After five “storms of a lifetime” you realize something is going wrong in your lifetime

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Brandy Russum- Amazon UX Designer

I am a UX Designer and am coming up on my five year anniversary with Amazon. I grew up a Military Brat and have lived all over: from Germany to Georgia and the Midwest to the Northeast. I’ve witnessed the Climate Crisis in the flooding in Kansas and the hurricanes in New Jersey.

I felt personally connected to Hurricane Katrina and how poor people and people of color, in particular Black people were treated. That injustice really struck me. Looking at the footage from the news outlets of people huddled in the superdome and climbing onto their roofs to survive. Knowing how many died because they didn’t know how to swim or how to get out. This shouldn’t be happening in the US.

Evacuation strategies assume people have access to a car. That isn’t inclusive of all people. Buses aren’t always an option during a catastrophe.

I remember when I was a kid and Hurricane Andrew hit as the “storm of our lifetime”. Then there were Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, Maria and so on. After five “storms of a lifetime” you realize something is going wrong in your lifetime. All these storms are getting stronger and stronger and no connection of the historical lens to make it clear to people THINGS ARE GETTING WORSE.

I have a nephew and I wonder about the kind of world he is going to inherit. There’s always the ‘pass the buck along’ mentality, but we can’t do that. We just can’t. We are setting the next generation up for failure. Our planet is an all you can eat buffet and there’s hardly anything left on the table for the next generation to nourish themselves. We can’t afford to fail them.

When I saw the letter I felt more empowered as an employee and take a step back and question the practices that are currently in place at Amazon and elsewhere. There’s a lot of work to be done outside of the company for the course to be corrected. Amazon could lead the charge and be innovative and be the beacon of light to stop using fossil fuels.

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