Young environmentalists like Isra Hirsi have taken charge of the green movement and brought it to the forefront of public consciousness.
In recent years, a host of young environmentalists have taken charge of the green movement and brought it to the forefront of public consciousness. Among these dedicated leaders stands Isra Hirsi, a Minneapolis teen who has paved the way for sustainable activists of the future. This young activist has taken on many roles in the movement, including heading organizations, rallies, and other initiatives. She is well known for her dedication to social and environmental justice in her community and country, despite still being a teenager and a recent high school graduate.
Although Hirsi has achieved many of her accomplishments independently, it is notable that her family includes remarkable activists and community leaders. Her mother, Ilhan Omar, serves as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district while advocating for universal healthcare, raising the minimum wage, and other important initiatives. Although it is undoubtedly that her mother remains a positive force in support of Hirsi’s activism, as her earliest expressions of activism came about at just twelve years old, much can be said about the initiatives undertaken by Isra Hirsi herself.
Hirsi’s own focus is on the sustainability movement. As a freshman in high school, she joined her school’s environmental club and discovered her passion for creating a more sustainable future. This laid the groundwork for her later ecological initiatives. Hirsi led hundreds of students across the United States in the School Strike for Climate, where students abstained from school on Fridays to participate in various demonstrations and protests. This was meant to inspire politicians, and the public, to consider the long-term effects of climate change and pursue renewable energy.
Hirsi has been exposed to nationwide cultural debates regarding members of her ethnicity and community throughout her adolescence.
Hirsi soon co-founded the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, acting as an executive director, keeping to her environmental activism. This organization helped to orchestrate over 1000 strikes across the United States. This was a collaborative effort between students and various other organizations throughout the country, marking one of the largest climate demonstrations in the history of the United States. International youth climate activist Greta Thunberg also made an appearance at the New York strike site. Similar events were also held across the world.
These efforts earned her substantial recognition, not only for her notable climate activism but for undertaking this venture at such a young age. She was awarded the Brower Youth Award, an award dedicated to young social and environmental activists under the age of twenty-three, in 2019 at just sixteen years old. In 2019 she was also awarded the Voice of the Future Award to recognize her efforts to create a better future. As a Black American, she was also recognized by the BET in their 2020 Future 40.
As a young Black American, Hirsi understands the importance of social justice in our modern era. However, that is not her only experience as a minority in the United States. Additionally, she comes from a Muslim background and is a second-generation immigrant, with her mother hailing from Somalia. Hirsi has been exposed to nationwide cultural debates regarding members of her ethnicity and community throughout her adolescence. Yet, this experience has become a familiar circumstance in the American mixing pot.
Hirsi stands as perhaps the perfect representative of the next generation of Americans and American activists. A generation keenly aware of their rich backgrounds but wholly dedicated to contributing to developing a resilient, shared future. Unafraid of confrontation or controversial acts of advocacy, they stay true to their beliefs and commitments. Exemplifying this notion, Hirsi’s primary cause, climate change, hopes to ensure sustainability is still considered in the following generations.
Environmental activists of the new generation have made their stance and dedication known worldwide. Sustainability will no longer be pushed aside, a problem for later generations, but dealt with now. This is indicative of the future of government, as well as the future of businesses. Now more than ever, people are concerned with ensuring they do their part in the sustainable fight, and much of this means supporting companies that are clear about their sustainable efforts.
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