Posted on April 20 2021
Graphic and words by Ali Harford
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues the world faces and is increasingly becoming an issue of environmental justice. Socially and economically disadvantaged communities face the greatest risks associated with effects of climate change, because they have systemically been left out of the conversations that allocate resources. Climate change is already causing extreme weather events and warming temperatures, which can be detrimental to communities that don’t have the money to rebuild or don’t have access to health care.
In the U.S., most of those disadvantaged communities are made up of people of color.
Last year for Earth Day, we wrote about 10 climate action heroes. This year, we’re updating that list to include five climate activists of color who are leading the movement.
Dear President Biden - we need climate action + accountability now! The climate crisis is here NOW for communities of color across the globe. The @isxenviro community is counting on this new administration to protect both people + planet. @POTUS https://t.co/MX2NiDuYwI— Leah Thomas (@Leahtommi) April 7, 2021
1. Leah Thomas
Leah Thomas is the founder of Intersectional Environmentalist, a “media and resource hub” that has the intention of “bringing social justice to the forefront of conversations within environmental spaces.” The organization partners with companies to promote the message of inclusive environmentalism and provide consulting. Leah has also written for Vogue magazine, on “Why Every Environmentalist Should Be Anti-Racist.”
El presidente @IvanDuque ordena la aspersión con glifosato en los territorios empobrecidos y violentados, mientras entrega licencias para exploración d Cannabis a empresas canadienses y a sus amigos— Francia Márquez Mina (@FranciaMarquezM) April 14, 2021
Es claro que a quien necesitan erradicar es a las comunidades de sus territorios
Francia Márquez is a Colombian activist who is recognized as one of the most influential social leaders in Colombia. She is currently running in the 2022 Colombian presidential race. She gained international notability in 2018, when she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work to eliminate illegal gold mining on her community’s ancestral territory.
Zanagee Artis is the Co-Founder and Policy Director of This is Zero Hour, an organization whose mission is to “center the voices of diverse youth in the conversation around climate and environmental justice.” The organization provides training and resources for young activists. Artis also participated in the 2018 Youth Climate March.
Varshini Prakash is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Sunrise Movement, a youth “climate revolution” with the intention to make climate change policy a priority and “create millions of good jobs in the process.” The movement organizes protests, creates pledges, and uses its resources to elect officials who support the Green New Deal.
My take on today’s Climate Activism— the youth movement has definitely become my home for the past year. And in homes, sometimes people argue and disagree— Xiye Bastida (@xiyebastida) April 12, 2020
But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t together under the same roof
That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to coexist tomorrow
5. Xiye Bastida
Xiye Bastida is a Co-Founder of the Re-Earth Initiative and organizer with Fridays for Future. The Re-Earth Initiative aims to make the climate movement accessible, especially to young people. The initiative organizes webinars and writing toolkits to include people who may not be able to participate in traditional protests. Fridays for Future is a global strike movement for climate that started with Greta Thunberg.