Four Questions: SEAS Professor Kyle Whyte
1) What does the future of climate action look like from an environmental justice lens?
Real climate action means Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples are leading the change—leading with their values, leading with their solutions and leading with their knowledge.
2) How do we best meet those challenges now?
We can meet the challenges of climate justice by ending racism right now. That’s how we’re going to get to an environmentally just world. The reason why many Black, Brown and Indigenous communities are more vulnerable to climate change is because of colonialism. Discrimination has made it so that many of our communities live on lands that are more vulnerable to climate risks and have been subject for generations to pollution and other environmental stressors.
3) How is the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) prepared to meet those challenges?
SEAS is in a unique position to empower students to gain the capacities to work across cultures, to work across fields, to connect science and policy, and to take leadership, which leads to real change and transformation in the lives of the people who are most affected by climate change.
4)What is the future of environmental justice?
The future of environmental justice is a world that’s sustainable, and it’s sustainable because there is respect for consent, respect for reciprocity and a commitment to the well-being of all people.
More: Professor Kyle Whyte: Advocating for Indigenous People and Environmental Justice