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Highlighting Powerful Young STEM Leaders for International Women’s Day

Young ladies protesting

Today, young leaders across the globe are standing up against the fossil fuel industry, demanding action on the climate crisis, and fighting for the health of their future. With the climate crisis continuing to face roadblocks and roundabout conversations, young leaders are speaking up in very visible ways. In celebration of International Women's Day, here is a look at a few young female leaders of our time.

Licypriya Kangujam

Licypriya Kangujam, an Indian climate activist, began her campaign for climate action at the age of seven, emerging as one of the world's youngest climate activists. Since then, she has tirelessly advocated for policy changes and raised awareness about the urgent need to address climate change. She innovated a wearable plant called SUKIFU (Survival Kit for the Future) from recycled materials to draw attention to India's growing air pollution and demonstrated it in front of the Punjab and Haryana Legislative Assembly House. Licypriya's activism gained international recognition when she addressed world leaders at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid, urging immediate climate action. She continues to campaign for stronger climate legislation in India and advocates for climate-change literacy to be mandatory in schools.

Climate Strike

Jamie Margolin

Jamie Margolin, a Colombian-American climate activist based in Seattle, Washington, co-founded the youth-led climate organization Zero Hour. She has played a pivotal role in organizing protests, advocating for climate policy, and empowering young people to take action. Jamie is passionate about environmental justice driving her commitment to fighting for marginalized communities and protecting the Pacific Northwest from the devastating effects of climate change. She founded Zero Hour in 2017 in response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and her personal experience during the 2017 Washington wildfires. Jamie has also served as a plaintiff in lawsuits against the state of Washington for its alleged inaction on climate change, and she testified before the United States House of Representatives on the global climate crisis alongside Greta Thunberg in 2019. She is also an accomplished writer, with her work appearing in publications such as HuffPost, Teen Ink, and CNN. In 2020, Margolin published her debut book, "Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It," offering a guide to changemaking through activism.

Here is an excerpt from some of her writing, 
"The Day We Save Ourselves From Ourselves:" 
"Right now in the climate crisis, there is terror and existential dread. But with that also comes a huge purpose: this is zero hour. In other words, it's the only chance we will ever have to save ourselves. This means that the lives of everyone alive right now have more meaning and purpose than those of anyone who have ever been alive in any other time in history. Why? 
Because this is the last generation that will be able to do something about climate change."
Youth Climate March

Mari Copeny (Little Miss Flint) 

Mari Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, is a prominent American youth activist hailing from Flint, Michigan. Initially gaining recognition for her advocacy for clean water in Flint, Mari has expanded her activism to include climate advocacy, speaking out on issues such as environmental justice and climate change. Born July 6, 2007, Mari came into the public eye when her letter to President Obama about the water crisis prompted his visit to the city, ultimately leading to $100 million in relief for Flint. Despite her young age, Mari has made a significant impact on the conversation surrounding environmental racism, confronting the nation with the realities faced by victims of negligence. She continues to advocate for her community by raising funds, distributing resources, and partnering with organizations to address the ongoing crisis. Mari has also served as a national youth ambassador for events such as the Women's March on Washington and the National Climate March, while actively supporting anti-bullying initiatives and youth organizations. Her dedication to activism has garnered widespread recognition and support, making her a powerful voice for change.

These contributions of young female climate activists exemplify the intersectionality of gender equality and environmental justice. Through their innovative approaches and relentless advocacy these activists are driving transformative change in the fight against climate change. Their voices resonate globally, inspiring communities to prioritize sustainability, equity, and collective action. As we celebrate International Women's Day, let us recognize and amplify the invaluable role of these young trailblazers, empowering them to continue leading the charge toward a more resilient and equitable future for all.

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