Isra Hirsi is 16 years old and based in Minneapolis. Backed by just under 34,000 followers on Twitter, and 54,000 on Instagram, she’s been a strong voice stressing that people who look like her or are from low income communities don’t often get to be heard in movements like climate activism.
Hirsi is also co-executive director of the US Youth Climate Strike and the daughter of US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
“It’s a lot to be a Black, young person in the environmental movement, only because these spaces that I’m in and the organisations that I work with don’t necessarily reflect me, ” Hirsi says in a video for AJ+. “I want to change how climate activism is viewed today.”
“I’m always or usually am the only Black person in the room. It’s harder to always advocate for diversity when that’s the biggest thing that matters to me but it itsn’t the biggest thing that matters to other people.”
She says that people with privilege can “take a step back” — letting others lead because they’re capable of doing it themselves.
Hirsi is actively opposing the Line 3 pipeline through Anishinaabeg territory, stressing that the struggle against colonialism of Native people affected can’t be separated from environmental issues, and advocates for the Green New Deal, proposed by US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, which sets out a path for switching to 100% renewable energy. She will share a stage with Cortez and environmental writer Naomi Klein for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders’ ‘Climate Crisis Summit’.
“There’s so many young people across the world that are going to be impacted by this,” she says. “And just because you don’t have to deal with it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care.”
In an interview with Essence, she stressed the intersectionality of the climate movement — in that it must address impacts on the climate driven by colonialism, capitalism and white supremacy.Tags: Activism, Climate crisis, Climate Strikes, USA