"A lens is a good metaphor since in its literal sense changing it changes the way its viewer sees the world. And the Themetaphorical lenses we chose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision" -Charlene A. Carruthers (Unapologetic)

Cooperative Climate Futures addresses the intersectional root causes of the climate crisis and proposes solutions to reclaim an alternative vision of the future through a decolonial, queer, intersectional, and just transition lens. 

From these lenses, it becomes apparent that the climate crisis we see today is but a symptom of a much larger convergence of crises. These include but are not limited to, energy and resource depletion, financialization, biocultural diversity loss, water and food misappropriation, public health, climate changes, and social reproduction (Figueroa Helland, L. E., & Lindgren, T. 2015). These crises are all intimately interconnected and thus their effects continue to accelerate and compound (Ahmed, N. M. (2011). The result will be a dramatic collapse of life on Pachamama/Mother Earth. These collapses have been ongoing for Indigenous communities around the world for centuries (Whyte, K 2018).

The climate crisis is not a new phenomenon, through a decolonial lens we can conceptualize the ‘anthropocene’ to coincide with what Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin coin as the ‘Orbis Spike’ of 1610; the genocide of Indigenous peoples by european colonizers that can be measured by a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide (Davis, H. & Todd, Z. 2017).

Understanding the convergence of crises is not enough to imagine new solutions to solving the climate crisis, we must carefully and deeply dive into the root drivers of the crises. These root drivers stem from a certain european civilization framework, ideology and epistemologies that  includes settler colonialism, capitalism, racism, rationalism, individualism, and ableism. These complex systems both enable, structure, and drive not only the planetary crisis but underpin the very framework of modernity.

In our view, only solutions and approaches that are built outside this hegemonic framework, or actively combat it, can be considered real climate solutions. To this end, we operate under the following frameworks:


We define a decolonial framework as a means to upend the settler colonial state and all systems/attitudes settler colonialism brought with it: i.e. race, racisms, state, sovereignty, private property, worth, linear time, sexisms, western epistemologies, and more. To advance decolonization is to push for race, gender, and land justice.

Incarceration is a settler colonial strategy for displacement, land dispossession, and commodification of (Indigenous) land and (Black) bodies (Tuck & Yang, 2012)). The intertwined histories of enslavement and settler colonialism reflect today in how the rise of carceral power and expansion have been normalized (Nichols, 2014). Thereby, we have to learn how to think, act, and struggle against that which is ideologically constituted as ‘normal’; we must reject the notion of assimilation in order to fit a category as it counters all efforts to produce something radical and revolutionary; we must take seriously the feminist adage that “the personal is political” (Davis, 2013). Under this framing,  decolonization also entails the abolition of property, bodies, and the prison industrial complex (Tuck & Yang, 2012) and imagining the possibility of a landscape without prisons (Angela Davis, 2014)

To achieve decolonization also means to ensure Indigenous and Black Liberation because we reocognize the connected histories and realitites of Indigenous and Black oppresion, genocide, colonialism,  and traume on stolen land. And so, decolonization is foremost rooted in the rematriation of stolen land back to Indigenous peoples as well as the forcilbly displaced African diaspora whom were stolen from their ancestral lands for the purpose of forced labor to build the “modern” white-supreacist-heteronormative-capitalistic settler-colonial state.   

Please see these resources for more information on Decolonial Theory:

Black Queer Feminism (BQF)

The Black Queer Feminist (BQF) Lens draws significantly on the Black Radial and Feminist Tradition. Drawing on the work of Black lesbian feminist, Charlene A. Carruthers, BQF is a critical intervention, whether in conversations, organizing, and or envisioning movement building toward Black liberation. BQF is rooted in the lived experiences and interlocking oppressions of Black people on the basis of race, class, and gender, and aims to dismantle all forms of systemic oppression. BQF strives to use anti-sexist, anti-ractist, and non-heteronormative intersectional practice while supporting and promoting the active participation, leadership and perspectives of women and non-binary folks throughout the structure and work design of any initiative or future.

