WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 01: Activists with Ikiya Collective close a road in front of the Department of Interior building during a protest for Indigenous peoples' rights on Aug. 1, 2022 in Washington, DC. Activists held the demonstration to call on the Department of Interior to return native lands to native people, to stop fossil fuel leases and call on U.S. President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Major polluters sponsored this year’s Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which was also heavily attended by fossil fuel lobbyists. Unsurprisingly, the conference’s resulting decisions and agreements barely scratched the surface of necessary solutions to address climate change to help us step back from the tipping point. This year, Prism published pieces that directly centered the voices of BIPOC communities most affected by environmental racism, while also delving into the necessity of decolonization, LANDBACK, climate justice solutions, legal pathways to protecting the land and Indigenous food practices, Just Transition, and more. This reading list offers a look at how some of these practices and theories are taking shape, what they mean, and why we need them. 

How to address the root cause of climate change? With LANDBACK by Ray Levy Uyeda

Selectively borrowing Indigenous practices cannot truly address the climate crisis or injustices to Indigenous peoples perpetrated by white settler colonialism

From grassroots to governments, LANDBACK returns stolen land by Ray Levy Uyeda

Different tribes have varied histories of land dispossession, leading tribes to work with individuals, organizations, and governments to return Native land

Indigenous and climate justice requires holistic LANDBACK by Ray Levy Uyeda

After centuries of displacement and genocide of Native peoples, settler colonial governments that have accelerated the climate crisis must return Native land to its original stewards

Greenwashed advertising falsely promises we can buy our way out of the climate crisis by Kimberly Rooney 高小荣

In reality, focus on carbon offsets and other individualized and consumerist practices diverts time and resources from real, systemic solutions

Through youth climate councils, the next generation aims to drive local efforts to combat the climate crisis by Marianne Dhenin

As climate councils invite youth input, varied program structures and different degrees of local government support affect councils’ impact

Atlanta community members warn of environmental damage from ‘Cop City’ by Ray Levy Uyeda

The police training facility will harm the endangered South River and further contribute to environmental racism

Prisons pollute and incarcerated or not, everyone deserves Just Transition by Tamisha Walker and Sagaree Jain

Prisons are both polluted and polluters, and for incarcerated people and returning citizens, the Just Transition framework is our only way forward

‘Rights of Nature’ laws can strengthen Indigenous sovereignty and provide a pathway to environmental justice by Ray Levy Uyeda

White Earth Nation’s fight to protect “wild rice” from the Line 3 pipeline reflects a larger question about the legal rights of nature

Lara is an award-winning writer and editor. Their journalism career started at the Philadelphia CityPaper and the Philadelphia Daily News. Lara also freelanced for national publications like Harper’s...