Black History and Sustainability: 4 Black Environmentalists You Need To Know

Black History and Sustainability: 4 Black Environmentalists You Need To Know

February is Black History Month. It is the month where we celebrate black culture and honor our black heroes who’ve had an incredible impact in their communities but across the U.S.

This year, we'd like to highlight black environmentalists who are fighting to sustainability and equality. 

Here are a few environmental heroes and their organizations:


Van Jones black environmentalist

Van Jones 

Van Jones is a Yale-educated attorney who is mostly known as a CNN political contributor. He is a multiple award winner and has also authored three bestsellers.

Van Jones is also the president and founder of the nonprofit social justice accelerator, Dream Corps, and was the green jobs advisor to President Obama in 2009.


Rose Brewer black environmentalist

Rose Brewer

Another great black environmentalist is Dr. Rose Brewer who is a professor of African-American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota. 

She has published a plethora of journal articles and book chapters on environmental and social-related issues. 

In 2012 Brewer helped organize the Black Environmental Thought conference in Minneapolis and is currently the chair of the board of Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota.


Carl Anthony black environmentalist

Carl Anthony 

Carl Anthony is a champion for justice and the environment. His passion for environmentally sustainable led him to find the Earth Island Institute’s Urban Habitat Program. He is also the co-director of Breakthrough Communities, a nonprofit he cofounded.

In his memoir The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race, he connects social and racial equality with the challenges plaguing the natural world.


Karen Washington black environmentalist

Karen Washington

Karen is a farmer and community activist for more than 26 years now. She is a member of the board of directors of the New York Botanical Garden, Just Food, and Why Hunger. 

She is also the co-founder of the Black Urban Growers network and Rise & Root Farm. In 2014 Karen was honored with the prestigious James Beard Foundation Leadership Award and was spotlighted on Ebony Magazine's list of the one hundred most influential African Americans in the country.

This Black history month, make a positive change by leading a more environmentally friendly life.



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