During Black History Month we celebrate and honor black leaders not only from throughout history, but also those who are doing life-changing work today. That’s why we wanted to help elevate some of the most influential young, black leaders doing exceptional work right now in the fight against climate change and who are lifting up the voices of those disproportionately impacted, including people of color and Indigenous peoples.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but here are five young leaders you should know. Learn more about why they are in this fight to build a better future for us all, support and amplify their work, and don’t forget to follow them on social media!
Vanessa Nakate, 23, Founder of Africa-based The Rise Up Movement
“Everyone is speaking against the erasure of African activists and the world has set their eyes on these African activists. I believe that now is the time for them to be given the platforms to speak out and to be listened to.”
Zeena Abdulkarim, 18, Organizer at Zero Hour
“We need to be listening to oppressed communities. Minority communities are exposed to what the privileged and people in power are not, therefore these communities know the right steps to take in the change we need for the kickstart of true social and environmental justice.”
Isra Hirsi, 16, co-founder of the Youth Climate Strike
“When we talk about the climate crisis and we don’t talk about these communities that are being affected, we create this circle of it becoming a white issue, or an issue that doesn’t care about black and brown bodies. And that allows for solutions that don’t care about black and brown bodies.”
Jerome Foster II, 17, Founder of OneMillionOfUs
“I am here to tell you that the 7 million young voices who took to the streets on September 20th are very loud and getting louder. We are taking a world-wide stand for climate justice with the knowledge, integrity, and insight to advocate for an equitable solution.”
Vic J. Barrett, 21, youth Plaintiff in Juliana v. United States
“This is our time to hold our government accountable for the actions it has taken, and continues to take, to perpetuate the climate crisis and to stand in solidarity with communities around the country and the world in our fight for a just future.”