“CLIMATE CHANGE HAS FORCED OUR COMMUNITY TO BECOME OUR OWN FIRST RESPONDERS.”
Nyiesha Mallet, 18
UPROSE — Brooklyn, New York
Cooper Union School of Art
How is climate change affecting your home and daily life? Climate change impacts my home and community not only physically but economically. When a superstorm like Hurricane Sandy hits communities of color like mine, we are completely unprepared, underfunded, and without the resources that we need to rebuild. Climate change affects our health, our bodies, and our way of living. What is so amazing is that after Hurricane Sandy hit, the people in our community came to us at [my organization] UPROSE and urged them to help prepare them for the next storm. They want to learn how to adapt to the changing climate and take matters into their own hands to lead the recovery and preparation efforts in our community. Climate change has forced our community to become our own first responders.
“I HAVE A DUTY TO PROTECT THE EARTH.”
Why are you joining in the climate strike? I have a duty to protect the earth and use my voice to help represent people of color and our frontline communities who are fighting day and night to just survive climate change. For this movement to be successful, it has to be intergenerational and aligned with frontline-led movements. There has to be a culture of practice that is committed to building just relationships.
What solutions do you want to see come out of the strike and UN climate events this month? I hope to see a real push for a just transition to come out of this strike and the UN climate events this month. That means we stop extractive economies and extractive fixes and build a regenerative economy where everyone can thrive. I want to see the people in “power” take climate and our lives seriously and recognize that long-term solutions will come from the frontline communities who are experiencing the brunt of the climate crisis.