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Welcome to our blog!

February 19, 2021

Chandler Johnson

BLOG / BLOG POST

Chandler Johnson

Welcome to our blog!

By Chandler Johnson


We’re excited to kick off this new feature by featuring our fellow, Chandler Johnson. She will be guest blogging and interviewing leaders in the environmental movement. Stay tuned!

For now, get to know Chandler and how climate change has made an impact on her life.

Welcome! I’m Chandler, a current fellow at Green 2.0 and I’m excited to work on this blog series that focuses on diversity, inclusion and equity in the environmental movement. Since college I have been interested in working in the environmental movement, but it was actually an experience at a much younger age that cemented my future passion. I moved from Denver, CO to Charlotte, NC as a child, and then again to Washington D.C. after graduating from high school. As I made the cross country move, I was most worried about the time difference or cultural differences, but for me, the most challenging change was the climate.  Coming from a surprisingly dry climate with extreme seasonal swings, to a more stable climate with high humidity, was a big lifestyle adjustment for me and increased my awareness of how big of an impact climate can have on daily life. 

As a first-year student at Howard University, my interest in natural sciences led me to study biology. Like many incoming first-year students, my original goal was to pursue a pre-medicine major, and transition into optometry school after completing my undergraduate degree. Howard granted me the unique experience to share the same aspirations with people who looked like me with diverse backgrounds and cultures. During my second year in school I selected plant diversity as an elective and that’s where my true passion for the environment blossomed. The biodiversity of plants and their effect on agriculture, climate moderation, and modern medicine ignited a new passion that I hadn’t felt before. I began to shift my focus to environmental science, but throughout my studies I became startled by the research showing the lack of accessibility marginalized communities have to healthful environments. Studies have shown that climate change is disproportionately affecting communities of color due to environmental hazards such as higher exposures to things like air pollution, toxic waste, and landfills. I wanted to advocate for the environment while also representing vulnerable communities like mine so I started interning with climate change organizations and impact investment corporations. The knowledge, experience, and networking opportunities I gained in these roles were incredible, but I noticed one key component that differed from my experience at Howard – a lack of racial diversity. 

This is what led me to Green 2.0; its mission is to ensure that the people most impacted by environmental issues are represented in positions of power. It is now more important than ever that BIPOC are not only a part of the environmental movement, but leaders for change. At Green 2.0, we believe in not only creating spaces for diverse voices, but amplifying them. Our focus with the guest blog series is to have transparent conversations and discuss the importance of diversity, inclusion, equity, and organizational transparency with key leaders in the environmental movement.  Embark on this new journey with us as we hear the stories of leaders who have done intentional work to create more just and inclusive organizations and workplaces.