By Belawoe Akwakoku March 24, 2020

Eight young women leaders in environmentalism you should know

There are no two ways about it – the coronavirus pandemic has been terrifying, and dangerous, and looks to get worse in the coming days or weeks. Everyone should take care to protect themselves, and their communities, as best as they can. And wash. Your. Hands!

At a time like this, it can be comforting to remember that as scary as the world can be – and as daunting as challenges like coronavirus, and climate change, are – there are so many good people doing amazing things to make the world a safer, better place. That’s why we wanted to uplift these eight inspiring young women leaders in environmentalism and spotlight the climate justice work they’re doing in their communities. So give yourself a breather from all the COVID coverage and learn more about their work incredible work. Then be sure and give ‘em a follow on social media and tweet at us to let us know who else we should elevate and celebrate.

Anya Sastry, National Outreach Director for US Youth Climate Strike

“When leaders start acting like children, children have to start acting like leaders…We shouldn’t have to do this, but I think our elected officials and people in power are not taking action on the issues that need to be solved…and I think that it’s so great that our generation is taking charge and really taking matters into our own hands.” (link)

Twitter: @anyasastry12

Jamie Margolin, Co-Founder of Zero Hour

“Making my voice the loudest on a stage full of older white men is something I’ve learned to do often,” she posted. “When they try to cut me off and mansplain me I speak up louder and spill the facts on #climatejustice and the systems of oppression that caused the #climatecrisis.” (link)

Twitter: @jamie_margolin

Autumn Peltier, clean water advocate, member of the Wikwemikoong First Nation 

“What means the most to me, what I am learning and sharing, is the Sacredness of water. Nothing can survive without it. Ancestors have passed on oral knowledge that water is alive, and has a spirit”

“One day I will be an ancestor, and I want my descendants to know I used my voice. If you have an idea or a solution, or a way you can help, just do it.” (link)

Twitter: @StephaniePelti3

Naelyn Pike, Indigenous Rights and Environmental Leader, member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe

“It is important that we protect this Earth and our right to be human beings and believe in anything that we want to believe in. It’s up to us here and now. It’s up to you.” (link)

Twitter: @naelyn_pike

Xiye Bastida, People’s Climate Movement

“Indigenous people have been taking care of the Earth for thousands of years because that is their culture, that is their way of life. For me, being an environmental activist and a climate justice activist is not a hobby, it’s a way of life.” (link)

Twitter: @xiyeBastida

Melody Zhang, Climate Justice Campaign Coordinator, Sojourners

“Today in Washington, D.C., discipleship looks like showing up at house meetings for organizations like ONEDC or Peace Walks DC because climate change is an intersectional issue that crosscuts and exacerbates existing crises like housing and gun violence, and these issues are most effectively addressed together.” (link)

Twitter: @melodyczhang

Varshini Prakash, Executive Director, Sunrise Movement

“Active support is a whole range of things. It includes people who are voting on the issue, who are donating to institutions and organizations that are working toward a solution, who are active on social media, who are signing pledges and participating in call-in days, and in other creative ways. Giving your time, whether it’s one hour a week or 50 hours of your week, toward the broader of trying to solve the climate crisis.” (link)

Twitter: @VarshPrakash

Tori Goebel, Communications Director, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

America is blessed to have over 400 national park sites, but crumbling roads to leaky water systems in many of them mean that these special places are in need of repair and restoration. In all, the current backlog for these repairs totals approximately $12 billion. It is vital that we restore our parks so that the nearly 300 million annual visitors can have a safe, enjoyable, and sacred experience.” (link)

Twitter: @ToriGoebel