Meet 4 Vibrant Environmental Activists

No one is more prepared to find solutions for today's most pressing environmental issues than our youth. They’ve grown up with unparalleled access to information and a detailed understanding of global environmental challenges. If anybody is capable of finding innovative solutions, it's going to be these young and brilliant minds. 

Not to mention, they understand the urgency of these issues. As they inherit the consequences of society's past actions, combating climate change is both a personal and a collective necessity. In this article, we are going to highlight the work of four gifted emerging leaders who have already made great strides towards making a positive difference on the planet.


Xiye Bastida

Xiye Bastida is a Mexican climate activist of Otomi descent who was forced to relocate to New York City after her hometown was devastated by extreme flooding. Her activism started in high school, where she played a fundamental role in organizing climate change rallies in New York City. She was a co-founder of the Re-Earth Initiative, where she has worked to make the climate movement more inclusive and accessible. Her leadership has been recognized internationally, receiving awards such as the UN Spirit Award, and she was even included in Time Magazine's “Time100 Next” list of emerging leaders. Currently, she is studying Environmental Studies and Policies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she continues advocating for climate justice and indigenous rights.

You can learn more about her work at her website, or check her out on Instagram. Also, check out some of her inspiring TED Talks here

Xiye Bastida speaking at the NSA Intervention at the SEC. Photo by Alan Harvey/UK Government

Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny 

Amariyanna "Mari" Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, is a 16-year-old African-American activist originally from Flint, Michigan. When she was just 8 years old, she gathered national attention by writing a letter to President Obama regarding the water crisis in her hometown. This prompted the president to visit Flint, and eventually approve a 100 million dollar relief fund for the city. Shortly after this, she started fundraising money in collaboration with a nonprofit to provide fresh water and school supplies to disadvantaged families in her community. This campaign was called the “Little Miss Flint & PYB Water Drive” and raised over $350,000. In 2019 she partnered with the water filtration company Hydroviv for the “Little Miss Flint & PYB Water Drive”. Through this effort, she raised more than $700,000 for clean water initiatives. She has also been involved in advocacy for women's rights, anti-bullying, and environmental racism. Mari Copeny has been recognized for her work in media sources like Teen Vogue, The Guardian, VICE, TIME, Refinery 29, The Washington Post, NBC News, Rewire, Buzzfeed, and many more. In 2022, she received the 3rd Change Maker Award at the Billboard Music Awards. While still currently in high school, Mari plans to run for president in 2044. 

Photo courtesy of Mari Copeny

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, also known as X, is a 23 year old activist, hip-hop artist, and a leading voice in the fight against climate change. ⁤⁤Since his teenage years, he has tirelessly advocated for climate action, emphasizing the disproportionate impact of environmental issues on marginalized communities.  Growing up in a multicultural household, X has strong ties to his indigenous heritage of Mexican origin in central Mexico. In 2015, X presented a powerful speech in English, Spanish, and Nahuatl at the United Nations General Assembly. He has been a plaintiff in significant climate lawsuits, including Juliana v. United States and Martinez v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, where he has advocated for immediate action towards climate change. In 2019, X served as youth director of the environmental activist organization “Earth Guardians”, where he organized events and promoted environmentally focused legislation. 

You can check out his website, for more information about his ongoing activities. You can also stay up-to-date by following him on Instagram

Photo by Josué Rivas

Hila Perry

⁤Climate Change is rarely considered a comical issue, but Hila Perry, widely known as "Hila The Killa," has ingeniously blended humor with activism to promote environmental awareness across the world. With hundreds of thousands of followers across social media platforms, her quirky and charming videos have been viewed well over one million times. Her viral hits like “Wet A** Planet” and “Dirty Talk” address environmental issues like plastic pollution, sustainable living, and global biodiversity loss, in an entertaining yet informative format. She has performed across the United States and even internationally, often dressed in her large spherical Earth costume.

You can follow her on Instagram or check out her Youtube channel. 


These four emerging activists are only a small taste of what today's youth have in store for the climate movement. Around the world, thousands of young people are standing up to support immediate action against climate change. With the inspirational efforts of young activists like these, there’s no doubt we will see a future where environmental stewardship is at the forefront of our collective consciousness.

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