Gen Z Activists On What's At Stake: 'The Climate Crisis Doesn't Effect Us All Equally'
Members of Generation Z are some of the most passionate believers when it comes to fighting for action on social justice, but also on climate change. It’s partly because some feel the causes they care about are deeply connected.
That’s what teenage climate justice activists Jayola Reid and Jade Lozada of New York City think. Both have embraced their own personal stories to fight for progressive change to protect the environment.
They join host Tonya Mosley to share some lessons they’ve learned along the way.
The Worst Crime
By Jade Lozada
The worst crime I know men have committed is to turn nature into an oppressor.
I tend land; concrete gorges in Earth, pillared steel and brick,
burdenless and guiltless below its sky — the first witness and
last native to this island
at the joint of the ocean’s palm and the Hudson’s stretch
into us. An exodus from the diaspora for sins
of skin darkening for lack of sun and barren pockets.
Somewhere, we search for home. So we bleed joy into summers
enclosed in our beating heart labyrinthine barrios.
The croon of a singer who never kissed his mother’s land goodbye
laces and tangles treetops in the night,
glides into the southern current of the sea,
waters the pores of my concrete.
Cascading lyrics from our windows return
in lush plátano leaves on the sill.
When our words melt into English arroyos,
pavement, that mutilation of Manhattan island,
breaks open nature’s bounty: Grotesque, undulating heat
reverberates from asphalt, ricochets off brick
into the heartbeat of car stereos;
Diesel clouds halo above us;
Toxins pumped from Earth’s troves poison our breath.
Of their sear on our skin, their imprint on our lungs,
their toil in digging deep graves for early deaths.
Here lies the fate of the first natives:
To be mutilated as someone’s ancestors
mutilated Manahatta — razing forest,
burying water with families,
forcing brown bodies thereafter
to swallow oceans in order to taste home.
This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration of more than 400 news outlets committed to better coverage of the climate crisis. This year’s theme is “living through the climate crisis.”
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
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