ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL Dialogues present

Youth Voices on Climate: Taking Action in Times of Crisis

July 24 Monday 11-12:30am ET

Our Speakers:

  • Aniya Butler, Youth Vs Apocalypse, CA
  • Jamie Minden, Global Organizing Director, Zero Hour
  • Mars Vazquez-Plyshevsky, Friday’s For Future NYC

Aniya Butler is a 17-year-old spoken word poet and organizer from Oakland, CA. She works with a youth-led climate justice group, Youth Vs. Apocalypse, where she directs the Hip Hop & Climate Justice Initiative and coordinates the No One Is Disposable action planning team. Using poetry and organizing, Aniya emphasizes the importance of acknowledging that climate change is a direct result of the same oppressive systems responsible for the social injustices frontline people experience every day. Aniya wants to help rebuild a world with foundations of equity, sustainability, and love so that every living thing can truly thrive.

John Paul Mejia, National Spokesperson, Sunrise Movement. Born and raised by a single immigrant mom in the frontline community of Miami, Florida, John Paul’s commitment to climate justice began after witnessing the government’s response to Hurricane Irma leave his community members behind. Propelled into action, he has since organized for climate justice at institutional, local, and federal levels, engaging students, community members, unions, and elected officials along the way. Today, his devotion to movement-building continues in his work as the national spokesperson for the Sunrise Movement and a campaign manager for the Green New Deal for American University campaign. As a Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar at American University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ commission on Accelerating Climate Action, he centers a value-driven and critical approach in his scholarship as he does in his activism.

Jamie Minden is the Global Organizing Director for Zero Hour and a Junior at American University majoring in Environmental Studies and Sociology. Alongside local and international organizing, she has served as a co-founder of Sunrise Silicon Valley, a Teen Conservation Leader at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a Fridays For Future organizer, and a Subcommittee Chair on a Student Congressional Advisory Board. She has been organizing for climate justice since the age of 13 and has extensive experience in grassroots strategy, action planning, and storytelling.

Mars Vazquez-Plyshevsky is 17 years old and a junior at Hunter College High School. They are a social justice advocate with a focus on climate justice, economic reform, and criminal justice reform. Mars is a core member of Friday’s For Future NYC, where they organize city-wide walkouts on global strike days and advocate for climate policy. In May of 2022, they spoke at an event hosted at the United Nations Headquarters by Heart17 and the Permanent Swedish Mission on the topic of youth activism in the climate sphere. At school, Mars is the president of Hunter’s Trans Non-Binary Alliance and is on the board of the Left Wing, a new leftist publication. They are also affiliated with the climate organizations Treeage, Fridays For Future US, the US Strike Coalition, and do volunteer work for other grassroots, mutual aid organizations, such as the Lower East Side chapter of Food Not Bombs. Besides volunteering and activism, Mars is a theatre kid and a competitive aerial dancer.

ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL interviews and dialogues are ongoing programs produced by the Temple of Understanding, incorporating our outreach in the area of environmental awareness and advocacy. We present a diverse range of perspectives, from scientific to spiritual views, on the climate emergency and offer a variety of solutions that we can all do easily and effectively in our everyday lives. World religious and spiritual visionaries, Indigenous leaders, scientists and social scientists, environmental activists, artists, musicians and writers, youth and elders, local and global people, all come together to address the urgency of the climate crisis through these ongoing interviews and dialogues.

See all our programs on our ECO JUSTICE FOR ALL youtube channel.

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