Amara Ifeji – Storytelling for Social Change
Amara Ifeji mobilized a grassroots effort to address racism in her high school in Maine, at age 14. She also developed a love for the mountains and woods around her, but she saw her passions for the environment and racial justice as distinct until she heard youth of color like herself share their experiences working at this intersection and realized these struggles were completely intertwined. She shares how this awakening shaped her subsequent work as a remarkably effective organizer and advocate who centers storytelling to realize environmental justice, climate education, and outdoor learning for ALL youth.
This talk was delivered at the 2023 Bioneers Conference.
Amara Ifeji, 21, an award-winning (2021 National Geographic Young Explorer and 2022 Brower Youth Award) climate justice activist, Director of Policy at the Maine Environmental Education Association, has had great success in mobilizing youth-led, grassroots movements to advance climate education legislation and ensure equitable access to outdoor learning for ALL youth in Maine.
For the Climate Justice Movement to arrive at results that are truly “just,” it must be radically inclusive, which means that its struggles must of course intersect with those of social, racial and gender justice movements, but it also means that other historically disenfranchised groups can’t be excluded. In this Bioneers 2021 keynote, Brower Youth Award winner Alexia Leclercq, an environmental justice organizer based in Austin TX and NYC, shares her passion about these rarely discussed aspects of intersectionality.
Alexandria Villaseñor – Working Together: Building Coalitions of Power in the Global Youth Climate Movement
In this Bioneers 2022 keynote, international youth organizer Alexandria Villaseñor shares the unique ways in which a multicultural, geographically distributed youth movement is building trust, negotiating compromises, distributing decision-making and centering the stories, experiences and leadership of those most impacted in each action and campaign.