How We Got Here
Gulf South for a Green New Deal launched in May 2019 at Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans, LA with more than 800 attendees formally representing more than 30 tribal nations, neighborhood associations, faith groups, student groups, and community organizations. Following the launch, the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) facilitated a six-month, collective, bottom-up process with frontline communities across the Gulf South to develop a policy platform rooted in the values and priorities of the most impacted communities across 5 states. Starting with a critical analysis of US House Resolution 109 (AKA “The Green New Deal Resolution”), we concluded that even well-intentioned federal policy often excludes Southern perspectives, communities, and realities, thereby missing opportunities for systemic change in this nation’s most influential region.
This six-month collective conversation in 2019 yielded the Gulf South for a Green New Deal Policy Platform. The policy platform is a living document serves as a foundational starting point informing localized policy development, communications and actions. The Gulf South for a Green New Deal policy platform has been submitted to multiple U.S. congressional committees, including the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, House Committee on Natural Resources, Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights. Moreover, this document serves as the organizing vision for Gulf South for a Green New Deal and lays out the shared values that hold participants accountable and actualizes a shared vision on the unique requirements for a successful Green New Deal in the Gulf South.
In 2020, Gulf South for a Green New Deal built regional movement infrastructure through regional convergences, strategic convenings, and innovative spaces for collective healing and reconciliation. The October 2020 Gulf Gathering, anchored in partnership with Healthy Gulf, convened more than 120 Gulf South leaders representing organizations from all five Gulf South states over four days in order to build our plan of action for 2021.
Five Approaches that
Guide Our Work
HEAL + RECONCILE
Honor, archive, and advance the inherent sovereign rights and traditional knowledge of Indigenous principles and methods of healing the human relationship to the land and to one another. Reconcile the relationships of communities traditionally pitted against one another.
CONNECT + BUILD
Connect the dots between the climate crisis, coastal crisis, the toxic impact of the extractive and polluting industries, and the economic and political crisis in the Gulf South.
SHIFT + RE-IMAGINE
Shift frontline relationships through information sharing, community participatory research, and collaborative analysis development toward an intersectional approach for shared liberation. Re-imagine a collective future for the Gulf South through equity and justice. Build a tailored strategy and communications campaign to shift the national narrative about the value, role, and leadership of Gulf South region.
DEMOCRATIZE + ORGANIZE
Democratize information and political processes toward structural shifts that dismantle systems of oppression. Organize aligned regional direct action, policy, and communication campaigns that advance the unique collective grassroots shift towards a just transition, moving away from extractive economies and toward a sustainable future.
RESOURCE + RE-INVEST
Resource and support the thought leadership and frontline work of Gulf South leaders through the development of progressive organizing, legal, and funding relationships and alternative forms of community controlled dollars in climate resilience and resistance of Southern frontlines.
Why the Gulf South
"As goes the South, so goes the nation."
- W.E.B. Du Bois
Connected by the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf South is the U.S.’s third coast with deep and historic ties to the Caribbean and Central America. The formal Gulf South is comprised of five states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. This region plays a pivotal role in the US economy, current national defense infrastructure, and the ongoing global advancement of liberty, science, social justice, and social innovation.