These 5 People Are Bringing Equity to the Fight Against Climate Change

These environmental justice advocates are ensuring marginalized communities are at the center of the fight.

Grist/Elsa Mengistu/Adrien Salazar/CEERT/Adam DeTour Photography/Todd Youngblood

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This story was originally published by Grist. It appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Climate change doesn’t discriminate, but systems created by people do. Policies and other decisions put some closer to the frontlines of disaster than others: communities of color breathe more toxic fumes, people with disabilities have no easy way out of increasingly common natural disasters, and women and children are at a higher risk of dying from the effects of climate change.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Every year, Grist compiles a list of emerging leaders—the Grist 50—working toward a sustainable, equitable future. Meet five environmental justice advocates from this year’s list who are challenging those biased systems, righting wrongs, and ensuring that marginalized communities are at the center of climate solutions.

  1. In Charlotte, Sol Nation founder Nakisa Glover turns community members’ art and conversation into on-the-ground change.
  2. Huron, California, Mayor Rey León builds new green infrastructure in his rural, predominantly Latino farming town.
  3. 17-year-old Elsa Mengistu works with youth climate movement Zero Hour to center marginalized youth voices—after all, they’ve got the biggest stake in the fate of the planet.
  4. Like the Green New Deal? You’ll love Adrien Salazar‘s even more progressive plan for New York, which would direct state funds toward neighborhoods that need it most.
  5. Rev. Mariama White-Hammond opened her own church in Boston to foster connection between communities, in the environmental justice movement and beyond.

Excited about the future? There’s more where that came from.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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