Statement of the Better Future Project Board of Directors on Racial Justice
8 June 2020
We write as members of the Board of the Better Future Project. The events of recent days have compelled us to raise our collective voice. Ongoing violence against Black people in this country at the hands of the police and other institutions of the state is intolerable, to its victims and to us. The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, following those of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and many many others—require a collective uprising of refusal. Police riots, militarized occupation of urban communities, and escalation by the Administration must end. It is especially unbearable that these murders have occurred as coronavirus is disproportionately targeting Black Americans, who are already suffering and grieving. And that these attacks come while the plague of unemployment and economic collapse also hits with disparate impact.
We raise our voices to say enough is enough. Centuries of exploitation, enslavement, colonial and domestic domination and oppression are enough. When the first era of U.S. enslavement was ended by the Civil War, another form of enslavement began, which has not yet ended. As we approach Juneteenth, we dedicate ourselves to ending it. It’s time for criminal justice reform, social and economic equity and justice to Black Americans. It’s time for reparations. It’s time for true equality.
Achieving social and racial justice is at the core of the climate struggle. It gives our movement vitality and strength. Today we recommit to continue and enhance the work of Better Future Project for racial justice, as we work with others to address prison divestment, risks to frontline communities, and climate solutions, such as the Green New Deal, that center the well-being of Black and Brown communities. We pledge ongoing interrogation of our organizational practice. And we affirm our view that to have a “better future” it must be one in which Black Lives Matter.
The New England Aquarium is a vital institution in our community that works to educate the public about climate change and its impacts. As patrons of the New England Aquarium, we are proud of its strong commitment to combating climate change. We encourage the aquarium to take the next step as a role model by becoming the first aquarium in the world to divest from fossil fuels.
The fossil fuel divestment movement has grown rapidly over the last five years to undermine the destructive influence of the fossil fuel industry, which disproportionately burdens the health, livelihoods, and lifespans of people of color and low-income people. Through divesting, the aquarium will further its mission to support the community, to act as a leader, and to create a sustainable blue planet for all people and marine wildlife.
By signing this petition, I support the New England Aquarium’s Board of Trustees in divesting from the fossil fuel industry so that the aquarium can continue to be a role model for other local institutions that are committed to serving the public and the environment.
To read the full petition, click here.
To learn more about the campaign, click here.
Local Climate Justice Teach In, Boston Patch, June 26, 2017
Aquarium Urged to Divest from Fossil Fuels, Chris Lovett with Boston Neighborhood Network, July 21, 2017
This campaign has been endorsed by the following organizations and institutions:
Marcy Reed, the president of National Grid in MA, has been a long-term and enthusiastic supporter of offshore wind. Now, the fate of the nation's first offshore wind farm lies in her hands. By reinstating National’s Grid commitment to buy 50% of the power from Cape Wind, she can save the nation’s first offshore wind farm, help create thousands of jobs, and move toward securing Massachusetts’ clean energy future.4,036 signatures
Dear Marcy Reed, President of National Grid in Massachusetts,
We need National Grid to be a leader to help Massachusetts transition from fossil fuels to alternatives like wind.
Massachusetts cannot afford the cost of continuing to dump pollution recklessly into the atmosphere. Rising global temperatures disrupt the livelihoods, and lives, of everyone. Climate change is having serious effects here in Massachusetts, including more frequent and severe storms and especially rising sea levels.
Adding gas pipelines only increases our dependence on fossil fuels. We need wind turbines, not gas pipelines, to move Massachusetts toward a clean energy economy. The Cape Wind project, in particular, is a vital step toward a sustainable future, and its fate is in your hands.
Please redouble your efforts to move away from fossil fuels by renewing your commitment to the Cape Wind project and by pledging your support for future wind energy projects.