PopDev hosts Environmental Racism session

On the evening of September 22, PopDev will host Rebecca Poswolsky, field organizer on race, migration and the environment with Center for New Community in Chicago. Rebecca will speak about recent developments connecting Immigration, Population and Racism.

The anti-immigrant movement is attempting to channel environmental concerns into racism and bigotry. White Nationalist John Tanton is the progenitor of the most influential ant-immigrant network in the country. Tanton launched Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and U.S. Inc. 30 years ago and from there seeded most of today’ anti-immigrant groups, including the Center for Immigration Studies, Negative Population Growth (NPG), Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), and NumbersUSA.

Tanton Network groups and other pseudo- environmental groups like Carrying Capacity Network and Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) are recasting themselves so that it appears to the broader public that they are speaking on behalf of the U.S. environmental movement as a whole. In addition, the Apply the Brakes Network (made up of population control activists and environmentalists with deep environmental backgrounds) is another network that focuses on calling for U.S. population stabilization as a way to divide progressives and environmentalists by using issues of
sustainability in order to build support to push for an America First-style immigration policy.

We know that the environmental crises we face today are real and we must not be silent in the wake of anti-immigrant bigotry masquerading as environmentalists. Rebecca’s talk will provide an overview of anti-immigrant frames attacking immigrants for environmental degradation as well as a discussion of community responses opposing this racism.

Rebecca Poswolsky is currently working as a field organizer on race,
migration and the environment with the Center for New Community, based in
Chicago. The mission of the Center for New Community is to build community,
justice and equality. She is a contributor to CNC’s recent Apply The Brakes report, and her writing can also be found on Imagine 2050’s community blog.

Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Rebecca received her BA degree in
Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts at
Amherst. After graduating from UMASS, Rebecca moved to Phoenix, AZ, where she became active in two community based organizing efforts: the Repeal Coalition of Arizona and Nuestros Derechos. As a grassroots organizer with Arizona-based immigration advocacy organization Nuestros Derechos, she helped host Know Your Rights forums that worked to educate about our Constitutional rights when confronting law enforcement. Rebecca also worked with The Repeal Coalition of Arizona through canvassing and efforts to promote emergency responses to immigrant raids.

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