Climate and Race: Protect Our Winter’s Next Steps

Protect Our Winters, its staff and our Board of Directors have been deeply troubled by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. We stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples, low-income families, people of color and other historically marginalized communities in the fight for justice against systemic racism.

 

POW helps passionate outdoor people protect the places and lifestyles they love from climate change. Over the last two weeks it has become painfully clear that there is much more that we can do. POW will hire a leadership and organizational culture consultant to help the organization develop a long-term DEI strategy. And at its next meeting, the Board of Directors will lay out short-term timelines for a facilitated DEI training and approving expenditures related to our next steps.

 

Voter suppression is one of many systemic injustices that disproportionately affects communities of color. We are working harder than ever at making sure that our programs support voter empowerment for all members of the outdoor community. We are making our ‘Make a Plan to Vote’ and ‘Make a Plan to Vote by Mail’ tools available free of cost to organizations that serve communities of color and want to partner with us in this effort. We are also committed to covering the cost of 20,000 mail-in ballots for our partners. 

 

Beyond the election, POW is committed to showcasing stories that break the mold of the “typical” outdoor enthusiast. In a landscape that is overwhelmingly white, if we want everyone to feel invited into the outdoors we must use our space to make sure under-represented communities see themselves in stories, articles, photos and marketing.

 

The reality is that the outdoor industry is primarily white, affluent and inaccessible to many. Neither climate change nor racial injustice will be solved overnight, but as a trusted and respected brand within this community we are committed to using our financial resources and reach to influence change for good.

 

As the planet warms and the ramifications of climate change become worse, people of color and other marginalized communities suffer the most. We need systemic changes to address both. We believe that climate solutions, including a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, can help remediate the disproportionate impacts of climate change harming black and other marginalized communities. And that a just transition to a clean energy economy is an opportunity to empower under-represented communities as a way to build toward equality.