Initial Publication Date: June 10, 2020

CLEAN Statement on Racial Injustices and Violence (June 10th, 2020)

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) stands in solidarity with the recent protests for a just and inclusive society, as well as #BlackLivesMatter. In the wake of continued anti-Blackness violence across the United States, we acknowledge the suffering within Communities of Color and act to dismantle the sources of this pain. We denounce all forms of violence and inequity that result from systemic racism and oppression. Racial oppression is real, insidious and deeply ingrained into the fabric of our society.

No field of science is neutral or objective, since science is a human endeavor, and is subject to the biases of its participants, including racial biases. In a society built on a foundation of white supremacy and systemic racism, we must always act to counter such oppression. In this moment staying silent is erasing the historic and continued pain of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and doing nothing is an act of complicity with white supremacists. Thus, we urge all of our networked communities, and more broadly all those we reach, to speak out and to act against the persistent racial injustices and violence present in our society at all scales, and in all parts of our lives.

In our own sphere of climate and energy education, we realize our work has not yet achieved desired diversity and inclusion outcomes and will never be complete. CLEAN is improving awareness of climate justice and supporting educational equity through resourcing educators in all contexts to engage in equitable climate change related learning. We acknowledge that climate and environmental justice issues are also inextricably connected to social justice and public health. Additionally, we are working as an organization to improve our own learning around racial justice and equity to inform how and who makes decisions within CLEAN, and ensure that our network represents the needs and voices of the diverse communities we serve. We are committed to continuing and furthering these efforts and encourage those in our network to do the same.

The CLEAN Network knows our collective actions this decade will reduce our vulnerability to climate impacts and make the staggering transitions to a low-carbon economy possible. Most people in the country are aware that the climate is changing, but surveys find that many of them still do not understand its causes, the severity of its impacts or the scale of what it means for us to take meaningful climate action. We know that Climate change education, training and community engagement makes a just climate transformation smarter, cheaper and more effective. In addition to these core activities, we also have the imperative commitment to doing our part to address persistent racial injustice in all that we do.

We, as the Leadership board of CLEAN, take responsibility to act and speak out against the persistence of anti-Blackness violence and white supremacy in our society, and within the fields of science and education. We ask all of you to educate yourselves and learn how to take responsibility in your own spheres of influence to dismantle racial injustice and denounce racial violence.


Dr. Deb Morrison, Institute of Science and Math Education, University of Washington, Seattle

Dr. Anne Gold, CLEAN co-chair, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder

Dr. Jessica Bean, Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley

Frank Niepold, CLEAN co-chair and founding member, Brookeville, Maryland

Dr. William Spitzer, National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI)

Dr. Tamara Shapiro Ledley, CLEAN Founding chair; President, Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP); Sustaining Science Consulting; Bentley University

Kathryn Boyd, CLEAN Program Manager, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Wendy Abshire, Education Program Director, American Meteorological Society

Dr. Don Haas, Director of Teacher Programming, The Paleontological Research Institution

Kristen Poppleton, Senior Director of Programs, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Dr. Devarati Bhattacharya, K-16 STEM Education Fellow, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Dr. James Brey, Senior Science Consultant, American Meteorological Society Education Program

Patrick Chandler, CLEAN Coordinator, Inside the Greenhouse, University of Colorado, Boulder

Jen Kretser, Director of Climate Initiatives, The Wild Center

Rebecca Anderson, Director of Education, Alliance for Climate Education

Statements from CLEAN Partner Organizations:

Statements from organizations that support CLEAN in other ways:

Collection of other environmental organizations with statements (not necessarily CLEAN partners)


Resources from SERC/NAGT on diversity and inclusion in the Earth Sciences

You can view/download this statement as a PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 96kB Jun10 20)