Part of our journey and reflection in understanding sustainability is understanding that we actually cannot talk about things like the health of our planet without addressing racial injustice and intersectional environmentalism. Every week we will have a different guest featured here to discuss the connection between social and environmental injustice, and Teju Adisa-Farrar will be kicking off today’s conversation. Teju designs and facilitates customized trainings and workshops for environmental and sustainability companies on intersectionality. She consults on justice-based communications and geographically relevant messaging. She also speaks and presents at events on alternative geographies and related issues. Please welcome her here, and follow her work over on her page. You can also visit her website Tejuadisafarrar.com and IG Instagram.com/misstej for more!
“As a geographer I focus on humans' relationships to our environment, encouraging us to create societies that are regenerative for the earth and sustainable for Black humans. Sustainability is about the continuity of life, allowing all living organisms to live and die in dignity. When we become aware of the interconnected injustices in our world, we realize that we have to redesign all of our systems to work towards dignity and continuity. Alternative futures are when Black people can live and die in dignity. Alternative futures are when our clothes and the products we use can return to the earth after we are done--without poisoning the land. Alternative futures are consuming less and connecting in community more. My life's work is about ensuring we can create alternative futures, and working with others who are doing the same.
As a Jamaican-American, I grew up knowing the urban landscape of Oakland in California and the lush greens of St. Catherine in Jamaica--a place rich in natural resources. Though Oakland is mostly affected by environmental injustice, the island of Jamaica is increasingly threatened by climate change. I cannot disconnect my culture from the environment or from the history of colonialism that has shaped both of these places I care about so deeply. My work focuses on connecting the dots between issues so that we can transform the world to create better futures for the lands and people we love.”