveraging differences, and building a diverse team. Individual trainers from Kaleidoscope went to our offices in New York, San Francisco, Sacramento and Washington D.C. and trained all managers on these subjects. We began these trainings at the ground level of our organization and went all of the way up to the board of directors," says Cook.</p><p>According to Cook, staff gave the conscious inclusion training high marks. In follow-up surveys, 95% agreed or strongly agreed that "cultural competence can improve my experience in the work environment," and 89% agreed or strongly agreed that "the material in the session felt relevant to our workplace."</p><p>Cook says EDF is also working to ensure that during the hiring process, applicants are not judged unfairly based upon their educational background. "We want to make sure that we are inclusive of all, whether you went to an Ivy League school, whether you were self-educated, whether you attended a community college, a liberal arts school or a state university."</p><p>Palacios also recommends that organizations create guidelines for the skills that are critical for a job position, and that hiring managers should "really have a rubric in mind of how you are going to be judging the person in front of you. That can help to reduce bias when you are having an interview with someone, so you don't ask, 'Did they go to the same school that I did? Did they play the same sports that I did?'"</p>
Genuine Diversity<p>Hodan Barreh, a youth environmental advocate passionate about bringing diversity to the environmental movement in her hometown of Austin, Texas — which <a href="https://www.statesman.com/business/20160924/report-austin-most-economically-segregated-major-metro-area-in-us" target="_blank">studies show</a> is one of the most economically segregated cities in the country — cautions green groups to avoid tokenization of people of color if they want to bring genuine diversity to the environmental movement.</p><p>"They bring in that one Latinx person, that one Indigenous person, that one person of color, and they think that's enough. They think that one perspective speaks for all of the community," Barreh says. "That's very problematic, because not one person can give you the full perspective of what a community entails."</p><p><span></span>Shepard points out that it's important to remember that the environmental movement is more than large green groups: It also includes a constellation of community-based groups advocating for environmental justice within their localities. The problem, she says, is that the media and decision-makers are often deaf to their voices.</p><p><span></span>"When elected officials and policymakers want to know about environmental justice, they don't necessarily call environmental justice groups, they'll call [the Natural Resources Defense Council] or Sierra Club," she says. "It's the devaluing that we have expertise, that we're knowledgeable about our own issues and about the places where we are living."</p><p><span></span><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://ensia.com/features/environmental-workforce-diversity-systemic-racism/" target="_blank">Ensia</a>. </em></p>
The state of Michigan has reached a settlement with the victims of the Flint water crisis. Michigan agreed to pay $600 million, which will primarily benefit the city's children since they were most affected by the lead-tainted water, The Washington Post reported.
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Transitioning to renewable energy can help reduce global warming, and Jennie Stephens of Northeastern University says it can also drive social change.
For example, she says that locally owned businesses can lead the local clean energy economy and create new jobs in underserved communities.
"We really need to think about … connecting climate and energy with other issues that people wake up every day really worried about," she says, "whether it be jobs, housing, transportation, health and well-being."
To maximize that potential, she says the energy sector must have more women and people of color in positions of influence. Research shows that leadership in the solar industry, for example, is currently dominated by white men.
"I think that a more inclusive, diverse leadership is essential to be able to effectively make these connections," Stephens says. "Diversity is not just about who people are and their identity, but the ideas and the priorities and the approaches and the lens that they bring to the world."
So she says by elevating diverse voices, organizations can better connect the climate benefits of clean energy with social and economic transformation.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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By Isabella Garcia
On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.
