Gen-Z climate activists say that “nice, young, white” Greta Thunberg has raised awareness

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1,0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0,8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Greta Thunberg is a leading climate change activist who organizes and energizes people around the world. However, other Gen-Z environmentalists point out that the 17-year-old Swedish teenager, who became an internationally recognized personality after sailing across the Atlantic to the United States, is not the only voice in the movement that needs to be heard , “data-reactid =” 15 “> Greta Thunberg is a leading climate change activist who organizes and energizes people around the world, but other Generation Z environmentalists point out that the 17-year-old Swede is a teenager who Having become an internationally recognized figure after sailing across the Atlantic to the United States, is not the only voice in the movement that needs to be heard.

“It’s a strange thing because I think the United States generally plays such a big role in the kind of mainstream that people around the world see,” said Tokata Iron Eyes, a 16-year-old South Indian youth leader Dakota told MAKERS after her appearance at the 2020 MAKERS conference. She points out that the media “has not treated all color activists and all low-income community activists who have been doing this for much longer”. However, the teenager makes it clear that this should not “discredit Greta’s work. The only thing to say is that we don’t cover what we should be. “

Environmentalists Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru and Tokata Iron Eyes highlight the dangers of the deification of a single activist. (Photo: Getty Images)

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Iron Eyes, who was 12 years old Protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline and became the subject of a viral video, went on to explain how the attention given to certain activists often drowns out the voices of marginalized communities. “Even when I worked with Greta, they always misunderstood my name in local news and other things, or didn’t give my name in any of the media,” she says. “Data-reactid =” 28 “> Iron Eyes, who protested the Dakota Access Pipeline at age 12 and became the subject of a viral video, went on to explain how the attention given to certain activists often drowns out the voices of marginalized communities. “Even when I worked with Greta, in local news and so on, they always misunderstood my name or they just didn’t put my name in the media at all,” she says.

Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru, another young color activist who joined Iron Eyes at the MAKERS 2020 conference, added, “It is really dangerous to idolize individuals,” especially on the subject. “Climate change, environmental degradation, the environment, that’s the most inclusive thing there is. It’s all brought together. So I think it’s important to say, “OK, we can find hope and feel empowered by other people, but idolizing them isn’t what we should be doing,” says Gatheru. “We should see each other in their fight and start saying if they can, I can do it. And this is a community struggle, a resilience of the community. And that’s more important than just lifting one person up. “

Nevertheless, Iron Eyes and Gatheru recognize that Thunberg’s influence still benefits the cause of climate change as a whole.

“It’s so good that Greta came when she did it because if she hadn’t I don’t know where we are right now,” Iron Eyes admits. “Because the voices that spoke the loudest were colored people, and sometimes and especially in America with the state of affairs in which we are at 45 [referring to President Donald Trump]Nobody listened to us and here comes Greta, a nice, young, white person, and her message was heard. She also let the voices of all the other young activists be heard. It is definitely a win and she has definitely ensured that the work of others is recognized. “

Gatheru agrees, adding: “There are always privileges associated with the fact that even we have this type of platform.” She continues: “So it is really important to identify the people who tend not to have access to these platforms and to give them tangible access so that they can talk to different people on stage and really tell stories . “

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1,0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0,8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Watch the full session of Iron Eyes and Gatheru below: “data-reactid =” 33 “>Watch the full session of Iron Eyes and Gatheru below:

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1,0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0,8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Read more about the MAKERS conference 2020“data-reactid =” 38 “>Read more about the MAKERS conference 2020

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