Earth Day is celebrated on April 22. Given the history of environmental racism that disproportionately impacts Black people and other people of color, it’s no wonder why there are so many causes working to raise awareness, and putting in the work to combat climate change.
Studies have shown that discriminatory housing practices like redlining have left Black neighborhoods particularly vulnerable to climate change. Extreme weather patterns also widely affect Black communities around the United States and the world.
Black celebrities have joined forces with brands and even started their own to combat climate change, protect the planet, and champion the efforts of local organizations and advocates.
Here are a few Black celebs involved with green efforts.
SZA x TAZO Tea
SZA joined forces with TAZO Tea company to create the TAZO Tree Corps. The TDE songstress partnered with the company to plant more trees in Black neighborhoods. Some Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color can be five to 20 degrees hotter than predominantly white neighborhoods in the same city. The initiatives is working in Detroit, Michigan, The Bronx, NYC, Richmond, Virginia, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jaden Smith, Founder of JUST Water Company
In 2012, a 10-year-old Jaden Smith co-founded JUST Water alongside Drew Fitzgerald. The brand uses 100% recyclable material for its packaging and even ships millions of bottles more efficiently compared to other bottled water companies. The rapper also brought a mobile water filtration system to Flint, Michigan to aid in the city's water crisis.
Rihanna And The Clara Lionel Foundation
Rihanna established The Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012 and the organization has worked on a variety of projects and donated to several efforts. One of the Foundation's initiatives includes the Emergency Response and Climate Resilience to help with the increasing number of natural disasters impacting global communities of color. The group is coordinating emergency preparedness kits for vulnerable households while also working to support infrastructure hardening projects for schools and healthcare facilities in these areas.
Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, Co-Founders of Studio 189
Actress Rosario Dawson, along with fashion exec Abrima Erwiah launched the sustainable brand Studio 189. The brand is made by artisans in Accra, Ghana and supports local causes across Ghana and in the US. Studio 189 has partnerships with the UN, NYU Stern School of Business, and has collabs with Nike, Fendi, Opening Ceremony, Okay Africa, and more.
The brand also won the CDFA Lexus Fashion Initiative for Sustainability.
Check out the e-commerce store here.
Tabitha Brown, Vegan Recipe Queen
Actress Tabitha Brown took over social media with her calming voice and has made vegan recipes "her business." The TikTok star, comedian, and NAACP Image Award winner has shared her journey of eating a vegan diet as a way to treat chronic pain, and has shown ways to make food both healthful and tasty.
In keeping with her advocacy with overall wellness and health, Brown recently landed a partnership with The Calm app, where she reads sleep stories.
Don Cheadle, UN Environment Program Global Goodwill Ambassador
Legendary actor Don Cheadle was named the UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2010. In his role, the Iron Man actor champions climate change awareness and global humanitarian efforts. He hosted an episode Showtime series Years Living Dangerously to highlight the drought crisis facing the southwest region of the US.
Megan Thee Stallion, Promoter of Environmentally-Friendly Fun
Lupita Nyong'o, WildAid Global Elephant Ambassador
Actress-author Lupita Nyong'o was chosen to be the Global Elephant Ambassador for WildAid in 2015. In her role, she has brought awareness to the dangerous and devastating practice of ivory trade and worked to promote conservation efforts across the continent of Africa. She voiced and helped produced the 2018 My Africa documentary that highlighted conservation initiatives and ways people can get involved.
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