We are writing this letter today to affirm life and the work that needs to happen to preserve it, especially in communities at the forefront of adaptation. Our profession is one that both cares for and celebrates the natural world and life in all of its forms; as adaptation professionals, one of our main concerns is reducing harm by keeping people as safe as possible from climate change.
A year ago, we affirmed our commitment to life by publishing the ASAP JEDI Statement. In it, we committed ourselves and ASAP to
“… not allow the actions of the past to dictate our future and we commit to leveraging our network and resources to promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the climate adaptation field and beyond.”
For us, as ASAP staff, this has meant different things in our personal and professional lives.
For Marce, it has meant to learn and speak up at different times and contexts to point out when something is not right. It has also meant to support mutual aid efforts for Indigenous Nations that exist within Mexican territory.
For Breana, it has consisted of an ongoing journey of creating space and prioritizing time to unlearn systems of white supremacy to instead center the voices of Black, Indigenous, and people of color in her everyday choices.
For Rachel, it has meant to relearn the history of the United States from the perspectives of Black people, Indigenous peoples, and people of color, and center the experiences of people who hold those identities in her conversations and actions.
For Beth, it has meant tempering the urgency of climate action with the patient pace of relationship building, seeking joy in our pursuit of justice, and accepting the emotional work of anti-racism in her community activism and professional life.
As a team, we decided to find tangible, concrete ways to show our solidarity. Especially as we continue to see our colleagues and neighbors being threatened and killed by white supremacy, we want our actions to speak louder than our words. That’s why today we are launching the ASAP Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Fund.This fund, which ASAP staff have seeded with $2,000, demonstrates our commitment to allocate financial resources to grow the adaptation field with people who are at the forefront of adaptation and people who come from affected communities.
We invite all those who share this commitment to participate in the JEDI fund. You can donate money and contribute to making our field more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive; you can also request resources from the Fund to grow your practice as an adaptation professional. We hope you will join us in these acts of solidarity and reciprocity.
Thank you for joining us on our journey to work towards the liberation of all people. We are not free until everyone is free.
Marce, Breana, Rachel, and Beth