Don’t Just Worry About Climate Change, Do Something!

NOVEMBER 8, 2022




By Leslie Fields-Cruz

Don’t Just Worry About Climate Change, Do Something!

Black storytellers are invited to BPM’s first Story Summit on Climate Justice, Nov. 12

If you read this blog often, you know that BPM is hosting a Black Media Story Summit on Climate Justice in Houston this weekend (Sat., Nov. 12). If you are just now hearing about it, the hybrid event is a collaboration between BPM, the Houston Cinema Arts Society and the Austin Film Society. Documentary filmmakers from across the globe are welcome to join us, especially those who are interested in telling stories about climate change, climate justice and how these impact Black communities.

Supporting films about climate justice is one of BPM’s funding priorities. If you’re wondering why, consider this:

* People of color are more likely to die of environmental causes.

* Early climate resiliency efforts typically leave out communities of color.

* African Americans are more likely than their white peers to suffer the health and financial consequences of climate change.

* For instance, during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, 30% of African Americans did not own cars, which made it more difficult for them to evacuate ahead of the storm.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Lifting up the stories of our people’s struggles with climate change as well as profiling those among us who are innovating to mitigate the effects of climate change is imperative. The climate justice movement could benefit from more media stories that spotlight these issues.

Serendipitously, this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference – affectionately known as Cop27 – also is underway this week. I’m guessing most of you are not on that guest list. But you are invited to join us at this weekend’s Story Summit. Participation is free, but registration is required, whether you attend in person or virtually

We look forward to seeing you and hearing about the story ideas you may be considering or are already working on.

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the heart of the fall film festival season, with DOC NYC kicking off this week. If you plan to attend, be sure to watch Outta the Muck, a BPM-funded film by Ira McKinley and Bhawin Suchak, which is screening in person on Sun., Nov. 13 at 4:15 p.m. ET; and online Mon., Nov. 14. Features programmer Karen McMullen describes the film this way: “This beautifully filmed documentary deftly captures the rural beauty of this coastal town, and delivers a warm, rarely seen depiction of an African American community.”

Have a good week.


Scene from Ira McKinley and Bhawin Suchak’s Otta the Muck.

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