“We’ve been ignoring local weather change for over 50 years. And now we’re all at a degree the place nobody can ignore it,” said Clarke.
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For many years, Black and Indigenous youth have taken management roles on the entrance strains, organizing and mobilizing with teams devoted to local weather activism. Clarke is likely one of the founding members of Youth Vs. Apocalypse, a various group of local weather justice activists advocating for an equitable, sustainable atmosphere.
The inspiration of Clarke’s activism is rooted in each her household’s historical past of activism and her neighborhood’s wealthy historical past of resistance and social justice.
“One in every of my earliest reminiscences is listening to my grandpa inform me tales of his activism and his social justice work. I bear in mind he would inform me tales about burning his draft papers through the time of the Vietnam Struggle, and going to Guatemala and combating towards the tyranny that was occurring there, and happening South when he was in faculty to be part of the civil rights motion,” Clarke shared.
In 2017, 13-year-old Clarke, together with fellow youth activists, fashioned the Youth Vs Coal marketing campaign that took direct motion towards Phil Tagami, a land developer making an attempt to construct a coal terminal by way of West Oakland.
Understanding that setting up a coal terminal by way of West Oakland could be detrimental to the lives of working-class Black individuals, Clarke realized how impactful environmental racism is on the well being of her neighborhood.
By confronting Tagami’s plan, Clarke acknowledged the facility behind youth voices in reimagining and reconstructing a extra livable world.
Clarke’s Youth Vs Coal marketing campaign remodeled into what’s now generally known as Youth Vs. Apocalypse.
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“On the very core of our work is restoring humanity and easily claiming that nobody is disposable, that each one are worthy, and that we must always be capable to reside in a world the place everybody can thrive,” stated Clarke.
“As a way to try this, we’ve got to dismantle the issues which can be protecting us from that, the issues which can be protecting us all conditioned on this society, to harm one another, to take advantage of one another, and it has introduced us so far of fairly actually an apocalypse.”
In 2019, Clarke was invited to talk exterior of Senator Diane Feinstein’s workplace at a rally organized by the Dawn Motion.
“We have been coming to her as the following era who was saying, ‘Use your energy to go away us a greater world,'” Clarke stated.
Clarke made headlines after asking Sen. Feinstein to assist the Inexperienced New Deal. The viral pushback she obtained grew to become emblematic, growing the visibility of youth local weather activists.
By her intersectional activism, Clarke is addressing the foundation causes of the local weather disaster, together with white supremacy, colonialism, capitalism, and different techniques that middle on exploitation. Her ongoing work focuses on constructing a motion that positions the voices of Black, Indigenous, working-class individuals, and youth on the forefront, in the end combating for collective liberation.
“Collective liberation is about combating for all individuals to have the ability to thrive, and meaning actually recognizing and analyzing the best way wherein totally different teams of persons are oppressed, and having the ability to stand in solidarity with one another, and acknowledge that the work that every of us are doing is for one another,” Clarke stated.
“We’ve this actual alternative to do the work that our ancestors have been making an attempt to do endlessly, which is to dismantle that defective basis and construct one thing new as a replacement,” added Clarke.
“Are we going to rebuild it the identical method that it was constructed, which is inflicting the destruction of our planet and folks? Or, are we going to construct it again with justice and sustainability and fairness, in order that we are able to actually reside in a society that values life.”
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