What is TREE?
Together Restoring Economic Empowerment (TREE) is a millennial-led civil rights minded organization dedicated in finding substantive plans of action, particularly in minority communities, to injustices within economic, entertainment and environmental sectors.
As times of social unrest have resurfaced with nationally and internationally recognized tragedies and confusion in best practices to address civil rights issues in the 21st century, TREE originated to assist in these efforts. The founders and those involved want to provide a space to create social action to address those tragedies and all the contributing and underlying issues. The name, Together Restoring Economic Empowerment, embodies the idea that minority communities must come together, unite, and strengthen each other. Millennials must be in the forefront of this movement.
What is the need?
33% of 75 million U.S. millennials identify as Black or Latino; yet every three of four people of color live near toxic waste facilities. Minorities are also 38% more likely to live near contributing factors for asthma (American Lung Association). According to a study by Prudential, 40% of Black people lack retirement savings. The problems around financial freedom and environmental injustices are not the only issues that directly affect potential upward mobility within communities of color.
Not only are Black and Latinos facing these disparities in the workforce, in their homes, and in their communities, minorities are most likely to have racial barriers in the entertainment industry. This directly contributes to the type of media coverage seen across the country and the perception of minorities in U.S. households. While Black millennials are more likely to use social media than most other groups in the United States, and may even vent about the awareness around some of these issues, these competing issues and barriers to engagement prevent optimal awareness and action.
How does TREE operate?
TREE utilizes legal and policy advocacy through action plans. Through streamlining and highlighting cognizant movements, TREE will strengthen numbers and awareness around the changing landscape for civil rights action. The plans will be available through the website and social media. TREE will work in the community by creating financial literacy programs to mitigate and alleviate disparate economic growth in communities of color.
TREE’s approach is different because we want to unite movements of millennials through new media and traditional media. Many civil rights organizations often work in silos or only with longstanding, traditional alliances. We combine the efforts of traditional and new organizations. We assist in featuring activists’ ideas and provide a platform for those who want to be involved by being a hub for varying levels of action to garner the most support.
Who comprises TREE?
TREE is comprised of young, professional millennials, and we understand our generation’s need for concise and credible information to unite and for rapid response. Our team is compiling our experiences in civil rights advocacy and outreach to help provide focused, reliable, and timely action information for social justice supporters in our generation.
How can people be involved in this movement?
TREE offers dynamic programming in the areas of environmental justice, labor and workforce issues, and racial justice. The general public can be involved by offering pledges to support those in the front lines of civil rights work within the areas outlined in TREE’s action plans, attending online and in person programming, and being grassroots leaders in their communities to fight economic disparities. TREE is always seeking dynamic individuals who may be able to contribute to the work in an official capacity.