Roshan is a current senior at the University of Washington studying German, sociology, and mathematics. Roshan is particularly excited by Our Climate’s investment in young leaders, as she is firmly rooted in the belief that Generation Z will truly change the world.
The dinner table was sacred in my house growing up. Our dinner ritual was old school- no technology, and no excuses to leave early from the table. My family’s political discussions over these shared meals are some of the first moments where I began developing my own sense of both the world and where my identity fell within it. Since my parents have each had vastly different upbringings from myself and each other, these conversations were important not only for informing myself of other perspectives, but for appreciating the unique lens they each bring.
Now that my immediate social network currently consists of mostly other college students from my own university, I often find myself missing those rich multi-generational discussions. That’s why I was thrilled at the opportunity to speak with Andrés Jimenez on an episode of “Is it Hot Enough for Ya?”- a weekly Our Climate vlog which features multigenerational conversations about climate change, activism, and climate change’s disproportionate effect on communities of color.
Andrés is the current director of Green 2.0, an organization which works tirelessly to increase diversity and representation of POC among environmental organizations. Although it can always be slightly intimidating to speak to someone with more experience, I quickly found that it did not matter that Andres was older and I younger. Nor did it matter that he was an executive director and I was a college student in the beginnings of my climate justice journey. We found connections in our shared passion of climate justice, and gained unique insights from each other wherever we diverged in our experiences.
Interestingly enough, this dynamic of our conversation highlighted the very topic that Andrés and I sat down to discuss: the importance of diversity and inclusion. Simply put, when voices from diverse backgrounds are included at the decision-making table, the strengths of their diverse perspectives are combined. Since it is communities of color who are disproportionately experiencing the disastrous effects of extreme weather, it is even more imperative they are ensured fair inclusion in the fight for environmental justice. Just as Andrés and I brought our own unique insights into our “Is it Hot Enough for Ya?” conversation, individuals from these affected communities will bring theirs, ensuring that the specific needs of each community that environmental organizations seek to serve will be met. As Andrés noted in our talk, greater diversity will not only bring better representation into environmental policies, but it will also attract the talent and creativity that these historically excluded voices bring with them. And with all of our combined voices working together, I believe that the climate movement will have no bounds to what it will achieve. It was truly inspiring to speak with Andrés and to be a part of an organization like Our Climate which emphasizes inclusion of all backgrounds.
You can watch a recording of Roshan and Andres’ conversation here.