6 AAPI Youth Activists You Should Know

Raquel Martinez

|

May 29, 2021

AAPI Blog Header

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is a period for the duration of the month of May that recognizes and celebrates the contributions, history and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As part of this month, we would like to uplift youth activists in the community dedicated to combatting climate change while upholding climate justice.

In the following feature, six AAPI youth activists share what their identity means to them, how this relates to their climate work and advice for fellow activists.

1. Kristy Drutman (she/her)

My identity is a continuous reminder to stay humble, rooted in integrity, and speaking up consistently on injustices. My advice for fellow activists who may identify as Filipino is to connect with environmental activists in the Philippines. The diaspora is so complex and how we connect with our motherland is different for every single person. Exploring your roots can be a truly healing and grounding experience as you are tossed into the fight for a livable planet. The AAPI community is not a monolith, and environmental activism is no exception. Embrace & share your nuanced perspective navigating this space – you never know who is looking to build with you.

Follow on instagram: @browngirl_greEN

2. Anisa Nanavati (she/her)

Some advice that I have for fellow activists in my community is to be unafraid to be themselves and express themselves through activism. In my personal experience, family has been reluctant towards activism, but it is important to make your voice heard!

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @anisananavati

3. Tammy Yu (she/her)

Backyard vegetable gardens are a distinctive trait of Asian Americans. From winter melons to Napa, these crops that aren’t available at the local grocery stores are grown year-round in small urban backyards. And since racial and environmental justice are intrinsically interconnected, the same neighborhoods that house many immigrants are also the ones that are next to facilities that leach toxins into the soil. The language barrier of my mother and so many of my neighbors means remaining oblivious to the dangers of their habits. As a first generation immigrant and activist, I strive to educate and elevate Asian American immigrants on the environmental issues that taint their culture by standing as the bridge between those who are powerless and those who empower.

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @tammy.hy

4. Ardra J. Charath (she/her)

My background has given me a lot of unique experiences. I’ve lived in the United States, India, and Kuwait, which has given me the opportunity to compare the impacts of climate change and the attitudes surrounding it on a global scale. I try to use these experiences and acknowledge the range in experiences and attitudes towards climate change when I do my advocacy work, which has been of great benefit.

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @ardracharATH

5. Nama Pandey (she/her)

Climate change has stripped a number of resources away from my family, whether it be the worsening public health or the extreme droughts that have cost my grandparents much of their land where they grow their crops. My identity has taught me the importance of creating an accepting space for advocacy work to happen. Including the voices from a vast spectrum of communities has always been instilled in me. Because of my identity, I’m driven with passion and am aware of the advocacy space that needs to be created.

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @namapandeyY

6. Hana Razvi (she/her)

My identity plays a huge role in my climate and advocacy work because I take personal experiences from my life and implement them into my activism. I allow myself to interact with friends and family members that have had similar experiences with environmental racism.

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM: @hana.razvI

Want to read more? Check out the ACE Blog.

Raquel

Raquel Martinez

Social Media Manager

Raquel is a Youth Organizer in Miami, Florida where she works to deliver ACE’s climate change and justice-centered in-school Our Future Our Climate assembly and Action Fellowship program. Throughout her career, she has focused on delivering environmental education and leading hands-on stewardship initiatives throughout south Florida. Raquel enjoys rock climbing, roller skating, spending time outdoors, and being with her pets.

More Blog Posts

shutterstock_1949940883 (1)

We Stand With The Treaty People Gathering: Stop Line 3!

Over 2,000 people took action to stop the Line 3 pipeline as part of the Treaty People Gathering in Northern …

Read More
2T7A4253

ACE INTERVIEW: ACE Fellow Anisa Nanavati on Climate Conversations with Family

Anisa Nanavati (she/her) is a 17 year-old climate activist that was born and raised in Tampa, Florida. She is currently a sophomore that attends Academy at the Lakes in rural Land O’Lakes which is thirty minutes away from the City of Tampa. As a result of living in a frontline community, Anisa has seen the direct results of climate change. The temperatures are always reaching record highs, the displacement of many because of rising sea levels is increasing, the amount of deadly storms that endanger her community are surging, and the threat of losing her only home is looming.

Read More
IMG_4951

Izzy Laderman: Climate Justice IS Disability Justice

Izzy Laderman (she/her) is an 18-year-old disabled climate activist, survivor advocate, and sex educator based in Duluth, MN. She is the founder of Disability Awareness Around the Climate and works with various different climate groups. Izzy plans to attend the University of Minnesota to study History and aspires to become a History teacher, acknowledging the empowerment that comes with learning our own history. She also serves as a Youth Advisor for a local organization called Program for Aid of Victims of Sexual Assault.

Read More
View More