By: Corrine Flowers, Community Organizer Intern
Many youths have taken the lead in the fight for climate and environmental action. As most vividly seen through the youth climate strikes that have taken place throughout the U.S. and other international regions, youths from all across the world have come together to advocate for environmental and social justice. Yet, there is still much more that can be done. With that being said, here are six environmental youth activists who can inspire you to stand up and be an advocate for social change!
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez – A 19yr old from Boulder, Colorado, and the Youth Director for Earth Guardians, an organization that teaches youth how to lead the charge in environmental and social justice activism. Within his personal activism, Xiuhteztcatl has fought for indigenous rights and climate change. He has also spoken at United Nations conferences and partook in several lawsuits against industrial corporations and the United States government for their lack of concern about the environment and the impact that this it is having on future generations.
Isra Hirsi – A 16yr old from Minneaopolis, Minnesota, and one of the Co-founders & Co-directors of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike. She is an environmental and racial justice activist, who has fought for climate change, an end to gun violence and more diversity & intersectionality within social movements. In addition to leading the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, she’s a member of a youth climate coalition called “MN Can’t Wait,” has written pieces for periodicals, such as Medium, and has educated people on the disproportionate effects that climate issues have on African Americans and other marginalized groups.
Jerome Foster II – A 17yr old from Washington, DC, and the Founder & Executive Director of “One Million of US,” a national youth-led organization that advocates for social justice reform and youth votership. Through his activism he has fought for environmental justice, climate action, civil rights and youth votership. He has also organized climate strikes at the White House, advocated for environment related congressional bills, such as the Climate Change Education Act, is the Editor-in-chief of “The Climate Reporter” and has received prestigious awards, such as the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award.
Amariyanna Copeny – A 12yr old from Flint, Michigan, and the founder of “Dear Flint Kids” and “Wednesdays for Water,” two social media campaigns that advocate for access to resources for the children of Flint and access to clean water. Amariyana is famously and more commonly known by her nickname “Little Miss Flint.” She is an activist and philanthropist who dreams of growing up to be the President of the United States! She uses her activism to spread awareness about the water crisis in Flint Michigan and the lack of access to clean water around the world. She also has fundraised more than half a million dollars worth of money and supplies for kids that live in Flint Michigan.
Feliquan Charlemagne – A 17yr old from Ocala, Florida who is the National Creative Director and Florida State Lead for the U.S. Youth Climate Strike. Feliquan was inspired to get involved in climate activism due to his family being displaced from their home in the Virgin Islands because of climate change. Through his activism he provides awareness about the potential devastation from rising sea levels and economic destabilization that climate issues can cause for countries in the Global South. Feliquan also uses his story to teach about the trauma that families can suffer from through the disastrous affects of climate change.
Autumn Peltier – A 15yr old from Ottawa, Ontario, and the Chief Water Commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation, a political advocacy organization that works on behalf of the 40 First Nations across Ontario. Autumn is a clean water advocate who brings awareness to the sacredness that water has within indigenous cultures and to the inaccessibility to clean water on Canadian reservations. Due to her activism she has been given the title of “water protector” and “water warrior” and was invited to give a speech about clean water for the U.N. in both 2018 and 2019.