October 26, 2023





October 26, 2023


Austin Matheny-Kawesch, 858-395-5577, amatheny@edf.org

Richard Gallon Receives Black Millennials 4 Flint 2023 Young, Gifted & Green 40 Under 40 Award 

Rep. Jamal Bowman and Tennessee State Representative Justin J. Pearson delivered remarks during recent awards ceremony 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Defend Our Future organizing and training manager Richard Gallon is one of the recipients of the Black Millennials 4 Flint (BM4F) 2023 Young, Gifted and Green 40 Under 40 Award. The annual award recognizes Black, Latinx and Indigenous environmental justice leaders and community activists from across the United States and its territories who grapple with complex solutions to solve the climate crisis and dismantle environmental racism.

“I’m truly honored to be one of the recipients of the Young, Gifted and Green 40 Under 40 Award,” Gallon said. “Environmental justice has not always been at the forefront of the climate movement, so it’s amazing to see so many advocates being recognized and even better that young Black, brown and Indigenous leaders are the ones being uplifted.”

Gallon trains and mentors Defend Our Future’s campus ambassadors who advocate for climate justice and clean energy solutions within their communities and on their college campuses. With his experience in community organizing and training in diversity, equity and inclusion, he helps equip the campus ambassadors with the skills and training needed to help uplift marginalized voices in climate spaces.

During the recent awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) and Tennessee State Representative Justin J. Pearson (D-Memphis) delivered remarks. “You are the revolution that we need,” Congressman Bowman told the award winners. “Do not wait for anyone to give you permission. Do not let anyone tell you to wait your turn. You are ready to lead right now. And we need your relentlessness and courage as you continue to fight the fight to make our planet completely green, clean, renewable and safe.”

Representative Pearson, a past recipient of the 40 Under 40 award, delivered an inspiring “We the people” call and response message to the standing-room-only crowd, saying, “We, the people who are going to build this movement. We the people who are going to make sure those who have been left out, locked out and pushed to the periphery get brought to the center. We the people who will demand clean air, clean water and clean soil, not just for us but for our descendants and our descendants’ descendants. We the people who will fight for our collective freedom and liberation because ‘ain’t nobody free until everybody is free.’ We the people are going to change this country. We the people are going to change the world. I’m so glad to be in this room right alongside you. God bless you, and congratulations!”

Black Millennials 4 Flint is a national environmental justice and civil rights organization bringing like-minded organizations together to collectively take action and advocate against the lead exposure crisis, specifically in African American and Latinx communities nationwide.

“This year’s recipients, including our Honorary Awardee, the Children’s Environmental Health Network, are a celebration of excellence representing leaders who are positively impacting our communities, especially historically disenfranchised Black and brown communities,” said LaTricea Adams, BM4F founder, CEO and president. “This marks our seventh year of honoring those continuing the efforts our environmental elders started in their work to end environmental injustices.”

Watch the full ceremony streaming on BM4F’s Facebook Live on October 26 at 6 p.m. ET.