Asian American and Pacific Islander Climate Activists Who Inspire Us

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May 27, 2021

In honor of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, we want to uplift incredible Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders who are advancing environmental justice and climate action nationwide. 

Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner

Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner, a poet and climate justice advocate from the Marshall Islands, co-founded Jo-Jikum, an environmental non-profit empowering Marshaleese youth to create solutions to climate issues and pollution impacting their islands. She performed her poem, “Dear Matafele Peinem,” at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014.

 

 

Miya Yoshitani 

Miya Yoshitani is the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), an organization advocating for environmental justice in California Asian immigrant and refugee communities. GRID works closely with APEN to bring job training and solar installations to Asian American communities in California. 

 

 

 

Dr. Charles Lee

Charles Lee is the Senior Policy Advisory for Environmental Justice for the EPA. A lifelong environmental justice advocate, he was the primary author on “Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States,” published in 1987 by the United Church of Christ. The report was groundbreaking in raising awareness around environmental justice in the United States - using national data to show that hazardous waste sites were predominantly located in communities of color. 

 

Varshini Prakash

Varshini Prakash, is the executive director of the Sunrise Movement, a movement of young people working to stop climate change, that she co-founded in 2017. A young climate activist, she is campaigning for the Green New Deal, a resolution that would move America to 100% clean energy and create a just transition for all communities.