SZA wants to help plant a brighter future.
As she continues to take a more enlightened interest in sustainability, the R&B hitmaker reached a new milestone in her journey on Wednesday (February 17) when her new collaboration with TAZO Tea and American Forests was announced. The venture, which has been deemed TAZO Tree Corps, will see a paid workforce plant trees, while simultaneously creating jobs, in underprivileged communities of color as part of a joint mission to prevent climate change and combat environmental racism. Each corp will hire 25 local fellows, who will receive the proper training in climate justice advocacy to achieve Tree Equity in destinations like Minneapolis, Detroit, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Bronx, and Richmond.
"Across the country, BIPOC communities are facing the worst effects of climate change because they live in neighborhoods that are disproportionately burdened with more pollutants and fewer trees," SZA said in a statement. "Planting trees can help improve everything – from air quality to economic opportunity to mental health – and everybody deserves these benefits. I'm proud to partner with TAZO and American Forests to stand up for environmental justice and start making an impact in neighborhoods that need it the most."
Planting trees is far more important than one might imagine. In an accompanying promo video for TAZO Tree Corps, the singer explains why planting has a significant impact on the aforementioned communities. "Across the country, Black, Brown and Indigenous communities are already facing the worst of [climate change]," SZA explains in the clip. "Some are twenty degrees hotter than whiter neighborhoods in the same city and it's no mystery why. Decades of discriminatory zoning practices turned some communities to 'sacrifice zones,' neighborhoods where chemical treatment plants, highways and heavy polluters were placed."