Why We Need to Center Racial Equity in the Climate Movement
By Aimee Witteman
Note: Last month, we announced that Aimee Witteman, Midwest Climate & Energy program director, will step down from her position on July 30, 2020. After 10 years with McKnight, Aimee is pivoting to new adventures. Following are Aimee’s parting reflections on the climate movement and climate philanthropy, including her thoughts on McKnight’s newly expanded climate grantmaking.
As I wind down my time at the McKnight Foundation and engage in reflection and planning for what’s next, I’m deeply moved by the transformation happening across our country. The Covid-19 pandemic and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Aubrey—among countless others—have laid bare the painful inequities and structural racism that have persisted for centuries, including right here in Minnesota. At the same time, thanks to creative young organizers and the Movement for Black Lives, who have nurtured underlying social movement conditions for years, we also find ourselves in a time of deep possibility. We are living in what Black Lives Matter cofounder Alicia Garza and others have called a moment of “uprising, reckoning, and change.”
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