Tamara Toles O’Laughlin is a national climate strategist, and the CEO and president of the Environmental Grantmakers Association.
As COP26 gets underway, we don’t know if it will meet our ambitions for action on climate — that’s something we can only determine in retrospect. Organizers have worked hard to make sure that the diversity of our movement is on display, but equity is another matter entirely.
Thirty years ago another meeting had just wrapped up, one that was truly organized for the people by the people: More than 1,100 activists attended the National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., held over four days in October 1991. The United Church of Christ’s Commission for Racial Justice sponsored the gathering. The planners had no idea that what they were doing would catalyze the birth of the only leadership bodies in the climate movement that are led, shaped, and run by people of color.
I’ve been at this for 20 years, working to get the agendas of Black, Indigenous, people of color, and women into the conversation about climate survival. The leaders who emerged from th... Read more