February is Black History Month!

Written by: Corey Chan

KIDS for the BAY is excited to highlight Black youth environmental leaders this February for Black History Month. These young environmentalists stand on the mighty shoulders of historical environmental activists including Solomon Brown, George Washington Carver, and Wangari Maathai. 

From right here in the Bay Area, 16 year old Aniya Butler from Oakland, is a climate justice activist and spoken word poet. From the age of eight, she began using her art to advocate for the environment after learning about the intersectionality of climate change and other social injustices. Aniya holds multiple roles within Youth vs. Apocalypse (YVA), an organization of young climate activists dedicated to environmental and social justice, that gives a platform for people of color to speak up about environmental injustices happening in their communities. Seeing these injustices first hand in the Bay Area, Aniya sees this work as her purpose and duty to our shared community and planet.

Learn more about Aniya’s work HERE.

Leah Thomas from Los Angeles, California is the founder of Intersectional Environmentalist, a nonprofit that provides advocacy and educational resources promoting justice, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility in environmental movements. A self-proclaimed “eco-communicator”, Leah also founded the eco-lifestyle blog, @greengirlleah, where she shares knowledge from her education and work experiences through an ecological focus to over 400 thousand followers.

Learn more about Leah’s work HERE.

We would also like to highlight international youth environmental leaders who participated in the 2022 Youth Innovation Challenge Awards working to reduce marine plastic pollution!

One of the finalists, Fajana Samuel Ayomikun (Samuel), is helping to protect marine environments through the establishment of an Eco Village Bootcamp in Araromi Seaside, a coastal village in Ondo State, Nigeria. This Bootcamp will explore ocean conservation issues with a goal of increasing awareness of climate change and to help manage plastic pollution.

Mac Donald Taribio Jim Dorgu, one of this year’s winners, organizes and facilitates meetings with influential community leaders across 20 coastal communities in Nigeria.The goal of these meetings is to increase awareness of the importance of marine ecosystems in relation to environment justice issues including human health, food security, equity, and climate change. Organized beach cleanups provide the opportunity for volunteers to sell the plastic they collect to local recycling facilities.

Learn more about environmental justice in the Bay Area HERE and consider following these BIPOC environmental organizations that highlight environmental activist work and nature connection, which are also two key goals of KIDS for the BAY:

KIDS for the BAY