Grassroots Resistance<p>The plant that would threaten Laur's health and home was awaiting the approval of an air permit by the North Carolina Department of Air Quality which, if approved, would basically greenlight the project. "This made me get out and go door to door," Laur says. One by one, she alerted her neighbors to the prospect of the asphalt plant. "I got to meet some of my neighbors I never knew before," she says. "There's no secret that there has always been a pretty strong line between the White community and the Black community here." In the end, three neighbors joined her efforts—the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, Anita Foust, and Bill Compton. Together, they formed the Anderson Community Group to advocate for environmental justice in their community.</p><p>"We are all the four corners of the community," Laur says with a laugh. "You've got a sick old White lady, Rev. Shoffner is a disabled vet, you've got Anita, who is a Black woman, and you've got a White, old country farmer. We all come from different faiths, but we've all come together as one."</p><p>Suddenly thrust into activism, the group contacted the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, a coalition that provides resources and connections with other groups. "We advocate, we organize, and we assist communities with whatever actions they are thinking of trying to protect themselves," says Naeema Muhammad, the network's co-director. Muhammad met with the activists from Anderson and recognized their need for legal advice, so she connected them with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The legal resources were key when the group determined that the data from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's environmental justice report wasn't adding up.</p><p>The report—a requirement for all DEQ permit requests—stated that the Anderson community was 33% minority. That seemed far too low to the residents, so the Anderson Community Group did a census of each house within a 1-mile radius of the proposed plant—the same radius considered in the DEQ's environmental justice report.</p><p>"Rev. Shoffner went out into the community and did his own survey and found out that it was more than 70% minority," Laur says. "That was huge, because that changed the situation to a Title VI matter." Title VI is a federal civil rights law that prevents people from being discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, or national origin. Title VI cases require a more rigorous and comprehensive environmental justice report, so recognizing the Anderson community as a Title VI matter increases the strength of their request for a more in-depth report.</p><p>The massive difference in race demographics comes down to census data, Laur says. The DEQ was using race data from the 2010 census, which was only <a href="https://www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us/?latlng=35.77385,-78.73807&z=7&query=coordinates::36.44038,-79.36343&promotedfeaturetype=states&arp=arpRaceEthnicity&baselayerstate=4&rtrYear=sR2010&infotab=info-rtrselfresponse&filterQuery=false" target="_blank">completed by about 64% of the population of Caswell County</a>—the county where Anderson is located. Laur says the Anderson population response rate could be even lower because the community is considered <a href="https://www.nccensus.org/about-the-census#hard-to-count-communities" target="_blank">"hard-to-count" by the U.S. Census Bureau</a>.</p><p>"The people who don't fill it out are rural people who want to keep their land and don't want zoning and minorities," Laur says, which creates skewed race demographics. The Anderson Community Group said that when they brought up this issue with the director of North Carolina DEQ, he said he was aware of the problem.</p><p>"So that tells me that all the EJ reports in North Carolina that have been done may not even be valid, just like ours," Laur says. "We were told that we are the first [community members] who have ever doubted it and checked it out."</p>
Elevating Voices<p>Determined to have new data collected, the Anderson Community Group rallied in early 2020. After learning from the state Department of Air Quality, the department responsible for approving or rejecting the asphalt air permit, that 100 statements of concern from community members would be sufficient to trigger a public hearing, the Anderson group gathered letters of concern from their community. They submitted more than 108.</p><p>"Then we were told there wasn't enough concern to have a public hearing," Laur says. "So, we started inundating the [Department of Air Quality director with emails and phone calls from the community."</p><p>Finally, in February 2020, the DEQ declared a public comment period for the issue, effectively placing the air permit for the asphalt plant on hold until a public hearing August 3. The public hearing will be held online because of COVID-19, but Laur says most people in Anderson don't own computers, and won't be able to attend. When the community group filed a complaint regarding accessibility, the DEQ then allowed public comments to be submitted via voicemail.</p><p>"Well, we don't have a cell tower out here," Laur says. She has personally never been able to use her cellphone in her home, and even her landline phone drops calls frequently. Even being able to afford a landline is a luxury in Anderson, Laur says.</p>
By Katell Ané
The European Commission launched a new Farm to Fork strategy in an effort to reduce the social and environmental impact of the European food system. It is the newest strategy under the European Green Deal, setting sustainability targets for farmers, consumers, and policymakers.
As climate activists, we can't fight the climate crisis without considering the systemic impacts that environmental racism and White supremacy have on the frontline communities most affected by pollution and our warming world.
