Proposed ‘climate justice’ curriculum is heavy on social justice issues

One theme of the curriculum claims climate change has "disproportionate effects" on BIPOC communities.

Stock photo/Unsplash

House Democrats are asking for climate change curriculum to be required in Minnesota schools. They call it “climate justice curriculum” in their proposed bill and want it required for both public districts and charter schools.

The bill defines climate justice as “a framework that puts people first and views the effects of climate change as interconnected with forms of oppression connecting climate change to social and economic justice issues.”

Priority would be given to “underrepresented students and teachers” when distributing resources for the climate curriculum.

These resources would be created from consultation between the education commissioner, environmental organizations, the Pollution Control Agency, and students and teachers, and would include “environmental research-based projects,” among other activities and information.

“Information and resources on jobs related to creating a sustainable, resilient, and just transition toward a green economy” is one required topic.

The bill provides themes that may be discussed in the climate justice curriculum, which are heavy on “inequities” and “systemic oppression.”

One prominent theme states, “the history and current causes of climate change … have disproportionate effects on communities already facing systemic oppression, specifically Black, Indigenous, and other persons of color.”

Another theme claims climate change has “interconnected effects on inequity, systemic oppression, and injustice,” and “systemic change” must happen when addressing climate change.

Students would be encouraged to “understand their climate stories” and how they relate to others worldwide.

The primary author of the bill is Rep. Sydney Jordan, DFL-Minneapolis, who also authored a recent bill on “comprehensive sex education” in schools.