A partner student-led organization, the Environmentalists of Color Collective (ECC), was created by a group of students at UCLA including two of our fellows. ECC was brought together as a means of challenging the white-dominated conventions of the contemporary environmental justice movement by co-creating a healing space to amplify and prioritize the narratives, experiences, and needs of Black, Indigenous, and people of color environmentalists.
ECC hopes to expand the discourse past race and connect the intersections of class, gender, ability, nationality, and other backgrounds as it relates to environmental justice and sustainability. They provide a platform for other marginalized identities within the environmental justice movement by inviting local environmental advocates for speaking engagements, co-creating toolkits for other environmental groups, and attending/co-sponsoring other events that emphasize inclusion and equity within the environmental movement.
From these discussions, ECC strives to maintain dialogue on the ways in which environmental and climate justice intersect our daily lives: as students as a “public” university that becomes increasingly less public and more neoliberal over time; as occupiers of land that once belonged to Indigenous tribes whose names are often not acknowledged; and to shed light on corporate harms that disproportionately impact poor communities of color.