Working class communities of color in Richmond have long lived on the front lines of environmental degradation in the form of refineries, dirty power plants, freeways, ports and rail yards and feel the health impacts from hazards such as poor air quality, toxic emissions, and water and soil pollution. The crisis of climate change is making our communities more vulnerable through increased and worsening super storms, sea level rise, heat waves, drought, and rising food, housing, and energy costs. At the same time, gentrification and displacement is happening at incredible rates. The combination of existing hazardous and toxic conditions and growing climate change and gentrification impacts is intensifying the vulnerabilities of our communities.
Whether it’s exploiting people or our natural resources, our current economic system is unsustainable. The fundamental interrelatedness of the climate crisis and the economic crisis requires a transformation of the economy and solutions that are led by and strengthen local communities, especially those at the frontline of the extractive economy. We are pushing for a just transition away from an extractive economy to local, living, interdependent economies rooted in social and ecological justice.
The fossil fuel divestment campaign has been building incredible power over the past two years. As institutions (universities, churches, unions, cities, and states) begin to respond to the call to divest of their holdings in the fossil fuel industry, we can move divested funds into community-owned and democratically-governed projects that meet community needs, create meaningful livelihoods, and address the climate crisis.
Cooperation Richmond is playing a key role in shifting money away from our extractive economy and building the economy we want. Our loan fund and cooperative incubator is just the start of our growing movement for an economy that is rooted in justice, led by our communities and families, and balances harmony with our natural resources. Join our beautiful family as an investor, organizer, supporter, cooperative worker-owner, and make our vision happen! Contact us (link to a form) now.