Social Justice Is Environmental Justice

The events of the last several days along with the following demonstrations in response to the police-shooting of Mr. Jacob Blake must not be ignored. While we continue to grieve for all victims of police brutality and racist violence, we are also taking a stand against the systems of oppression and discrimination that continually cause these tragic events to occur. Everyone should abhor the injustice of the life-threatening assault against Mr. Jacob Blake, and to the many others who did not survive their assaults, and to those whose stories have not been told.

Time and time again, our news feeds are filled with disturbing images & videos of Black Americans being murdered simply for the color of their skin. We should not only consume these images of violence, but also invest in actions to create systemic change. We rebuke those that commit these atrocities and call upon our leaders to set forth the motions of change to hold accountable those that commit these assaults, and dismantle the systems that allow racism to persist at all levels of our society.

In our work, Chesapeake Conservancy, spearheaded by our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) committee, is expanding the diversity of our staff & board, doing internal work to integrate anti-racism into our workplace culture, funding & supporting inclusive programs that perform DEIJ work at local, state, and national levels, working to amplify voices of people of color to lead this movement, expanding our bilingual interpretive outreach program, and more. However, our work is not finished.

Social Justice is Environmental Justice; the two are inextricably linked. We will continue to advance the causes of both social justice & environmental justice, while advocating for peace, equity, justice, and a high quality of life for everyone. Every person has a right to a safe public space without fear of vigilante or state-sanctioned violence. Let’s work together to create a better Chesapeake, a better United States, and a better world.