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GOOD NEWS: Green Energy, Land Back + More

By Alyssa Shapiro

These may be complicated, distressing, and tiring times, but the good news is that consumer choices matter, protesting is working, and for one California tribe, their land is returning to them.

July 29: Cal State Approves New Graduation Requirement: Ethnic Studies Or Social Justice Class (NPR)

In just a few years (starting with the 2023-2024 academic year), graduation requirements for students of the Cal State system will include social justice or ethnic studies courses, a move that is sure to impact the minds of those attending, and the futures of their communities. Perspective is key to opening minds and changing hearts, and we have high hopes for those students.

August 2, 2020: More Than 1 Thousand Acres of Esselen Ancestral Land Returned To Tribe (NPR)

It started with less than great news for the Esselen tribe of Big Sur, California, when Spanish missionaries showed up in the 1700s. The Indigenous folks who had lived on the land were sent to missionaries where the majority of the population died from exposure to new diseases, and the land was taken away. Now, though, the remaining members are set to get over 1,000 acres of their land back in a deal that’s taken a year to hammer out. Land back!

August 4, 2020: BP Will Slash Oil Production by 40% and Pour Billions into Green Energy (CNN)

You might not expect green energy news from BP (aka British Petroleum), but here it is: the company plans to cut oil production 40% by 2030, thanks in part to decreased consumer demand (three cheers for green energy!). BP will redivert its energy (and dollars) into clean energy; it’s planning a “ten-fold increase in annual low carbon investments,” by 2030 according to CNN.

In a statement BP said, "This coming decade is critical for the world in the fight against climate change, and to drive the necessary change in global energy systems will require action from everyone.” Truth!

August 18, 2020: Postal Service Backs Down on Changes as at Least 20 States Sue Over Potential Mail Delays Ahead of Election (CNN)

The USPS needs our help, but again, protesting is working—along with taking legal action. After 20 states sued over what could have caused election-altering delays, the postal service is set to suspend these changes until after November 3. Still, this is no time to let Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General, off the hook. Stay vigilant and ensure your vote is counted, friends!

August 27, 2020: The NBA Strike Will Reverberate for Years to Come (Slate)

In a strike that comes exactly four years after Colin Kaepernick first took a knee on August 26 of 2016, professional sports players and teams across the NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MLS, and tennis player Naomi Osaka, participated in an unprecedented walkout, refusing to perform labor during a time of social upheaval and violence against Black life. This move, started by the Milwaukee Bucks who play in Wisconsin, the state where Jacob Blake was days ago shot seven times in the back by police, has “brought an entire lucrative industry to a halt,” as Jack Hamilton writes in Slate. The move is certain to grab the attention of fans, but also the management class of these teams which are predominately white, among players who are about 70 percent (in the NFL) and 80 percent (in the NBA) Black.