People often look at me in a very confused manner when I describe myself using these words.
“But how, Jackie?” they say, “aren’t you an environmentalist? And a social justice advocate?”
And my response is always the same:
I am all these things. I want to see the world transformed for good. I want to see leap frog technology solve the world’s most challenging problems. I want to save these planet. I want more trees and less plastic.jackie omotalade
Imagine if you could be all the things you wanted to be. What would you choose? Urbanist, technologist, environmentalist, educator, and abolitionist are just a few of the options. You can be any or all of these things. All you have to do is believe in yourself and let your imagination soar.
What Does It Mean to Be an Urbanist, Technologist, Environmentalist, Educator, and Abolitionist?
When you think about it, it’s quite abitious to want to be an urbanist, technologist, environmentalist, educator, and abolitionist all at the same time. But it’s not impossible.
In fact, I am all of these things. I want to see the world transformed for the better. I want to see leapfrog technology solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. I want to save our planet. I want more trees and less plastic.
I am a Black woman who wants to see radical and transformational change in the world. And I know that all of these things are possible if we come together and work towards them.
How Do We Leverage Technology to Address Environmental Challenges?
Technology has always been a powerful tool for solving environmental challenges. For example, consider the way that mobile apps can be used to monitoring air quality.
But we need to do more than just use technology for surveillance. We need to use technology to create positive change. For example, we can use technology to improve energy efficiency, to develop new sources of renewable energy, and to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
If we want to save the planet, we need to embrace innovation and technology. We need to be urbanists, technologists, environmentalists, educators, and abolitionists.
How Can We Transform Education for Social Change?
You might be wondering how we can transform education for social change. It starts with accepting that things need to change. And then it’s about raising our voices and advocating for the changes we want to see.
It’s about being the change we want to see in the world. We need to demand more from our educators, and push for a education system that prepares us for the challenges of the 21st century. We need to rethink what it means to be “educated.”
The world is changing rapidly, and we can’t afford to have a education system that’s stuck in the past. We need to redefine what it means to be educated, and make sure that our schools are preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century.
What Role Can Abolitionism Play in Social Change?
When it comes to social change, a multi-pronged approach is necessary. One important tool to use is abolitionism. Abolitionism is the ideology of dismantling oppressive systems and institutions in order to create deeper and lasting change.
It’s about more than just reform—it’s about an entire transformation of society. Abolitionists believe that systems like mass incarceration, police brutality, and white supremacy can only truly be eliminated with a radical shift in our norms and values.
For example, through approaches such as decarceration, defunding the police, community control of police, deep investment in education and health care, investing in jobs for formerly incarcerated people, and creating community-based responses to harm instead of relying on criminal punishment- these are all abolitionist strategies that can create lasting change.
Being an abolitionist means understanding your role in contributing to oppressive systems—and recognizing how your power can be used to dismantle them. We must use our unique skillsets as urbanists, technologists, environmentalists, educators and activists to create the world we want to see—a world free from oppression.
What Would a World Transformed for Good Look Like?
What would a world transformed for good look like? Well, it would be one powered almost entirely by renewable energy, with all citizens having fair access to clean water, food, healthcare and education. It would be a world free of racism and other forms of violence–a world where everyone is safe to express themselves regardless of gender, race or religion.
It might look like more than half of our energy sourced from renewable sources and the implementation of carbon capture technologies that can achieve negative emissions. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions even further, we’d have to drastically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels–by investing in sustainable infrastructure that can reduce waste and pollution. We also need to develop strategies for low carbon land use across the globe.
Finally, in this transformed world we must recognize economic inequality as the root cause of many ecological issues–which means taking deliberate steps towards fair wages for all workers, equitable access to resources, wealth redistribution initiatives and providing basic income guarantees for all people.
How Can We Lead Change for a Better Future?
It’s not easy being a modern urbanist, technologist, environmentalist, educator, and abolitionist. The world is complex and it can feel overwhelming to try to effect change. The important thing is to start somewhere!
You can join an organization or cause that resonates with you. Focus on the work that needs to be done in your community and build relationships with other people who share your values. Leverage the strengths of each person in the group to make a real impact.
If you’re good with technology and data, you can help develop innovative solutions for existing problems. If you have an environmental background, look for ways to advocate for green energy sources or green policies. Educators can create lasting solutions through education for systemic change. And most importantly, we must stand together in solidarity as abolitionists against racial injustice; lean into the discomfort in order to understand this issue at its roots and fight oppressive systems from within.
Let’s lead our communities towards a better future—one where everyone contributes their unique skills and perspectives!
So how do you become an urbanist, technologist, environmentalist, educator, and abolitionist? You start by looking critically at the world around you and asking yourself how you can make it a better place. You get involved in your community and try to make a difference. You educate yourself on the latest technologies and how they can be used to help solve environmental problems. And you never give up on your quest for justice and equality.