The Elders share why the climate movement must unite behind the Black Lives Matter movement

picture of zeid raad al hussain  with a quote on the left hand side and the elders on the bottom right
Image from The Elders
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
18 June 2020

Earlier this year Former President of Ireland and Chair of The Elders, Mary Robinson, launched a series of blogs to outline the need for us to respond to the global challenges we face in solidarity. 

Jamie Margolin, an 18-year-old Colombian American student, author and climate activist, has guest blogged as part of the series. Jamie’s blog shares a letter to fellow climate activists, calling on them to recognise that the “fight for climate justice and the fight for social justice are inseparable”. 

Zeid Raad Al Hussein, member of The Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, shared the following about Jamie’s blog, “Jamie’s letter to her fellow activists is one that draws on voices of leaders in progressive movements for racial and climate justice. As she so passionately articulates, there is a compelling, and undeniable, connection between the two. She calls for alignment amid all those fighting for justice and rightly states that the polarisation, racism and inequality that is so pervasive in America, and around the world, has no place in our global society. Jamie’s blog reminds us, at this crucial time, human rights and the fight for environmental justice, go hand in hand."

The Elders have voiced their solidarity with all those protesting peacefully against racism and brutality, and share their demands for justice, accountability and equality before the law. These sentiments are echoed in Jamie’s blog, along with the opinion that there is no such thing as a ‘single issue activist’. 

“Sure, you can have an issue that you predominantly focus on, but all issues are interconnected,” said Jamie. “Black lives matter. And those in the climate movement need to be in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. At this point there should be no talk of ‘staying in our lane’ or of only talking about climate change, because the fight against climate change and the fight against systemic racism are inseparable.”

To learn more about Jamie’s work read her book, ‘Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It’ and to keep up to date on the Elders’ Intergenerational Earth Day series visit their website. 

Virgin Unite, with the support of a great group of partners, had the privilege of incubating The Elders in 2007. We continue to support the Elders to reach their goals of supporting peace, justice and human rights worldwide.