Join the Brandy Brooks Power Posse in Support of Relief Efforts for Climate-Related Disasters
From August 31 through September 30, 50% of all contributions received will support outreach and promotion with groups related to climate disaster relief. I believe that protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities is a priority. In this moment, it’s important to recognize that our Montgomery County community extends beyond our geographic borders: many of our residents have family members and friends in South Asia, West Africa, and the Gulf Coast of the United States – all areas which have experienced horrific climate-related disasters in the past 3 weeks.
We are asking you to be part of our Power 100 in September: 100 contributors who help us raise at least $2500 in the next week, which will allow us to use at least $1250 to engage with groups that support climate disaster relief efforts. The more money you give, the more outreach we can do!
In a grassroots campaign, every month of fundraising counts for us. But as with every aspect of this campaign, we want to make sure that we do it in a way that matches our values. We believe that this is a moment where we can show leadership through how we use our financial resources to support vulnerable communities – the same thing that I will do as a member of the County Council. We hope that you’ll join us in supporting the campaign while also supporting communities experiencing disasters across the globe.
In my personal life, I practice tithing – giving at least 10% of my gross income to my faith community and to charitable causes. I do it as a way to practice gratitude for what I have and to live in a spirit of abundance: believing that when we share our resources with one another, there is more than enough to go around. That attitude has transformed the way that I think about what I have, what I need, and what my spending priorities are in my life.
We still need to bring in money to make sure that we can reach out to residents of Montgomery County during the month of September and pay the costs of running the campaign. At the same time, we believe that we can practice a spirit of abundance in response to these disasters. What we give through this effort is likely to represent 25% of what we bring in through donations this month – but committing our resources to those who have the most need in our county, our country and our world is a priority for our campaign.
Climate change is real. Climate scientists – those who study and have expert knowledge about the patterns of weather and climate on our planet over time – are nearly unanimous in their agreement that our global climate is warming due to human activity. And they agree that the consequences of global warming are exactly the kinds of disasters we’ve seen this August in Sierra Leone, South Asia, and Texas: extreme weather events with huge costs in money and human lives.
Climate injustice is also real. As we have seen time and time again in extreme weather events across the globe, the people hit hardest by climate-related disasters are those with low incomes, people of color, women and children, seniors, and other vulnerable communities. These community members don’t have the resources to flee or protects themselves from climate disasters. And because these communities experience the most environmental injustice overall – unhealthy housing, lack of access to food, poor transportation options, exposure to toxic facilities, polluted air and water – they suffer more from disasters and have a harder time recovering.
We are committed to climate and environmental justice. For the past decade, I’ve dedicated my career to environmental justice. My work in community design and planning focused on helping community members have control over land use and development decisions that impact their lives. My work on food justice focuses on making sure that the way we produce and distribute our food not only prevents hunger and diet-related diseases, but also ensures that the people who grow, catch, process, and serve our food do so in safe conditions and with dignity. I work for and with organizations led by community members who are most impacted by climate change and environmental injustice, so that we can build our power to make our communities healthy and safe for all of us.
We believe in building the power of the people – so it’s not enough to just look at short term relief. We are committed to giving our donations to organizations that are not only responding to the immediate need, but are also doing ongoing work in these areas to empower community members so that they can change their lives. Here are the three organizations we’ve selected for outreach:
- Black Women’s Self-Defense Fund/World on My Shoulders Hurricane Harvey Relief – The Black Women’s Self-Defense Fund provides political education, self defense training, and resources and rescue to abused, underserved black women and marginalized genders. World on My Shoulders provides peer-to-peer support services, reusable and sustainable reproductive health goods, and infant care essentials to caregivers who are low-income and/or domestic abuse survivors. Both organizations are Texas-based and have been working with Houston activists to arrange monetary and supply donations for underserved communities in the city.
- Islamic Relief USA South Asia Humanitarian Aid Fund – Islamic Relief USA provides relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and works to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world. The organization has offices and long-time roots in South Asia, and has been able to mobilize quickly to respond to the massive flooding in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. They are focusing their immediate relief efforts on water and sanitation, food aid, and shelter.
- Global Giving Sierra Leone Mudslide Relief Fund – GlobalGiving is a crowdfunded community supporting vetted, locally-driven organizations around the world. All donations to this fund will support recovery and relief efforts led by local groups in Sierra Leone. Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local organizations that are part of GlobalGiving’s network.
- Global Giving Hurricane Irma Relief Fund – Similar to the Sierra Leone Mudslide Relief Fund, the Hurricane Irma Relief Fund will initially be directed to immediate relief efforts by local organizations, and then will focus on continuing recovery efforts by organizations working in the Carribean and Florida.