Natural Resources Committee Hosts Forum on African-American Cultural Heritage and Environmental Justice

In honor of Black History Month, the Natural Resources Committee hosted a forum led by Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) to openly discuss the countless contributions the African-American community has made to the environmental and conservation movements. The Members of Congress and panelists discussed the important roles the African-American community plays in protecting our natural and cultural resources, including preserving historical sites, combatting climate change, supporting renewable energy development, and addressing environmental injustices.

“Today we had a productive and necessary conversation with African American community leaders about justice, equity, inclusion, and the preservation of our American story,” said Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.). “Unfortunately that story today, for too many African Americans, is about disproportionate impacts from climate change. Bold, meaningful solutions to our climate crisis have to be informed by an awareness of that injustice. I’m grateful for the work of Representative McEachin and members of our committee championing environmental justice, not just during Black History Month but every day in everything we do.”

“Since its creation less than 50 years ago, Black History Month has been a time to recognize the remarkable achievements of the African-American community, and to reflect on the work that remains to be done to ensure equity and inclusion,” said Congressman Donald McEachin (D-Va.). “I am elated that we were able to have this forum today as it is acutely important – given the urgency of addressing and mitigating the impacts of climate change – that this forum juxtapose the preservation of black history and culture with the forceful call for environmental justice and climate action. For generations, the African-American community has been foundationally important to the environmental and conservation movements. Today we were able to make that clear.”

Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, Rep. McEachin, Representatives Steven Horsford and Ed Case from the Natural Resources Committee attended today’s forum. The event can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2tkHd7C.

Flickr album with photos: HERE

Video of Chair Grijalva

Video of Rep. McEachin

Video of Alan Spears, Director of Cultural Resources, Government Affairs, National Parks Conservation Association

Video of Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization, Hip Hop Caucus

Khalil Shahyd, Senior Project Manager, EEFA, Resilient Communities, Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

Press Contact

Adam Sarvana (Natural Resources) - (202) 225-6065

Jamitress Bowden (McEachin) - (202) 225-6365