When they ask us why we do it, we tell them “For the Climate and the Culture”.
As children who grew up in majority black cities (Brooklyn, NY and Harrisburg, PA), we knew first hand the disproportionately negative effects of climate change on our communities.
Unfortunately, this reality is not separate to us, but this is the story of many black children and families across the U.S. We have known for some time that communities of color, often lower income, are exposed to environmental risks at a much higher level when compared to more affluent, white communities. These more vulnerable community members have a higher rate of exposure to environmental toxins and climate-related diseases and the least access to quality health care.
Our community members are often living in buildings and in locations that cannot withstand the increasing fury of extreme weather events resulting from the changing climate. And yet, because of structural racism, these same communities get the least amount of attention and support to redress these environmental injustices. Additionally, more than 1 million African Americans live within a half mile of existing natural gas facilities and the number is growing every year.
As a result, many African American communities face an elevated risk of cancer due to air toxics emissions from natural gas development. As two black women, who grew up in low income cities and saw how our family and friends are suffering, we are on a mission to do something about it. By prioritizing clean beauty products that prioritize restoring the planet, we can bring healing and awareness to the climate crisis in people of color communities.
Because at the end of the day, those who will be most impacted by Climate Change, look like us.