UFCW Canada Human Rights Committee attends environmental racism workshop

Toronto – November 23, 2019 – UFCW Canada’s Human Rights, Equity, and Diversity Committee members recently participated in an environmental racism workshop hosted by union facilitators from the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).

The cutting-edge workshop featured work from a collaboration with the Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces (ACW) project and educated participants on the absence of an anti-racism lens in climate change discussions. It also discussed a history of environmentalism that has ignored the economic disadvantages of socially marginalized communities – the very communities that disproportionally experience the worst effects of climate change.

At the workshop, dubbed “Green Is Not White: Environmental Racism,” UFCW members discussed parallel struggles in racialized communities, Indigenous communities, and migrant/immigrant communities. Participants also spoke to their lived experience and the connection between precarity and the impact of resource abuse, climate abuse, poverty, and barriers to health.

“Transitioning to a green economy is only sustainable if it involves all persons affected in the process,” says Emmanuelle Lopez, UFCW Canada’s Coordinator for Human Rights, Equity, and Diversity. “By connecting multiple struggles faced by diverse communities, we can strengthen collective action and advocacy for climate change within an anti-racism lens,” she adds.

As Canada’s leading and most progressive union, UFCW is committed to eliminating racism and discrimination in the workplace and in the broader community, including efforts to fight climate change. To learn more about our union’s work in this area, visit UFCW Canada’s Anti-Oppression webpage.