We also draw on work of the Combahee River Collective, in our shared belief that Black women and non-binary Black folks are inherently valuable and that their liberation is a necessity not only as an adjunct to somebody else’s but because of their need as human persons with autonomy. BQF recognizes the full diversity of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans and Gender Non Conforming (LGBTSTGNC) Black, Indigenous, and People of color (BIPOC) and the collective histories of struggle against white-supremacist-heteropatriarchal-colonial-capitalist systems of opression. We also draw on the work of Black feminist scholar Kimberlle Crenshaw and her coined term intersectionality, a term that manages to encompass in a single word the simultaneous experience of the multiple oppressions faced by queer Black women. A key aspect of intersectionality lies in its recognition that multiple oppressions are not each suffered separately but rather as a layered, single, synthesized experience. And so, BQF promotes multi-racial coalition-building, advocacy and community organizing activities among QTPOC  folks, and with accomplices in struggles for equality, equity and liberation.

Please see these resources for more information on Black Queer Feminism:

Just Transition:

Just Transition is a framework that encompases a number of ideals, principles, and strategies for the goal of moving out of a capitalist, colonial, extractivist system, to one that decentralizes, democratizes, and decolonizes Mother Earth in all aspects. Just Transition is a fundamental shift in how we organize ourselves, our knowledge systems, our relationships to each other, our non-human kin, the land, and our communities by living within, not above, the natural world, and healing centuries of intergenerational trauma.

During the transition from an extractivist system, a Just Transition is one where the needs of the most oppressed in the capitalist and colonial framework are given top priority, autonomy, and self-determination in how their communities and local economies are organized and function. A Just Transition recognizes the historical and systematic brutalities enacted by the white capitalist class/countries, and these historical brutalities must be addressed in any transition; failure to recognize and amend these brutalities will only further the violence perpetrated.

Just Transition represents critical elements that affirm Indigenous peoples and lifeways like recognizing the “territorial integrity and rights of Mother Earth, and the integrity of her living systems; together with Father Sky that maintains consciousness, personality, and spirit for all nature, to exist, flourish, and regenerate their natural capacities” (Indigenous Environmental Network. 2019). A Just Transition is rooted in building comradeship between workers in polluting industries and fence-line and frontline communities. It’s telling that these strategies were forged by labor unions, Environmental Justice groups, and front-line Indigenous communities (Movement Generations, 2016).

A Just Transition requires us to build a radical vision of the future, inspires Indigenous Nations, Black, People of color, frontline communities, and  workers, to take action, and transition whole communities towards an ethical, equitable,  decolonial, and just future.

Please see these resources for more information on Just Transition:

Resources cited in Intro:

Whyte, K. P. (2018). Indigenous science ( fiction ) for the Anthropocene : Ancestral dystopias and fantasies of climate change crises. 1, 224–242. https://doi.org/10.1177/2514848618777621

Davis, H., & Todd, Z. (2017). On the importance of a date, or decolonizing the Anthropocene. Acme, 16(4), 761–780.

Figueroa Helland, L. E., & Lindgren, T. (2015). What Goes Around Comes Around:  From The Coloniality of Power to the Crisis of Civilization. Journal of World-Systems Research, 23(2), 540–564. https://doi.org/10.5195/JWSR.2016.631

Ahmed, N. M. (2011). The international relations of crisis and the crisis of international relations: From the securitisation of scarcity to the militarisation of society. Global Change, Peace and Security, 23(3), 335–355. https://doi.org/10.1080/14781158.2011.601854

Glenn, E. N. (2015). Settler Colonialism as Structure. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 1(1), 52–72. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332649214560440
  • “Thus, strategies and solutions that adhere to modernist concepts of progress, individuality, property, worth, and so on are fated to reproduce the inequalities that colonialism has created.” (Glenn, E.N. 55, 2015)

Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society, 1(1), 1–40.