Lisa Desjardins: Finally tonight, Heather McTeer Toney spent three years leading the Environmental Protection Agency for the Southeastern US Now her advocacy reaches both nation and worldwide. Tonight, Tony shares her A Brief But spectacular take on centering Black leadership in climate change solutions.
Heather McTeer Toney, Environmentalist, Attorney, & Civil Servants: Growing up, I was not aware of environmental problems in the Mississippi Delta in Mississippi in the south, we didn’t think about climate and environment, the way that it’s focused now. And it’s actually quite disturbing, because it means that there’s a whole foundational part of how we live and exist, that wasn’t integrated into our education, even though it touched our lives every single day.
As a kid growing up, I took it a lot more than I thought I did, whether it was a meeting for an election that was coming up or it was a protest meeting, I was there. And I was there with other children listening into the plans that were being made. And at the same time, you know, grappling with the fact that something must be so important that after a full day’s work, you still go into the room to talk about how we could as one community ensure that our children me, would have a great future.
My job every day is to help show people where they are in climate solutions and climate solutions that empower them to take control of their communities and spread their solutions across a wide spectrum of issues, how we connect solving climate crisis in a community that may be impoverished, along with how we’re able to resolve education disparities in that community and, health disparities in that community, and really the intersection of climate.
The stereotype around black