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The Chesapeake Climate Action Network

April 23, 2021

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The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) is a grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The organization understands that the climate crisis is a human issue, and one of the many systems of injustice that intersect to disproportionately burden, black and brown communities. “Here at CCAN, we know that there is no climate justice without racial justice”, states Kim Jemaine, the Virginia Director at CCAN. Hear how CCAN is working for equity both internally within their organization and externally with policy development.

Working for Equity is Mission-Critical for CCAN

“At CCAN, we understand that the climate crisis is a human issue. We acknowledge that climate change has many deep-rooted causes, spanning everything from white supremacy to colonialism to the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of too few. This has led to the radically unfair reality that the people least responsible for changing our climate–from low-income communities in the U.S., to much of the Global South, to future generations–will be the first and/or the hardest hit by climate change.” (CCAN)

Working internally, CCAN sought to center equity by asking the following questions:

  1. What type of organization are we and what type of organization do we want to become? This plays out in how we hire staff, how we support staff, and how we handle feedback from inside and outside the organization.
  2. How do our campaigns incorporate and prioritize the needs and leadership of frontline communities?
  3. How competent are our staff in this space?

In order to put action to our words, we involve the entire staff in setting goals aimed at answering those questions. Recognizing that change doesn’t happen overnight, and that we must also set concrete goals and actions to ensure we’re holding ourselves accountable.

– Kim Jemaine, Virginia Director, CCAN

Prioritizing equity and justice in policy development

Here in Virginia, our team has worked to prioritize equity and justice in our policy development as well as our grassroots approach. This often means, learning from, listening to, and uplifting the work already being done by community leaders and activists on the ground.

– Kim Jemaine, Virginia Director, CCAN

Some of the campaigns CCAN has worked on and is currently involved in centers around frontline communities that are most impacted by the climate crisis. These communities include those in Hampton roads facing rising sea-level, those in northern Virginia facing the impacts of poor air quality as a result of traffic, and the many other communities across Maryland, Washington, D.C, and nationally.

“Across the Chesapeake region, CCAN and its supporters are fighting to bring new wind and solar power to our homes and businesses, shut down the dirtiest coal plants, and protect our communities from major new dirty energy threats — like fracking and fracked gas exports.” (CCAN)

We know that the work is just beginning and we look forward to coming alongside activists, community members and groups like Green 2.0 to do our part.

– Kim Jemaine, Virginia Director, CCAN

To learn more about CCAN and their mission, visit chesapeakeclimate.org and follow on Twitter @CCAN, on Facebook @ChesapeakeClimate, on Instagram @chesapeakeclimate, and on YouTube at Chesapeake Climate Action Network.