Black Women, Green Futures Award celebrates Black women leading the environmental justice movement

The “Black Women Green Futures” award celebrates the work of five exceptional Black women leading in environmental and climate justice. Abbie spoke with three of the awardees, about their work and the impact they are making in their communities.

New Voices of Reproductive Justice — an organization focused on transforming society for the complete health and well-being of Black women, femmes, girls, and gender-expansive folks — awarded five people the, Black Women, Green Futures award in January. 

According to Kelly Davis, the executive director at New Voices, this award is, “built on the radical idea that environmental justice is reproductive justice.” 

Davis explained how reproductive justice and climate justice are intrinsically linked

“When folks think about reproductive justice, they really focus just on abortion access or just on pregnancy,” said Davis. “We’re here to say, actually, the environment influences the way that you’re able to create or sustain families, which is the building blocks of Black communities.”

Davis said that often today, and historically, the environmental movement has left Black communities and reproductive justice out of the conversation. 

“You can tell by who they platform, the causes that they champion. They often leave Black Women and gender-expansive folks to fall through the crack.”

She says this award was created to help fill that gap and celebrate the work so many Black and Indigenous women and gender-expansive people have been doing for generations and continue to lead today. 

“Black women, along with native and Indigenous women in the Americas are the originators of environmental protection,” said Davis “We are also often the people who are the most affected by environmental degradation.”

Currently spoke with three of the Black Women, Green Futures awardees including; Tonni Oberly, the co-owner of Oaks & Spouts — a family-run farm, birth equity scholar, and doctoral candidate; Jocelyn Travis, an Organizing Manager for the Sierra Club and live long civil rights and social justice advocate; and Christa Barfield founder of FarmerJawn, a Philadelphia-based farm that cultivates accessible and healthy food for marginalized communities. 

Tonni Oberly — Co-owner of Oaks & Sprouts and academic

Tonni Oberly, recipient of the “Black Women, Green Futures” is a doctoral candidate, a Birth Equity Research Scholar, and co-owner at Oaks & Sprouts.

Jocelyn Travis — Organizing Manager for the Sierra Club and social justice advocate

Jocelyn Travis, recipient of the “Black Women, Green Futures” award, senior organizing manager at the Sierra Club, and civil rights advocate.

Christa Barfield — founder of FarmerJawn and Viva Leaf Tea

Christa Barfield recipient of the “Black Women, Green Futures award, founder of FarmerJawn, an urban farm in Philadelphia and Viva Leaf Tea.


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