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Blog 14. NCAT Commits to Racial Justice

A Message From Steve Thompson, Executive Director

Steve Thompson, NCAT Executive Director

Layered upon the pandemic and a national economic freefall, the murder of George Floyd and so many other Black Americans has sparked frustration, anger and sorrow across the country, not least here at NCAT. The convergence of crises has prompted us to examine our internal culture and the work we do in the world to help build resilient communities that can survive and thrive despite hard times.

We acknowledge that NCAT needs to do more to address the root causes of racial injustice. We stand with those who peacefully protest the continuing American legacy of racism and institutional violence. We pledge to do more to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in our offices across America.

We are proud that much of our work focuses on serving Black, Native, Latino and Hispanic, Asian-American and refugee communities as well as impoverished Americans of all races. And we will redouble our efforts to serve vulnerable communities so they can strengthen local self-reliance through sustainable food and energy solutions.

We recognize that people of color often are those most directly harmed by environmental degradation and by the accelerating disruptions of climate and weather extremes. We will intensify our efforts to build a clean energy economy while helping communities adapt to changes that are baked into the world’s future.

Our Gulf States staff is working with diverse partners through the Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative to bring systemic change to the state’s food system.

We see that Native and African Americans are especially devastated by COVID-19. We will expand our work to strengthen equitable public health solutions, especially within our areas of strength: Expanding access to healthy food, supporting farmers of color, providing low-income energy assistance, designing healthy and efficient homes, and restoring ecosystems.

Now is a time of social reckoning. We all must heed the call, led by an immense chorus of multi-racial voices, to wake up and adjust course.

The conversations will continue. They may often be tinged with raw emotion. It will not be easy to resist the path of recrimination, resentment and fury. To build a bridge to a better future, we each and together must invest ourselves in kindness and compassion.

Meantime, it’s time to act with a greater commitment to racial, environmental and economic justice. This we pledge to do at NCAT.