Early in the summer of 2018 APIENC members began to critically discuss the place of QTAPI identity and experience within environmental and climate justice movements. The Ecological Justice League (EJL) formed shortly after as a means for QTAPIs to show up collectively during this intense period of climate catastrophe. Some of EJL’s first actions in September 2018 centered on supporting frontline communities and grassroots activists most impacted by climate disaster as they mobilized to disrupt closed-door meetings between politicians and business leaders.
Following these initial mobilizations the group began gathering monthly and decided to prioritize shared political education and internal learning around the underpinnings of climate catastrophe. Inspired by organizations such as Movement Generation and Sunrise Movement, the group focused on local BIPOC-led organizing, rooted in a commitment to real solutions and relationship-building.
Although we began under the name “Think and Take Action Cohort” (TTAC), living through the devastating pandemic and early fire season of 2020, emboldened members to rename the group to Ecological Justice League. This was more than a name change, it was an intentional choice to pay homage to the visionary, political framework of ‘Ecological Justice3’ where all people are committed to the shared stewardship and health of all our ecosystems. Highlighting both our previous learnings and aspirations for the future, our name is an active intention to organize from our values in the face of systems that act otherwise.
¹ We use the term QTAPI to include and speak to a community of Asian and Pacific Islander people who identify variously as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, queer, and intersex who are politically united around being queer and transgender.
² We use the term BIPOC as acknowledgement of how white supremacy unevenly impacts different groups of people of color. Specifically, Black and Indigenous folks have endured and continue to endure the deepest societal and state violence, climate catastrophe, poverty, and incarceration and are deep leaders in creating real solutions to these oppressions.
³ For more on ecological justice’s history and context, visit Movement Generation.
4 Our understanding of real/false solutions comes from the thinking and work of various Indigenous community leaders and Indigenous-led environmental and climate justice groups. More info can be found here and here. We will continue to learn and grow our understanding of the real/false solutions framework.