LGBTQ+ and climate change is no side panel conversation. If we are exploring historically marginalized groups, this community among others needs to be front and centre.
Traditionally, Caribbean-based mobilizations for LGBTQ+ support are limited in scope for climate action – that is an imbalance of justice…climate justice. Climate change/Human Rights research advocates like Emme Christie are sharing experiences and important perspectives grounded in research that stimulate deeper thought on the representations of the queer community.
Pull up a chair for the ‘other’ group that is seated at the table but often silenced. The Maroon Community occupies a prominent place in Jamaican history as freedom fighters against European enslavement. However, our conversation with Emme, extracts important contexts not often considered as it relates to these ecowarriors and their role in protecting our natural environment.
It’s time to answer the call to elevate different voices in the climate conversation. How are we making resources available for different vulnerable groups? From a Caribbean viewpoint, this pod talk ponders primarily justice, equity access and inclusion for sustainable environmental action.
Check out some of Emme’s work here.
About The Guest
Emme is a Fulbright scholar and Ph.D. Student at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). Their research interests span transformative methodologies for ensuring equity, inclusion, and justice in environmental decision-making. Emme is a trained analytical & food chemist, preventive controls qualified individual, environmental, data and quality management consultant with over 10 years’ experience in professional practice. With interests in human rights and justice, Emme is focused on assessing environmental policy and development from the lens of historically marginalized populations such as indigenous peoples, women, LGBTQ+, and disabled individuals. Through this, they hope to be integrally involved in the development of effective management systems that promote sustainability by centering the end-users of natural resources at various levels.
Emme is also the Associate Director for the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council and is intimately engaged in advocacy for environmental protection and climate change through improved policy and access to sustainable livelihoods for the Jamaican people. Emme’s direct responsibility in the JCCYC is capacity development as well as direct oversight of two of four portfolios: Outreach and Recruitment as well as Research, Policy Development and Advocacy. Emme has been an educator since 2011 with experience teaching Chemistry at the secondary and tertiary levels. Through their natural passion for teaching and helping students realize their full potential, Emme founded the Soaring Sciences Academy, Jamaica (SSAJ) a STEM based tutoring service whose mission is to see to the development of world-class students with a strong foundation in scientific principles who are marketable on the world stage and will have a competitive edge for higher matriculation.
Through involvements in human rights advocacy with local LGBTQ advocacy groups (JFLAG and Transwave). Emme has conducted two independent studies towards understanding the lived realities of LGBTQ individuals with respect to healthcare and climate justice in Jamaica. These studies included the Trans Health Needs Assessment completed in 2020 for Transwave Ja., and the Climate change and the Jamaican LGBTQ+ Population: A pilot study on perceptions, attitudes, behaviors, and impact completed in 2021 on behalf of JFLAG.