Environmental justice is a top priority for many millennials. And one young, Houston-based organizer is demonstrating her generation’s effectiveness by leading the way on this important issue.
Community groups play an important role in bolstering young leaders. Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS), based in Houston’s Manchester neighborhood, supports residents in efforts to create sustainable and environmentally healthy communities by providing education and resources. They recognize millennial leadership on environmental justice issues, and often work with young organizers in their efforts to educate and engage community members on environmental laws and policy.
Yudith Nieto, a local resident and a leading TEJAS advocate, is one such organizer, and she is showing how millennials can be effective change agents for their communities. Juan Parras, founder and directo of TEJAS, shares that “Yudith has been an inspiration for her community in fighting for environmental justice. Her life experiences with these issues have connected her personally with environmental justice principles.” Her efforts were recognized this week as Yudith was named to the Youth Climate Justice Workgroup. The U.S. EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) convened the workgroup to help engage youth on developing strategies to combat climate change. The group, which is made up of emerging leaders ages 18-29, brings diverse backgrounds to the conversation about climate change.
The fifteen young people selected to the workgroup have hands-on experience addressing environmental injustice. And by working at the national level, they will be able to expand their reach and bring together diverse constituencies.
For Houston, the fourth-largest city in the country, and home to a major petrochemical and port complex, it is especially important to promote climate change solutions. Yudith has been a tremendous advocate on environmental justice issues in Houston and across Texas. We congratulate her on the selection and look forward to her participation on the Youth Perspectives on Climate Justice Workgroup!
Photo credit: Earth Justice