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Sierra Club Embraces Environmental Justice, Difficult Internal Reckoning

“Ramón Cruz, a Brooklyn activist originally from Puerto Rico, is the first Latino to head the country’s oldest and largest environmental organization.”

“The Sierra Club, the oldest and largest environmental organization in the United States, is on a mission it is not known for—shining a light on environmental injustices. It announced its new emphasis during the height of the summer's racial justice protests triggered by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

With the country in the midst of a racial reckoning, reassessing monuments to Confederate soldiers and other supporters of slavery and racism, it was time, the Sierra Club, announced, “to take down some of our own monuments, starting with some truth-telling about the Sierra Club's early history.” It denounced its founder, John Muir, for his racist writings, and pledged to diversify its leadership and its environmental campaigns.

Ramón Cruz, who was elected president of the Sierra Club in May, is the most visible manifestation of the public commitment to diversity and environmental justice the Sierra Club announced in July.”

Evelyn Nieves reports for InsideClimate News October 17, 2020.


“Tear Down the Walls: The Racist Roots of ‘Fortress Conservation’” (The Revelator)