Black environmental organizations are calling out the environmental racism that has ostracized BIPOC from the conversations surrounding environmental sustainability and change. These groups advocate for individuals disproportionately impacted by environmental concerns, including pollution, climate change, lack of access to clean water and food insecurity. 

The civil rights movement saw the birth of vocal activism regarding inequalities in access to basic human rights. In 1982, one of the first environmental protests was held in Warren County, NC. According to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, the town’s Black residents held a sit-in strike against the development of a landfill “built to bury soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl, a toxic industrial waste.” The sit-in led to 500 arrests, but it sparked a wave of national attention and exposed how communities of color are dismissed regarding environmental health and safety.

In 2020, Yale conducted a survey proving Black and Hispanic communities cared more about pressing environmental issues than others. Their survey found that 69% of Hispanics/Latinos and 57% of Black Americans showed more concern regarding global warming compared to only 49% of white people. The research also showed that white people were more doubtful about these issues.

Over 30 years after the Warren County sit-in, Black environmentalists and groups still advocate for unrepresented communities and people. Here are some you should know.

Hip Hop Caucus


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Hip Hop Caucus (@hiphopcaucus) • Instagram photos and videos

Generation Green


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The National Black Environmental Network


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The National Black Environmental Justice Network (@_nbejn) • Instagram photos and videos

Outdoor Afro


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Outdoor Afro HQ (@outdoorafro) • Instagram photos and videos

Justice Outside


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Justice Outside (@we_are_justice_outside) • Instagram photos and videos

The NAACP Center for Environmental & Climate Justice


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