Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

Addressing Climate-Forced Displacement in the United States: A Just and Equitable Response

The Legal Justice Coalition (facilitated by UUSC and the Lowlander Center) and the Rising Voices Community Relocation & Site Expansion Working Group issue policy guidelines to advance community-led solutions to climate-forced displacement in the US.

Droughts killing crops, wildfires blazing out of control each year, floods gaining in strength, permafrost melting beneath Arctic villages…the message of all these phenomena is clear: The climate crisis is already upon us.

And it is ravaging communities nationwide, disproportionately Indigenous Peoples and communities of color, who are losing their homes and livelihoods, and who are further disenfranchised through inadequate and inequitable public policy responses.

Within 100 days of President Biden’s term, his administration has made a monumental policy shift to address climate migration. However, the issue is still framed as a matter of international migration and national security. In truth, the vast majority of climate-forced displacement takes place within borders, and the United States is no exception. Our politicians have to take this threat seriously and follow the lead of communities already confronting these challenges on the ground.

Our coalition of community leaders, legal advocates, and researchers has developed a set of recommendations to guide policymakers. This document shows a path forward to address the already-present reality of climate-forced displacement, centering the leadership and self-determination of communities who are working each day to address the problem. Follow the links below to read the brief and learn more.

In addition to this policy recommendation to address climate-forced displacement in the United States, you can learn more about recommendations to the Biden administration to address climate, migration, and displacement abroad here.

Image Credit: UUSC


Please join us in advancing a shared agenda that prioritizes the needs and solutions of frontline communities facing the impacts of climate change by signing on below!


Albert NaquinIsle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw
Alessandra JerollemanJacksonville State University / Lowlander Center
Amber MoultonUnitarian Universalist Service Committee
Anjana JoshiSouthern Poverty Law Center
Aranzazu LascurainNorth Carolina State University
Catherine HallWilliams-Mystic College
Chantel ComardelleIsle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians of Louisiana
Chas JonesAffiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
Debra ButlerFive Colleges, Inc.
Elizabeth MarinoOregon State University-Cascades
Fred EningowukShishmaref, Alaska
Itzel Flores Castillo WangPromesa Boyle Heights
Ivy WangSouthern Poverty Law Center
Jacqueline PattersonNational Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Joshua LeachUnitarian Universalist Service Committee
Julia GuarinoGetches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, University of Colorado Law School
Julie MaldonadoLivelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN)
Katherine EglandNational Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Kristina PetersonLowlander Center
Lesley IaukeaUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Mike GivensUnitarian Universalist Service Committee
Morris. J. AlexieNative Village of Nunapitchuk, Alaska
Naomi Glassman-MajaraEarth Rights International
Nathan JesseeTulane University
Patrick BoyleEarth Rights International
Patty Ferguson-BohneePointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe/Indian Law Clinic (Arizona State University)
Rachel Gore FreedUnitarian Universalist Service Committee
Robin BronenAlaska Institute for Justice
Rosina PhilippeGrand Bayou Village, Atakapa-Ishak Chawasha Tribe
Salote SoqoUnitarian Universalist Service Committee
Sarah KrakoffUniversity of Colorado Law School
Shirell Parfait-DardarGrand Caillou/Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw
Shirley LaskaLowlander Center
Stanley TomNative Village of Newtok, Alaska
Theresa DardarPointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe
Tom NeckNative Village of Nunapitchuk, Alaska