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Andres Aguilar on the Future of the Environmental Movement

February 19, 2021

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Andres Aguilar

Andres Aguilar on the Future of the Environmental Movement

By Andres Aguilar, Defend our Future


Student Andres Aguilar writes a guest blog on the importance of having BIPOC at the table in leadership positions in the environmental field, and how his own life experiences cemented his passion for the environment. 

My interest in the environmental field is a recent development in my life. Growing up, I was always aware, but not conscious, of the environment around me; however, I was not interested in hearing about it. Much like other young people, I was more interested in what was personally happening to me. I was exposed to environmental issues for one major reason: my first-year dorm in college was sustainability themed. This meant that sustainability related projects could be found throughout the dorm. We had a community garden located on the roof of the building, which focused on sustainable gardening practices. This immersion into the world of sustainability set me on a path where I became increasingly passionate about the environmental field. 

What I learned as my passion developed was that more often than not, communities of color bear the brunt of climate change. A lack of representation in government coupled with the lack of diversity in the environmental field, are some of the reasons why communities of color suffer environmental injustices. This lack of diversity can be remedied by including communities of color in the movement and conversations. They are impacted the most and have an important perspective that needs to be recognized. In addition, there needs to be more people of color in leadership positions in order to ensure that these communities have a voice that accurately reflects their needs. Young people are also a key part of the environmental justice movement and many of us come from communities of color, and our voices are the future of this movement. 

I want to continue my education by attending law school in the future. I’d like to practice environmental law and address inequities for communities of color and ensure that we are represented at all levels of the environmental movement, so that true justice can happen for our communities. 

About Andres Aguilar 

Andres Aguilar is a third-year student at Arizona State University. He serves as a Campus Ambassador for Defend our Future. In this position he raises awareness of climate change issues through community workshops and engaging with state legislators to advocate for climate change policies. During quarantine he decided to adopt a kitten named Mango so now he is a cat owner.