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Lit: Stories from the Frontlines of Climate Justice

It’s time to write a new, and a more nuanced, story about the environmental movement — one that’s centered in justice and equity.

Illustrative portraits of the men, women, youth, nonbinary, Black, Brown, and Indigenous people who are tackling climate change, systemic racism, and extreme inequality.

Our world is defined by the stories we tell. For too long, those in power have told a fanciful story: that even though the U.S. is the richest country in the world, we can’t afford to acknowledge, much less address, the intersecting crises of climate change, systemic racism, and extreme inequality.

Climate Justice


A term and a movement that recognizes the intersecting links between environmental, racial, social, and economic justice. Climate justice demands that solutions come from those hit first and worst by environmental harm, and that these solutions be rooted in justice for all people.

Historically, major environmental groups have also largely failed to connect these crises, while centering a white dominant viewpoint that erased those who didn’t look like a “typical” environmentalist.

It’s time to write a new story.

That’s why we created Lit, a climate justice storytelling project that connects the dots between climate change, systemic racism, and extreme inequality — while highlighting the women, men, youth, LGBTQ+, Black, Brown, and Indigenous people around the world who are tackling them.

We hope these stories inspire you to write your own — and join us in the collective struggle to create a more just and equitable world.

(Rob Chambliss / Earthjustice)
(Rob Chambliss / Earthjustice)

“A climate movement that isn’t centered in justice is no movement at all.”

– Abigail Dillen, Earthjustice President

Our new storytelling series, Lit: Stories from the Frontlines of Climate Justice, seeks to elevate the stories of people pushing for a just future and livable climate — and inspire others to do the same.

(Hannah Rothstein for Earthjustice)

“[Living and working in a polluted environment is] like this slow violence that the e-commerce chain inflicts. It’s a cycle of madness.”

– Anthony Victoria-Midence, Clean Air Advocate

Warehouse workers and communities are demanding stronger environmental health protections and increased corporate responsibility.

(Ella Trujillo for Earthjustice)
(Ella Trujillo for Earthjustice)

“Working alongside other broken-hearted people is the most healing practice I know. Broken-hearted helpers are the ones who topple unjust systems and give birth to new ones.”

– Marcela Mulholland, Climate Justice Activist

Climate justice activist Marcela Mulholland recounts her journey through climate grief to finding solace and solidarity with others of her generation.

(Ana Latese for Earthjustice)

“This is a resourceful community. We do whatever we have to do to make it, because we're used to going without.”

– Crystal Johnson, Climate Resiliency Activist

Residents, city leaders, and frontline workers are rallying around climate resilience strategies in the absence of federal leadership.

(Fuse Green for Earthjustice)
(Fuse Green for Earthjustice)

“Segregation, isolation, exclusion. For people of color, indigenous communities, and tribal nations, social distancing…is an all too familiar concept.”

– Keith Rushing, Earthjustice Communications Strategist

COVID-19 has upended the world almost instantly, exposing longstanding, systemic injustices that are just as present in the slower-motion climate crisis. There is a just path forward in both cases.

(Rachelle Baker for Earthjustice)

“I felt incredibly nervous to join in. I had major imposter syndrome — doubting that I could contribute something of value to this group since I was just a high school student.”

– Mishka Banuri, Youth Climate Activist

How a Utah youth activist convinced the conservative statehouse to acknowledge the threat of climate change.

(John Osgood for Earthjustice)
(John Osgood for Earthjustice)

“When people see something cleaner and better, it changes our expectations. [T]here’s a lot of psychology simply starting by believing that these things are possible.”

– Mari Rose Taruc, Energy Justice Advocate

Thanks to new technology and stronger protections, a future where anyone can live in a healthy home free of gas pollutants is now more than a green dream.

(Molly Crabapple for Earthjustice)

“Living in those two worlds — [the city and the Amazon rainforest] — helps me to see my country broadly.”

– Marina Silva, Environmental Activist

Marina Silva talks about the importance of addressing climate change in the wake of unprecedented Amazon rainforest wildfires.

(Victoria Cassinova for Earthjustice)
(Victoria Cassinova for Earthjustice)

“For many Puerto Ricans, we [do] not yearn for a livable future. Instead, we demand a livable present as one of the first victims of the climate crisis.”

– Isabel Valentín, Climate Justice Activist

How protesting forces those in power to face the injustices the system has created.

(Ann Marshall for Earthjustice)

“[W]hat’s radical is the refusal to reimagine and rebuild a more just economic and social society — when clearly the current one is broken.”

– Jessica A. Knoblauch, Earthjustice Senior Staff Writer

You can’t build what you can’t believe. That’s why we’ve illustrated our vision for what a just world could look like.

James L. Amos / Getty Images Sally Deng for Earthjustice
Our Lit vision includes moving from fossil-fueled, polluted cities to clean-powered communities.

Take Action:

Tell the Biden administration to follow through on environmental justice commitments!

Jessica A. Knoblauch is a senior staff writer at Earthjustice. Her goal is to bring to life Earthjustice’s inspiring and important environmental litigation work through engaging storytelling.

About this series

The climate crisis is a product of an unjust system that prioritizes profits above all else. For too long, the fossil fuel industry and its allies have greatly benefitted from this system, often at the expense of our most vulnerable communities.

It’s time to fight for climate solutions that ensure environmental, social, racial, and economic justice for all people. Lit: Stories from the Frontlines of Climate Justice, seeks to highlight these climate justice fights — and inspire others to stand up for their own communities and our shared future.

We know we can’t achieve zero emissions and 100 percent clean energy alone. Join our fight to ensure a more just and equitable world.