Wednesday, June 3, 2020 News · Press Releases

A Statement on Standing Against Racism from Executive Director Laura Cantral

by Diane Knich




June 3, 2020

Contact: Diane Knich, Communications Manager, [email protected], (843) 530-0211

A Statement on Standing Against Racism from

Executive Director Laura Cantral

The recent brutal and senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others before them, including Walter Scott and the Emanuel Nine, bring the systemic racism pervasive throughout America into stark, unforgiving relief. Events of the past week highlight a foundational truth of our society: Racism impoverishes, maims, sickens, and kills.

We at the Coastal Conservation League recognize how much work we have to do as a country, a community, an organization, and as individuals. We know systemic racism degrades the physical environment of black and brown communities, which are far more likely to be made sick by contaminated soil, polluted air, and poisoned water. We know, too, that access to open space and public land is inequitable—as Christian Cooper showed us last week, birding in Central Park can quickly become a potentially lethal pastime for a black man. Yet too many environmental organizations, including ours, have failed to do our part to push for change and fight for environmental justice.

We must do better, and we will. The Coastal Conservation League stands in solidarity with all who fight against racism, injustice, and police brutality. We are committed to constructive action: listening to, and learning from, our black and brown neighbors, building partnerships for action on environmental justice, becoming a more diverse organization that better reflects the people of the Lowcountry, and doing our part to address the injustices and disparate impacts of public policies here in South Carolina.

We have always been committed to fighting for a healthy, resilient Lowcountry—we know, now more than ever—that our collective resilience means serving every single member of our community equally and equitably. We may not have all the answers, but we are ready to do the work that justice demands.

In solidarity,


Laura Cantral

Executive Director

Coastal Conservation League

P.S. Please consider making a donation to organizations dedicated to African American communities, culture, and history. A few of our favorites here in South Carolina are the Center for Heirs Property Preservation, the International African American MuseumFresh Future Farm, and Penn Center.

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[email protected] · 843.723.8035

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