Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned a world where everyone lived in harmony – he and others called it a “Beloved Community”.

Patterson: “It is a community where we have racial justice, where we don’t have discrimination and where we’re living together as brothers and sisters sitting at common tables together and enjoying the bounty that this earth has to offer without divisions.”

Jacqueline Patterson of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program says to achieve King’s vision, we must address climate change.

Patterson: “We see climate change as a civil rights issue.”

NAACP's Patterson: 'We see #climatechange as a civil rights issue.' Click To Tweet

She says minority and low-income populations are disproportionately affected by global warming. For example, it’s low income residents who struggle most with pollution, food insecurity, and the lack of resources to rebuild after a disaster. But she says the vision of a beloved community can give people a goal to work towards. If they imagine the future they want, and identify the obstacles, they can then chart a pathway forward.

Patterson: “Then people would be able to really start to think in terms of solutions.”

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.

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