Intersectional Environmentalism


Leah Thomas

Vogue Magazine is not a publication I’ve ever turned to for news about environmentalism. That is, until blogger Emma Ewert directed me to a recent article in Vogue — Why Every Environmentalist Should Be Antiracist by Leah Thomas. Leah is among a number of Black environmentalists talking about the connection between climate and anti-racism (New York Times, 6-3-20).

In the Vogue article, Leah defines “intersectional environmentalism” this way:

“… an inclusive version of environmentalism that advocates for both the protection of people and the planet. It identifies the ways in which injustices happening to marginalized communities and the earth are interconnected. It brings injustices done to the most vulnerable communities, and the earth, to the forefront and does not minimize or silence social inequality.”

A 2017 graduate of Chapman University with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, Leah suggests in the Vogue article, “The time is now to examine the ways the Black Lives Matter movement and environmentalism are linked.”

I couldn’t agree more.

author-hopEarlier this month, Hop Hopkins of the Sierra Club also described How Racism is Killing the Planet. He writes of the long-overdue realization growing in the environmental movement that, “We’ll never stop climate change without ending white supremacy.”

Like most people I know, I often feel overwhelmed by three huge issues pulling me to act: racism, climate change, and COVID-19. Intersectional environmentalists are showing me how interrelated these three pressing concerns are.

otp_logo_square_whiteRecently I learned of another intersection between social justice and my writing about the Salish Sea and climate change. My publisher, the small, independent press Homebound Publications, is now partnered with the environmental nonprofit, One Tree Planted (OTP). As part of this partnership, for every book sold from the Homebound online store, OTP will plant a tree.

Homebound is a press committed to environmental responsibility and contemplative storytelling exploring global issues, so joining with OTP is a perfect way to promote reforestation. I discovered another connection as I researched OTP. The clip below explains how the group is working to protect Southern Resident Killer Whales (orcas).

So many intersections.



  1. I enjoyed this post Iris. I love the intersection of Vogue and Sierra Club which I’m a member of. This is an interesting subject to consider and I look forward to reading the Vogue article. Last year my brother Brian dod personal fund raising for One Tree Planted with a dollar match to raise $10,000. xoSue


    1. Thanks for reading, Sue. Yes, the Vogue article is informative, and led me to other intersections, too.

      So cool to know your brother supports One Tree Planted!

  2. This is a wonderful posting. I have many friends who will feel individually addressed by this. I’ll send this along the way to them. Thanks much. xo, m. ❤️💞😘😍👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨😏😉❤️

    Sent from my iPad


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