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Wanjiku "Wawa" Gatheru

Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru

AFFILIATION: Black Girl Environmentalist

TITLE: Founder; Executive Director

LOCATION: Pennsylvania

LANGUAGE: English, Thai, Kikuyu

EXPERTISE AREA: Black/African-American Communities, Climate Change, Conservation, Deij, Environmental Education, Environmental Justice, Green Jobs/Economy, Just Transition, Sustainability, Youth


Wawa Gatheru is a GenZ climate activist and founder passionate about cultivating a climate movement that is made in the image of all of us. In 2019, Wawa made history as the first Black person in history to receive the Rhodes, Truman, and Udall scholarships. She is the founder and Executive Director of Black Girl Environmentalist, the only national organization dedicated to addressing the pipeline and pathway issue for Black girls, women, and gender expansive individuals in the climate sector.

She sits on boards and advisory councils for the Environmental Media Association, Climate Power, Sound Future, National Parks Conservation Association, and EarthJustice. Wawa is also an inaugural member of the National Environmental Youth Advisory Council of the US EPA – the first federal youth-led advisory council in US history. For her work, Wawa has been recognized as a Glamour College Woman of the Year, a Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, a Grist 50 fixer, a Young Futurist by The Root, a Climate Creator to Watch by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a Public Voices Fellow by Yale, and was featured on the January 2023 digital cover of Vogue alongside Billie Eilish and 7 other climate activists.


Contact Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru at

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