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Database Provider


David Lammy


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Civics, Health

Resource Type

  • Videos, 9 minutes, 23 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, Europe


Downloadable MP4/M4V

Climate Justice Can't Happen Without Racial Justice

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  • In this TED video, English politician David Lammy speaks about the interconnectedness of racial justice and environmental justice. 
  • Students will learn about environmental racism and the movement to have more people of color in leadership roles in the fight for a sustainable and environmentally just future. 
Teaching Tips


  • David Lammy uses the slogan, "I can't breathe," to show the connection between the Black Lives Matter movement and environmental justice. He explains that the slogan could bring attention to the prevalence of pollution-related asthma in minority communities.
  • Students will learn that environmental groups need to be more inclusive, especially at the leadership level.
  • A transcript of the video is available in fifteen languages.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the terms ecocide, colonialism, and environmental racism.


  • Communications, journalism, and ethics classes could discuss the Associated Press' decision to crop the photograph from the World Economic Forum. Students could also reflect on Vanessa Nakate's response to being cropped out of the picture.
  • Civics classes could analyze policies in different countries that address the issues raised in this video.
  • Other resources on this topic include this article on environmental racism, this video on the disproportionately high asthma rates in the Bronx, this video on how systemic racism leads to fewer trees in cities, and this SubjectToClimate Lesson on redlining and environmental racism.
Scientist Notes
This TED video from David Lammy sheds light on one of the most important aspects of the climate change crisis; racial and climate justice. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • MS-LS1-5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.14.6-8 Compare historical and contemporary means of changing societies, and promoting the common good.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.6-8 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people in both nearby and distant places.
      • D2.Geo.5.9-12 Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
      • D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
      • D4.6.9-12 Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
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