Black Girl Environmentalist

Black Girl Environmentalist Builds More Inclusive Climate Movement

Black Girl Environmentalist is building a new generation of diverse climate activists through its platform.

In a bid to foster greater inclusivity within the climate action movement, Black Girl Environmentalist is playing its part. This social media account has evolved into a movement in its own right, advocating for diversity and recognition of activists in the climate movement.

Founded by Wawa Gatheru, the initiative behind this social media page was to acknowledge and honor individuals of color, with a specific focus on Black women, who were actively using their platforms to champion climate activism. As a socially engaged individual, Gatheru initially hesitated to identify as an environmentalist until she delved into how environmental issues impact Black Americans.

She then uncovered the numerous Black women who were organizers for climate justice, creating Black Girl Environmentalist to highlight their efforts and encourage a new, diverse generation to get involved in the action. Through its mission of “addressing the pathway and retention issue in the climate movement for Black girls, women, and gender-expansive people,” programs, workshops, and mentorship opportunities have been created across the United States to spark interest for emerging activists to advocate for climate causes.

“The impacts are harrowing. I know that for a fact,” said Gatheru, as detailed by Yale Climate Connections. “And having that representation really did make it feel more accessible for me to get involved. Our movement is only viable if it is one that all people can see themselves represented in.”

Upholding the Black Women Best Framework in its approach, Black Girl Environmentalist prioritizes this demographic as a vital piece in enacting true change in the climate movement. Black communities are oftentimes the most vulnerable to environmental violence and racism, especially with new issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic as intertwined with health issues. The organization is committed to showing Black women and girls that environmental justice is not only part of social justice but also part of the upliftment of Black people nationwide and across the diaspora.

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