WaterWatch Statement: Seeking Justice

WaterWatch of Oregon stands among those calling for racial justice and accountability after the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other people of color at the hands of law enforcement and/or white supremacists.

The brutal and horrific killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer compels us to express solidarity with black people across the country struggling with yet one more shocking and needless killing of a black person. We, too, mourn with others attempting to make sense of the seemingly endless line of tragedies that seem to almost follow a script.

The environment and racial justice are connected. Indigenous communities and people of color are less likely to have access to clean water and clean air and suffer greater health, cultural, economic and other risks and impacts due to systemic racism—the same systemic, institutional racism that causes widespread fear and, as we have seen again and again, results in the killing of people of color at the hands of law enforcement and others recently and across the history of the United States. Racial justice and environmental justice go hand in hand.

Systemic racism is an ongoing public health crisis for people of color. This is the other and older pandemic in the United States. WaterWatch of Oregon condemns violence against black people and people of color. We stand and are working for a just and equitable democracy—and a healthy environment for all. We stand among those calling for justice, accountability and an end to the violence and inhumanity. We are committed to action to address the other pandemic in the nation.

In support of those groups who are on the front lines of fighting for justice for black, indigenous, and people of color communities in Oregon, we encourage you to engage with and support the following organizations—just a few of the many advocating for justice and an end to the violence:

Black Lives Matter

Black Visions Collective

Democracy Now

Don’t Shoot PDX

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Reclaim the Block

Unite Oregon

Urban League of Portland


–The Staff of WaterWatch of Oregon