Do a Social Media Audit and Reconsider Who You Follow<p>As the movement for social and environmental justice continues, it's important to pay attention to the voices and media outlets you're consuming information from. Take a few minutes to look at your social media feeds – do you follow people of color and diverse voices? Do you follow credible news sources?</p><p>Take a look at what you've posted so far and think about <em>why </em>you posted. As allies, we can help the movement by centering our posts and online actions around supporting the activists and organizers on the ground. Think or ask about how you can best amplify these causes – for many that could mean retweeting or reposting, educating your followers, or even by directing followers to donation or petition pages.</p><p>Next, take a look at who you follow. It can be easy to get stuck in a <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/problem-social-media-reinforcement-bubbles-what-you-can-do-about-ncna1063896" target="_blank">social media bubble</a>, where your social feed will filter out opinions you may not necessarily agree with. By continuing to audit your social media and expand your range of news sources or pages you follow to have varying opinions or backgrounds, you ensure you have a well-rounded news feed and could even hear about a news story that you may not have known about before!</p><p>For many environmental justice fights around the US and world, local news outlets and activists may be the ones covering the story first. By taking a look at our follower lists, it gives us space to recognize any information gaps! Check out the accounts of people you trust to follow useful resources and activists.</p><p>Need some recommendations to start you off? Here are some of the <a href="https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/top-climate-experts-follow-twitter" target="_blank">top climate scientists</a> and <a href="https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/young-climate-activists-follow-twitter" target="_blank">youth activists</a> we suggest you follow on social media.</p>
Challenge Yourself and Others to Continue Learning<p>It's okay not to know everything. In fact, it's completely normal.</p><p>One of the best parts of being a climate advocate is that we continue to learn and grow with the climate movement and science. To protect our air, water, and land from pollution, we have to stay up to date with the newest science and solutions – it's the same thing when advocating for social and environmental justice!</p><p>For many, this means keeping up to date on social media and in the news with what protests are happening and why, how we can support them, and what local organizations are doing to defend their communities. It also means trying to keep an ear out for the stories that major outlets aren't covering extensively.</p><p>Take the <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/atlantic-coast-pipeline-canceled-after-years-delays-accusations-environmental-injustice-n1232987" target="_blank">recent victory in the fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for example</a>. Local environmental justice groups in West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina had been fighting for years against the pipeline. When it was canceled a few weeks ago, activists celebrated, but the story never seemed to get the same level of attention as the latest tweet from the White House.</p><p>Social media gives us the opportunity to learn from others with varied experiences and gain resources to information that can make us better activists.</p>
Expect to Make Mistakes and Learn to Listen<p>We will all make mistakes. It's a part of continuing to educate ourselves and growing as an ally and activist. Even the most experienced advocates have said the wrong thing or made a mistake in their time.</p><p>For many of us, especially White climate activists, these may be relatively new concepts, but we must make the fight against racism our fight. Take a look back at what you've posted before and learn from any past mistakes, using this moment to learn what went wrong and share what you learned with others. By educating yourself, you can help others who may be experiencing similar mistakes or have questions.</p><p>Additionally, the best way to learn about the impacts of systemic racism on frontline communities being impacted by police brutality or climate change is to listen. Give Black activists and people of color an opportunity to tell their stories and give yourself time to reflect on their experiences. It may (and probably will be) uncomfortable in some moments but it's necessary to make progress in a movement where we can fight together for long-awaited justice.</p>
Use Your Platform and Following to Amplify Diverse Voices<p>Whether you have a big social media following, only follow close family and friends on social media, or don't have social media accounts at all – use the platform or online environment you have to amplify the voices of Black activists and people of color.</p><p>It can be as simple as sending an email to close friends or retweeting posts from local organizers. Sharing information from those on the front lines to those who trust and follow you not only helps local activists but can help educate others!</p><p>For many, you're a trusted messenger. What does that mean? You can read more about it in one of our <a href="https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/why-trusted-messengers-matter" target="_blank">past blogs</a>, but here's a quick definition from <a href="https://www.bu.edu/ise/2019/04/16/trusted-messenger/" target="_blank">Boston University:</a><br>"People believe people whom they trust, and they're more likely to act based on the recommendation of that influential other person."</p><p>Your family, friends, and followers trust you – use that privilege as an opportunity to educate them and amplify the voices of those leading the social and environmental justice fight!</p>
Want to Learn More About Climate Activism and Environmental Justice?<p>Feeling inspired to join the movement for environmental and climate justice? Sign up to learn more by becoming a Climate Reality Leader.</p><p>By signing up for one of our Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainings, you'll learn about fossil fuel pollution and climate impacts on low-income families and communities of color, and how to build the broad, inclusive, and powerful coalitions necessary to fight back.</p><p>Join former Vice President Al Gore and an all-star lineup of environmental justice leaders, climate scientists, business leaders, and more to learn how to fight for a just, healthy future for all.</p>
By Yvette Cabrera
This story was originally published on Grist on July 30, 2020
Fifteen years ago, Kamala Harris — San Francisco's District Attorney at the time — created an environmental justice unit in her office. The goal was to go after the perpetrators of environmental crimes that were hurting some of the city's poorest residents.
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While 2019 saw a massive uptick in environmental activism around the world, with climate strikes and the Extinction Rebellion campaign surging in popularity, the work of defending the environment on the front lines became more deadly than ever.
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By Dwanna L. McKay
Some Oklahomans are expressing trepidation about the Supreme Court's recent ruling that much of the eastern part of the state belongs to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. They wonder whether they must now pay taxes to or be governed by the Muscogee.
