WE, THE PEOPLE OF COLOR , gathered together at this multinational People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, to begin to build a national and international movement of all peoples of color to fight the destruction and taking of our lands and communities, do hereby re-establish our spiritual interdependence to the sacredness of our Mother Earth; to respect and celebrate each of our cultures, languages and beliefs about the natural world and our roles in healing ourselves; to ensure environmental justice; to promote economic alternatives which would contribute to the development of environmentally safe livelihoods; and, to secure our political, economic and cultural liberation that has been denied for over 500 years of colonization and oppression, resulting in the poisoning of our communities and land and the genocide of our peoples, do affirm and adopt these Principles of Environmental Justice:
Toxic facilities, like coal fired power plants and incinerators, emit mercury, arsenic, lead, and other contaminants into the water, food, and lungs of communities. Many of these same facilities also emit carbon dioxide and methane – the #1 and #2 drivers of climate change. At the same time not all are equally impacted. For example, race – even more than class – is the number one indicator for the placement of toxic facilities in this country. And communities of color and low income communities are often the hardest hit by climate change.
During the campaign, Trump infamously asked Black people in America, “What do you have to lose?” Today, the answer is the collective health and economic growth of our communities. When the Tweeter-in-Chief abdicates the United States’ global leadership on climate change, he is affirming that the environmental racism in which local governments, state governments and companies traffic daily is acceptable and will not be challenged. He is abdicating America’s ability to lead in job creation, clean energy, technology development and implementation and domestic manufacturing. He is telling the people of Flint their lives do not matter and that brown water is the new normal.