Clara Changxin Fang, Ph.D., is a 2023 graduate of the Ph.D. Program in Environmental Studies at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Abigail Abrash Walton, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Jason Rhodes, PhD, Committee Member
  • Carolyn Finney, PhD, Committee Member
  • Marcelo Bonta, Committee Member


climate change, social movements, diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, racial justice

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Climate change affects everyone but lack of racial diversity in the climate movement makes it challenging for it to be truly inclusive, champion solutions that are equitable, and affect transformative change. This dissertation describes a two-part study of diversity in the climate movement using a survey of 1,003 climate activists and interviews with 17 people of color who work or volunteer in the U.S. climate movement. The study analyzes differences between Whites and people of color in terms of their (a) demographics, (b) engagement in climate action, (c) experience of climate impacts, (d) worries, (e) challenges and barriers to participation, and (f) proposed strategies for diversity, equity, and belonging. My research provides the following takeaways: (a) Progress has been made in terms of diversity in the U.S. climate movement, but diversity is insufficient without equity belonging. (b) Anti-racism must go beyond symbolic gestures towards deep transformation at the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels. (c) Oppression is intersectional, with racism intersecting with other oppressions of gender, age, class, physical ability, among other identities. (d) People of color and those with marginalized identities contribute essential perspectives and skills to the climate movement. The discussion includes implications for theory, practice, and further study.


Clara Changxin Fang

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-6458-4426