Social Good | Writing a New Narrative for Climate Refugees
Problem solve on behalf of climate refugees in the United States.
The Hard Truth
Minority communities in America are disproportionately effected by climate disaster and climate migration. Many are impacted, but few are heard.
Give climate refugees the platform to tell their own stories and build community around those stories to uplift them during the aftermath.
The world we live in today
Every day vulnerable people are forcibly displaced due to impacts generated by climate change. This isn’t something that will happen, this is something happening now.
Across the United States, 163 million people – nearly one in two – will most likely experience a decline in the quality of their environment during their lifetime. For 93 million of them, the changes could be particularly severe.
By 2070, at least 4 million Americans could find themselves living at the fringes, in environments that are no longer suitable for survival.
However, climate change is not to blame. It’s a symptom of an economic system built to extract limited resources from the planet and its people. The system has created this crisis.
During times of environmental crisis, the system fails time and time again.
We are no stranger to the disaster that Hurricane Katrina caused to New Orleans and the lack of governmental support in the aftermath.
1.5 million people were displaced
33% of those displaced were African American, and at least 4% of the remaining population identified as minorities.
1 in 3 minority identifying individuals have still not returned home to New Orleans until this day.
Defining America’s Climate Refugees
A climate refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their home as a result of the effects of climate change on their environment. The term “refugee” is often misused to describe a person that does not belong.
As we saw with Hurricane Katrina... Black, Brown, Asian, and low-income Americans are the climate refugees that have the hardest time adjusting to climate disaster in the United States.
“We left my grandmother's flooded house, were refused shelter by a white family, and took refuge in trucks in an open field during a Category Five hurricane. I saw an entire town demolished, people fighting over water, breaking open caskets searching for something that could help them survive.”
- Hurricane Katrina Survivor
The Historical Problem
When temporary relief runs out, the disaster becomes something of the past, and the people impacted don’t have a plan or the immediate resources in place.
No one thinks of the longer term effects these disadvantaged communities face when they are displaced and become climate refugees.
The Hard Truth
There are barriers in place that make it extremely difficult for climate refugees to navigate and overcome these climate crises.
Many are impacted, but few are heard. If we cannot hear their stories, we are unable to assess their needs.
And the cycle continues.
These communities are some of the most resilient of our time. They overcome insane amounts of adversity time and time again, and have to forge their own paths.
The reality is no one can help them like they can help themselves. However, they don’t have to go through this journey alone.
It's time to define a new chain of command for who helps who during climate crisis, and empower climate refugees to tell their own climate disaster stories.
An experiential game on the Vantage Point platform. This game gives people that are far removed from climate disaster an easy way to walk in the shoes of a climate refugee. Players will gain a new perspective on how difficult a person's life becomes in the aftermath and be encouraged to learn more about those impacted and ways they can support.
We want to share real climate disaster stories with real people. Vantage Point exists to educate, inform, and bring people together during times of climate crisis. Our hope is that by empowering climate refugees to share their stories, that we will connect them with a large network of supporters that can make a direct impact on their lives. With Vantage Point, we want climate refugees to share, heal, and take their power back.
Launching Vantage Point: 2 Year Plan
Approach a family foundation or fund to help with programmatic build out such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, or Knight Foundation.
The grant narrative will be focused on building out digital infrastructure to create a hub. Our intention is to create a low barrier access to resources and a central point for community.
The platform build out will be a two year ask. Year 1 will support the development of digital infrastructure. Year 2 will support sustaining the infrastructure, marketing, and growth.