May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to uplift and celebrate the AANHPI community and their contributions to power democracy.
In this blog, we are continuing our series of highlighting young activists.
Kristy Drutman, also known as “Browngirl Green,” is a speaker, media producer, and environmental justice activist. She co-founded the Green Jobs Board, a digital platform to help folks around the country find jobs and resources in the environmental space.
Interview with Kristy Drutman
Tell us more about your background. How did you get involved in your activism work?
I've been doing climate activism since I was in university – I got actively involved in caring about environmental justice and knew I needed to explore how I could use creativity and online tools to educate and inspire others toward action. This eventually led to the creation of my multimedia series, Browngirl Green, where I interview a diverse array of environmental leaders and advocates around the world who are telling a new story about climate solutions. I also co-founded the Green Jobs Board, a platform now helping thousands of people across the US find amazing environmental and social impact jobs!
When you think of your heritage, what comes to mind?
Being a bridge builder – as someone who is mixed-race/multicultural Asian American, I feel that I am able to weave, navigate, and form collaborative partnerships and relationships with a wide variety of communities, sectors, and constituents!
How did your heritage inform your activism?
Being Filipino American made me realize my own responsibility within the diaspora, as the Philippines continues to be on the frontlines of the climate crisis and one of the top climate-vulnerable countries in the world. This made me realize that with the privilege and access, I have of living in the Global North that I needed to speak up and take action.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to better our democracy – what would you say?
Get involved in local politics and learn about environmental justice and how it impacts surrounding communities in your area. Understanding who does and does not have access, voice, and choice around a clean and healthy environment is critical in cultivating a better democracy.
Want to get involved with climate efforts in your community? Join your local League and ask about their conservation strategies!
The Latest from the League
Most of us know or have heard of the Latino trailblazers like Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Sylva Rivera – but we sometimes forget to highlight the youth activists who are currently fighting for a better future. In this blog, we highlight one such leader, climate change activist and co-founder of Zero Hour, Jamie Sarai Margolin.
Naelyn Pike is a 23-year-old Chiricahua Apache. As a lifelong fighter, she continues to follow in her grandfather’s — the Apache Stronghold's founder — footsteps in protecting Apache's holy and sacred sites and Indigenous rights.
At the age of 13, Pike was one of the youngest people to ever testify before Congress when she spoke out against mining at Oak Flat, an Apache sacred site. Today, she continues to fight for environmental sustainability and Indigenous rights at the local, state, and national levels, battling corporations and political leaders through Indigenous spirituality. She firmly believes that the youth today give us hope for a better world for future generations.
Anya Dillard is a 19-year-old human rights and social justice activist, social entrepreneur, model, content creator, and aspiring filmmaker. Anya is also the founder of The Next Gen Come Up, a grassroots organization that encourages the youth to fight for social change through art and content creation.