live / 2018

ONILATERAL INDUSTRIES - Preserving The Last of Humanity through Science

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Activation Challenge by Black Women for Wellness

A multimedia “Zombie Apocalypse” campaign to raise awareness and advance meaningful systemic change about the impact of climate justice on communities of color.

Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.

Black Women for Wellness (BWW) and the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (CLCVEF) will design a multimedia “Zombie Apocalypse” campaign to raise awareness and advance meaningful systems change around the impacts of global warming in communities of color. The campaign will use a fictional dystopian future to illustrate the impacts of inaction on climate justice policy as well as solutions that can be implemented to create sustainable communities.

Which of the live metrics will your activation impact?​

  • Exposure to air toxins
  • Resilient communities
  • Walk/bike/transit score

Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?

  • LA is the best place to PLAY
  • LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • South Bay
  • Antelope Valley

How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?

  • Advocate for policy
  • Digital organizing or activism
  • Trainings and/or in-person engagements
  • Create new tools or technologies for greater civic/political engagement
  • Increase participation in political processes
  • Influence individual behavior
  • Connect Angelenos with impactful volunteer opportunities
  • Increase donations to organizations and causes

Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to live?

Climate change is worsening air pollution by altering regional weather patterns and impacting the location of pollutants, quantity of pollutants (such as ozone, NOx, VOCs), and formation of smog. The physical geography of California plays a large role in the rising smog levels. Increasing temperatures and higher quantities of pollutants combined with wind patterns and physical barriers such as mountains result in areas with high quantities of trapped air pollutants. One clear example of this is the city of Los Angeles which is surrounded by the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains. Los Angeles is home to some of the worst air quality in the country (number one for ozone and fifth for year-round particle pollution).

Changing regional weather patterns are causing heat waves or extreme heat events to become more common, which is increasing the risk of heat-related mortality. Specifically, in urban areas, large quantities of asphalt, tall buildings, and limited trees cause an effect known as an urban heat island. This is a phenomenon when cities are substantially warmer than the surrounding areas. Climate change is intensifying urban heat islands and increasing the risk of mortality in certain communities from circulatory and respiratory diseases. Risk factors for heat-related illnesses and deaths include age, gender, health status, location, and income status. Communities of color experience a large proportion of these risk factors, and they are the most common victims of heat waves. Climate change is predicted to increase heat deaths in Black communities.

Through blending media, popular education, and policy, our goal is to engage communities of color as well as key stakeholders and elected officials in the climate justice fight with the intention of advancing meaningful institutional change at the state and local level. Using an intersectional lens, we will raise awareness about how climate change can impact Los Angelenos of color both globally and locally, as well as promote solutions that center on the most vulnerable populations. This includes linking how affordable and safe quality housing, transportation, oil drilling, fossil fuel reduction, water and food policies can help prevent further global warming in addition to creating healthier and more sustainable communities for all. Furthermore, by engaging communities of color directly, we can apply more pressure to local and state elected officials to support and champion true climate justice legislation.

How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to live

By using a popular culture metaphor, the “Zombie Apocalypse,” as a frame for discussing the perils of climate change, we can engage more creatively and enthusiastically with the communities that are most impacted by the negative effects of air pollution and climate change. The theme will give Angelenos the opportunity to become “Heroes” and engage with their neighbors and networks. The metaphorical premise turns abstract, complex scientific issues into a more tangible, relatable (if fictionalized) challenge.

The project will include:

Development and dissemination of popular education materials about climate change and climate justice with a focus on the impact to communities of color. This includes ads on public transportation and local community newspapers, videos, handouts, posters and social media posts.

Development and dissemination of policy and regulation suggestions that takes an intersectional approach to looking at solving the climate threat.

A minimum of three community meetings/trainings on climate justice and its impact on people of color.

We plan to focus the campaign in neighborhoods that have large communities of color including, South Los Angeles, Central Los Angeles, and the Antelope Valley. In addition, even though the goal is to increase engagement for the broader communities of color, we will have a particular focus on women of color and young people.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.​

We will use several different metrics for success including:

Social media insights


Sign in sheets

Pre and post evaluations

Measuring media penetration for both earned and paid

Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?

We see this project as one of the first to use popular culture to engage communities that are traditionally left out of environmental and climate justice conversations. This multimedia campaign will not only bring in a new wave of activists who will learn about the disproportionate impacts of climate change on their communities but also will engage them to develop creative solutions as “heroes”. With the success of Black Panther in theaters (earning more $631 million and counting with approximately 40% moviegoers being African American) this campaign is aptly timed to engage communities of color and train them as climate justice heroes.

There are several goals that we would like to achieve through this project in 5 years:

-Build a strong base of climate justice heroes in Los Angeles who are actively engaged in educating their networks and advocating for their communities health

  • Pass community-driven climate policy at the state level

-Inspire climate justice and environmental health organizations to develop creative and relevant campaigns to engage impacted communities