We all have a role to play in the environmental justice movement. Some of us are healers. Some of us are researchers. Some of us are planners. As a volunteer for Groundwork Denver and an advocate for environmental justice, I’ve chosen the role of storyteller.
How do stories work to affect change in the environmental justice movement? Our brains are wired to seek stories and patterns among every piece of information we process. We instinctively create strong characters and plot lines in our minds to create emotional connections that drive us to action. As we continue to learn more about climate change and the steps we need to take to achieve sustainability in our homes, our lives, and our world, stories of positive change motivate us to work together to reach a brighter future.
Our environment is woven into every story we tell. It is the setting of our stories and the context in which we interact with each other. Further, climate change affects every aspect of our daily lives, whether we realize it or not. But climate change does not impact all people equally. In fact, the health impacts of climate change are likely to fall disproportionately on people of color, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the uninsured. Groundwork Denver is built on this understanding and actively works to bring about the sustained improvement of the physical environment and promote health and well-being through community-based partnerships and action.
Groundwork Denver’s mission resonates with me because it is deeply rooted in empowering neighborhoods to collaborate and determine sustainable solutions for urban environmental and community development issues. As a Groundwork Denver volunteer, I believe that our neighbors are our greatest assets in the community. Our neighborhoods are brimming with stories, knowledge, and lived experiences that are invaluable in illuminating our collective path toward an environmentally just world.
On my volunteer journey with Groundwork Denver, I hope to shine a light on a few of the stories of environmental justice in action, woven into the fabric of the organization and our community. Thank you for joining us along the way and being a part of our story!