For over 30 years, RAN has fought to preserve forests, protect the climate and uphold human rights. Justice is at the heart of RAN’s mission, values, and theory of change as an organization.
We understand that the social, economic and environmental issues that the world is facing are interconnected and interdependent. We ground our campaigns in a deep understanding of systems of oppression and challenge the power structures that support those systems. We work in solidarity with communities directly impacted by corporate power –– listening to, learning from, and amplifying the voices of our allies.
Black Lives Matter
Our determination to challenge corporate power for people and the planet has never wavered nor has our commitment to racial justice and equity. While this work has evolved over the last 35 years, let us be as clear as we can be: Black Lives Matter.
We simply cannot end the climate crisis or deforestation without addressing systemic racism in the US and around the world. Oppressive systems have led to the deaths of many Black people — those racial disparities lie within the criminal justice system and within the healthcare and environmental injustice systems.
As the Environmental Justice movement reminds us: environmental destruction requires certain land to be sacrificed, which requires certain people to be sacrificed as well. The same systems of power that cause the burning of fossil fuels are the same systems that put those burning coal plants in Black and Brown neighborhoods, leaving those communities to bear the burden of asthma, cancer, and other impacts of living near infrastructure. The Indigenous communities who rely on rainforests in the Amazon are being explicitly targeted so corporations can use their land to graze cattle or plant palm oil.
For years, RAN has followed the Jemez Principles for Organizing to insure our work is as inclusive as possible. In 2016 we also endorsed the Movement for Black Lives Platform and continue to uplift the message of the Movement for Black Lives in their visionary work.
“What’s race got to do with rainforests?”
The fight against climate change, deforestation, and human rights abuses is inextricably linked to colonialism, systems of oppression and the fight for racial justice. We cannot win real victories for our planet if we are not committed to challenging the fundamental racial inequity Black and Brown communities face every single day. We take their lead, but don’t leave Black and Brown people to fight a system they did not create and uphold. White supremacy fears people power because people uplifting voices with no agenda, only for justice, is powerful. People power is how we win.