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Decolonising the Climate Movement

On Friday 26 February, University of Bristol’s student union declared a Climate Emergency Day of Action – the finale in a month long series of virtual events, workshops, and activities. Students and Staff learnt about the threat of climate change, how to limit our impact on the planet, and how to pursue a sustainable career after graduation. One of the events addresses decolonising the climate movement: Climate change is a universal cause that is increasingly becoming an emergency. The consequences for our planet will devastate us all, but disproportionately impact people of colour in the Global South. Yet some current movements of climate justice have issues of insensitivity to racism and culture. How do we combat this whitewashing of climate change activism?”

Olivia spoke at this event alongside panelists:

  • Khadija Meghrawi – Panel Chair and BAME Network Chair at Bristol SU
  • Dr Mya-Rose Craig D.Sc. h.c. – Birdgirl, founder & President of Black2Nature
  • Associate Professor Frank Matose – Co-Director of Environmental Humanities South at Cape Town University
  • Cllr Cleo Lake – Councillor for Cotham & Deputy Green Group Leader
  • Peninah Achieng – Afrikan Voices Forum
  • Safia Cissoko – Bristol Alumni and People and Planet Activist

Feedback on the day included:

  • “A fantastic talk with a view of climate change not readily discussed in mainstream media”
  • “excellent group of speakers who brought a range of experiences and helpful questions to the table, which formed a coherent and powerful conversation that was easy to follow and summed up well. Great to feel integrated with the city of Bristol too”
  • “Informative, fascinating, inspiring, brilliant”