This May, join us in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Originating in 1990, May was chosen to commemorate and recognize the influence Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have on U.S. history and culture. Environmental and social activism requires amplifying and supporting Asian Pacific American voices, so we have compiled a short list of incredible environmentalists and organizations to follow. The businesses, climate campaigns, podcasts, and a variety of other sustainability projects included in this list, provide tools and resources to learn more about environmental and social justice. Be sure to check them out while celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and do your part in aiding the environmental justice movement!

6 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Environmentalists to Follow

  1. Aditi Mayer

Aditi Mayer is a South Asian American sustainable fashion blogger, photojournalist, labor rights activist, and social and environmental justice advocate based out of Los Angeles, California. Her journey in the sustainable fashion movement started in 2014, where the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh influenced the rise of ethical fashion. She now uses her platform to promote small, local, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) owned businesses as well as serving on the council of Intersectional Environmentalist and State of Fashion. To learn more about social justice through the lens of sustainable fashion, visit Mayer’s website and follow her Instagram (@aditimayer).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by ADITI MAYER (@aditimayer)



  1. Varshini Prakash

Varishini Prakash is the co-founder and executive director of Sunrise Movement, a youth movement working to stop climate change through the Green New Deal. She is a leading voice for American youth environmentalists and fights for political action to ensure our generation’s health and wellbeing. Check out Prakash’s twitter (@VarshPrakash) and check out Vox’s Conversations podcast, Generation Climate Change to learn more about how the Sunrise Movement is taking action, and how you can help!

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  1. Fenton Lutunatabua

Fenton Lutunatabua is founder of Beyond the Narrative, a Fiji-based storytelling project that aims to showcase the complex and dynamic truths of Pacific Islanders. He is also Head of Regions at 350 Pacific, a youth-led grassroots network working with PI communities to fight climate change. His sense of service and responsibility to his people pushes Lutunatabua to do more, where he lives by the quote: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Fenton Lutunatabua (@fentonlutun)

  1. Sophia Li

Sophia Li is a Chinese-American multimedia journalist, film director, and environmental advocate who uses her platform to make climate and racial justice issues more inclusive. Li is the co-founder and co-host of All of the Above, a video series that answers thought-provoking and pressing questions about climate change and social justice, with a much-needed sprinkle of humor to brighten our spirits! Li is also the host of Meta’s podcast, Climate Talks, which communicates sustainability topics from multiple perspectives, all while investigating steps we can take for a more sustainable future. Be sure to follow her Instagram (@sophfei) to learn more about climate and racial justice in a thoroughly digestible way.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by SOPHIA 菲 LI (she/her) (@sophfei)

  1. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

Kathy Jentil-Kihiner is a Marshall Islander poet, performance artist, and educator. Her focus on climate change and the legacy of nuclear testing on the Marshall Islands is shared through her poetry, performance, and media projects. (visit Jetnil-Kijiner’s website for more info). She is the co-founder of the youth environmentalist non-profit Jo-Jikum, meaning “your home” or “your place” in Marshallese. This organization curates programs that encourage leadership, environmental literacy, and project management skills; it aims to support the next generation of Marshallese to find solutions and build resiliency for environmental issues impacting their islands.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (@kathyjkijiner)

  1. Andrea Chu

Andrea Chu is a Taiwanese American who is committed to organizing Asian American coalitions for climate and racial justice. She is the Midwest Organizing Manager at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago, a successful progressive group working to provide an Asian American voice to the social justice movement. Chu focuses on Asian American communities who are impacted by the harms of segregation and pollution and hopes to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.

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For more amazing environmentalists to follow, here are some great women eco-influencers as well as Black sustainability influencers to check out!

3 AAPI Organizations to Support

  1. Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

This environmental justice organization is founded upon the strong belief that all people have the right to a clean and healthy environment where communities can thrive, with a focus on Asian immigrants and refugee communities. APEN  emphasizes that climate change isn’t just an environmental problem; it’s a social, political and economic problem, too. Their mission for local, healthy, and sustainable economies includes building community-owned renewable energy resources, affordable housing, a local and community-owned economy, and taking back control of democracy for the people. Their vision “Just Transition” provides a framework for moving forward to a world where everyone has the resources and opportunities they need to live fulfilled lives by standing up to big polluters, encouraging climate resilience, and mobilizing the power of Asian voters. Check out APEN’s website linked above for more information on how they are making a difference and how you can get involved.

  1. 350 Pacific

This youth-led grassroots network works with Pacific Island and Diaspora communities to fight climate change. 350 aims to facilitate workshops to educate and empower youth, amplify the voices of frontline communities in the face of climate crisis, and highlight strength and resiliency. They specifically address and demand the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution to protect the Pacific Islands marine habitats and the culture of its people. To learn more about these Pacific Climate Warriors and 350’s international movement, click the link above.

  1. Chicago Asian Americans for Environmental Justice (CAAEJ)

This group aims to amplify the voices of Asian Americans in the environmental movement by engaging and educating Asian Americans on local and national environmental justice issues. CAAEJ’s belief in the power of collective grassroots action is the key to creating change and creating space for people to learn, listen, and act. They provide accessible and inclusive education programs, campaigns, and solidarity opportunities for fighting against injustices around the U.S. For more information, check out CAAEJ’s website linked above.