She’s Teaching Us That Climate Change Isn’t A Political Issue, It’s a Human Issue
Climate change doesn’t just impact our environment. It impacts our culture, too. Jasmine Sanders is the first Black female executive director of Our Climate, and she’s taking a holistic approach to the climate crisis. Her organization, Our Climate, encourages students in college and high school to find a climate-related issue they care about, and to work toward solutions on a micro and macro level.
“Growing up in a world that was not designed for my success either as a woman or a Black person, has only fueled the fire in my fight for justice,” Sanders tells CircleAround. “Climate change is not a political issue, but rather a human issue.”
This became especially apparent to Sanders after she experienced Hurricane Katrina. She saw, firsthand, that the flooding and disappearing coastlines didn’t just affect the land people lived on, but that it caused a fundamental shift in Louisiana’s culture.
According to the Our Climate website, the organization aims to mobilize and empower “young people to educate the public and elected officials about science-based, equitable climate policy solutions that build a livable world.” To do this, Our Climate provides resources, support and more to those wanting to be a part of the change.
She encourages young activists to find the issues that matter most to them and to get involved by drafting briefs for legislators that’ll prompt change.
Climate change is not a political issue, but rather a human issue.
“Climate justice is all-encompassing,” Sanders tells CircleAround. “This term acknowledges the intersecting effects of climate change, including environmental, economical, migration, health, food and security, racial, socio-cultural and legislative.”
Diversity and inclusion are also major focuses of the organization. Sanders says that more and more, it’s becoming clear that climate issues disproportionately impact low-income and minority communities, who don’t always have the resources to prevent these issues in the first place. Our Climate makes it known that their work fighting climate change is also in service of dismantling racism and unfair power dynamics.
“I am inspired by Our Climate’s ability to harness and mobilize our youth, teach them the importance of advocating and how to lobby,” Sanders concludes. “It is indeed our youth who are going to change the world.”