‘Indian Country’<p>As both an <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/academics/dept/raceethnicitymigration/people/profile.html?person=mckay_dwanna_lynn" target="_blank">educator</a> and <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=9h85fD8AAAAJ&hl=en" target="_blank">scholar</a>, I work to correct the erasure of Indigenous histories through my research and teaching.</p><p>North America was not a vast, unpopulated wilderness when white colonizers arrived in 1620. Up to <a href="https://www.amazon.com/American-Indian-Holocaust-Survival-Civilization/dp/080612220X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=9780806120744&linkCode=qs&qid=1594487258&s=books&sr=1-1" target="_blank">100 million people</a> of more than 1,000 sovereign Indigenous nations occupied the area that would become the United States. At the time, fewer than 80 million people lived in Europe.</p><p>America's Indigenous nations were incredibly advanced, with extensive trade networks and economic centers, superior agricultural cultivation, well developed metalwork, pottery and weaving practices, as historian <a href="http://www.beacon.org/An-Indigenous-Peoples-History-of-the-United-States-P1164.aspx" target="_blank">Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz</a> has comprehensively detailed.</p><p>Unlike Europe, with its periodic epidemics, North America had little disease, Dunbar-Ortiz says. People used herbal medicines, dentistry, surgery and daily hygienic bathing to salubrious effect.</p><p>Historically, Indigenous nations <a href="https://theconversation.com/indigenous-people-invented-the-so-called-american-dream-85351" target="_blank">emphasized equity</a>, consensus and community. Though individualism would come to define the United States, my <a href="https://doi.org/10.17953/aicr.37.4.g0rj7q5jp961q581" target="_blank">research</a> finds that Native Americans retain these values today, along with our guiding principles of respect, responsibility and reciprocity.</p>
The US has violated every treaty it has made with Indian Tribes. Public.Resource.Org
Broken Promises and Stolen Lands<p>European and American colonizers <a href="http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/becomingamer/peoples/text3/indianscolonists.pdf" target="_blank">did not hold these same values</a>. From 1492 to 1900, they pushed inexorably westward across the North American continent, <a href="http://www.beacon.org/An-Indigenous-Peoples-History-of-the-United-States-P1164.aspx" target="_blank">burning Native villages, destroying crops</a>, <a href="https://open.mitchellhamline.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1157&context=facsch" target="_blank">committing sexual assaults</a>, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Indians-Tribal-Deborah-Miranda/dp/1597142018" target="_blank">enslaving people</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/sand/learn/historyculture/index.htm" target="_blank">perpetrating massacres</a>. The government did not punish these atrocities against Indigenous Nations and their citizens.</p><p>Citing the so-called "<a href="https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579815.001.0001/acprof-9780199579815" target="_blank">Doctrine of Discovery</a>" and <a href="https://researchrepository.wvu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1373&context=wvlr" target="_blank">Manifest Destiny</a>, U.S. policymakers argued that the federal government had a divine duty to fully develop the region. <a href="https://time.com/5851864/institutional-racism-america/" target="_blank">Racist in language and logic</a>, they contended that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/2332649218821450" target="_blank">"Indians" did not know how to work or to care for the land</a> because they were inferior to whites.</p><p>Oklahoma was born of this <a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=TXjNDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA190&lpg=PA190&dq=normalcy+of+legitimized+racism&source=bl&ots=CUXMMH5VZ4&sig=ACfU3U37fr_T2Ie4oh0qrhyW3BlnLqo_4Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiz14Ljz8rqAhUhgK0KHeAGCggQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=normalcy%20of%20legitimized%20racism&f=false" target="_blank">institutionalized racism</a>.</p><p>Under the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole nations – known as the Five Tribes – were forced from their ancestral homelands in the southeast and relocated to "Indian Territory," as Oklahoma was then designated. Half of the Muscogee and Cherokee populations died from brutal and inhumane treatment as they were forcibly marched 2,200 miles across nine states to their new homelands in what most Americans call the <a href="https://www.nps.gov/trte/index.htm" target="_blank">Trail of Tears</a>.</p>
Respect, Responsibility and Reciprocity<p>Despite all the brutality and broken promises, the Five Tribes have contributed socially, culturally and economically to Oklahoma far beyond the shrinking bounds of their territories, in ways that benefit all residents.</p><p>The public school system created by the Choctaws shortly after their arrival became the model for Oklahoma schools that exists today. Last year, <a href="https://oklahoman.com/article/5653531/caught-in-the-middle-130-million-in-education-funding-embroiled-in-tribal-gaming-clash" target="_blank">Oklahoma tribes</a> contributed over US$130 million to Oklahoma public schools.</p><p>Oklahoma tribes also <a href="https://www.tribalselfgov.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Alltribe-2019-Impact-Report.pdf" target="_blank">enrich</a> Oklahoma's economy, employing over 96,000 people – most of them non-Native – and attracting tourists with their cultural events. In 2017, Oklahoma tribes produced almost $13 billion in goods and services and paid out $4.6 billion in wages and benefits.</p><p>The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, in particular, <a href="http://www.mcnimpact.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/MCN_Impact_Report_June-26-2019.pdf" target="_blank">invests heavily</a> in the state, creating businesses, building roads and providing jobs, health care and social services in 11 Oklahoma counties.</p>
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World Mayors Call for Car-Free Streets, End to Fossil Fuel Subsidies as Part of ‘Green and Just Recovery’
Mayors from some of the world's major cities have unveiled their vision for how the world can recover from the coronavirus pandemic while encouraging environmental justice and fighting the climate crisis.
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