Surviving and adapting in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a battle for several families, organizations, and businesses, one of which being the music industry. Seems like it went from live concerts and club dancing one day, to IG lives and solo bedroom dancing the next.
However, the disappearance of sold out live concerts has actually been a blessing in disguise for some music artists like SZA.
In addition to sharing her musical talents with the world, SZA also uses her platform to bring attention to environmental justice.
In an interview with NBC News, SZA says that exposure to nature changed her life a lot growing up. Simple things like going to the arboretum with her mom as a kid made her so happy. It’s this same happiness SZA hopes to bring to BIPOC communities as an advocate for environmental justice.
In efforts to both help increase job opportunities and fight against climate injustice, SZA teamed up with TAZO and American Forests to launch the TAZO Tree Corps.
Planting a tree might not seem like something that can drastically improve the climate and environment. However, the more trees there are in an area, the better the air quality, water quality, and mental health of folks in that neighborhood.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the privilege of being surrounded by a plentiful of trees, which is exactly why SZA decided to help launch TAZO tree corps. As mentioned in their mission statement, “Due to a history of racist housing practices, predominantly BIPOC communities have 20% fewer trees on average than white communities.” So, how can this problem be solved? Well, TAZO tree corps pays people in BIPOC communities to build trees in their own neighborhoods. Win win.
Right now, TAZO tree corps is focusing on communities in Detroit, Richmond, Minneapolis, The Bronx, and the San Francisco area. To learn more about this initiative, go here.