The Green New Deal isn’t about a single law, but rather an overarching vision of tackling heat-trapping carbon emissions and social inequalities at the same time, and in the same places, year after year. In a world of racial capitalism, this can only be achieved through a relentless struggle to abolish racial injustice. How can the Green New Deal movement put the values and campaigns of the Black liberation struggle at the heart of its vision? How can the Green New Deal movement help advance a broad, multi-racial, working class agenda of climate justice?
On the one hand, these questions demand answers that involve theory, analysis, and long-term vision. These questions also demand short-term answers involving concrete campaigns in fall 2020 and early 2021. And they require a critical look at already-existing efforts to merge racial justice and climate action, like California’s policy framework of investing substantially in frontline communities.
In this panel, co-sponsored by Penn’s Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative and McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology, we’ll hear from Kaniela Ing, the lead organizer of the grassroots network People’s Action’s Green New Deal campaign; Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, a philosopher who is reconceptualizing the links between demands for reparations and for climate justice; and, J. Mijin Cha, a legal scholar and labor activist who has worked on climate justice policy in New York and California. Nikil Saval, a Green New Deal advocate and the Democratic candidate for State Senate in Pennsylvania’s First District, will moderate the discussion. Daniel Aldana Cohen and Billy Fleming will introduce the panel