This Young Climate Activist Seeks to Make a Better World

Mishka Banuri has been involved in climate activism since she was 15. As she learned about how climate change disproportionately affects some communities, she realized that she wanted to do something to help. Now, she educates other young people about climate justice.

“I think it’s so important to continue fighting for future generations, always,” Mishka shares. “We need nature to keep surviving.”

Video Transcript

Meet Mishka: climate activist

Mishka Banuri: We live in a society where money is put before the lives and health of people. Environmentally, people’s backyards and communities are being desecrated. Their cultures are being ripped away from them. Their bodies are being polluted by chemicals and bad air that they never consented to.

Since I was 15, I’ve been passionate about climate justice. I got involved in a leadership position at an organization that prides itself in educating other young people.

Mishka empowers youth to advocate for climate justice in their communities.

[leading a group in an exercise] … and then hug, love yourselves.

Speaker 2, off-screen: Shake the money tree. 

Mishka: Shake the money tree. 

(group laughing)

[Speaking to group] Something that we were thinking about before we even came to the summit, which is something that y’all can think about, is using our…

It was such an important space for me, and I wanted to make sure that that was available for everyone else. Climate justice is the idea that some folks, based off of their identity and location, are impacted more by extraction and climate impacts than others. So, primarily, indigenous black and brown poor communities are impacted way more than white wealthy communities. It’s important to put them at the very forefront of this fight because they know what they need, and they have been fighting for the solutions for a lot longer than the rest of us.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was in a car accident and got a traumatic brain injury from it, and that led to being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My therapist, she would end with making me find a certain space in my mind where I can go to ground myself and calm myself down, and it was often with the aspen trees where I would find that space. It’s always a space where I would feel safe in my own mind.

People have a lot of trauma and are not connected to nature. That’s one of the main reasons why I think it’s so important to continue fighting for future generations, always. We need nature to keep surviving.

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