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  • Writer's pictureConnor Gartin

Leah Thomas Moves Environmental Justice toward an Equitable Future with Social Media

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

Starting with the rise in racial equity over the past year, Leah Thomas made her two passions (Environmental Justice and Social Justice) into one massive explosion that makes a melting pot of diverse thinkers, researchers, and idea makers in fighting injustices.



Who is Leah Thomas?

Starting a platform that hubs resources for environmental justice, cultural identities, technology struggles, and intersectional theory is no easy task. With thousands of likes, comments, and views per day, Leah Thomas is the founder of The Intersectional Environmentalist Platform, a multimedia resource and education website that aims to bring the planet closer together. With a background in Environmental Science and Policy, an Instagram blog with over 227,000 followers, and multiple articles featured on sites such as Vogue, Leah’s qualifications help aggregate minority communities for the preservation of human rights.


What is “Intersectional Environmentalism”?

Coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor at Columbia University and the University of California, Los Angeles studying law, racial stances, and human rights, Intersectional Environmentalism is the

“inclusive form of environmentalism that advocates for the protection of all people and the planet. It identifies the ways in which injustices affecting marginalized communities and Mother Earth are interconnected”.

Leah utilizes Professor Kimberle’s theory to push for local and global change around the world.


Why Social Media?

Leah created Intersectional Environmentalist to promote underrepresented communities, such as BIPOC, to question whether what is happening around them is ethical for the land and people around them. Starting to spread the word on social media platforms like Instagram gives everybody, no matter their socioeconomic background, race, gender, or sexuality, the chance to help fight for two causes at the same time. It also gives a platform so people can collaborate, comment, and make innovations to fight climate change, support indigenous lands, and push for legislative support in U.S law. This can also give other groups, such as leaders in the STEM community, an increased chance to make a positive difference in the world through related Scientific and Technology fields. Through environmentalism, the individuals within STEM can unite to expand understanding and establish a more equitable, inclusive environment. Lastly, Intersectional Environmentalist gives off the impressive technique of leaving the reader with questions, such as what can I do to make a difference in my area? And who else can talk to that can help fight unfair injustices?


The Major Fight

While Leah Thomas has made progress in connecting people and the planet together, there is still a major bump in the road: accountability. In a letter to current U.S President Joe Biden, Leah details that the climate justice crisis is only getting worse and will continue to do so until certain conditions are met. These conditions include declaring a climate emergency, investing in BIPOC communities, and listening and working with grassroots activists to increase areas most affected by climate and environmental injustices. This likely uphill battle is being fought with a full team and council behind the Intersectional Environmentalist. Leah Thomas has her hands full in finding creative ways to fight climate and social inequities; however, she is ready for the daring tasks that come her way.


 

Sources

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Thomas , Leah. Intersectional Environmentalist, www.intersectionalenvironmentalist.com/.


Thomas, Leah. “Environmentalists for Black Lives Matter .” Instagram, 28 May 2020, www.instagram.com/p/CAvaxdRJRxu/?utm_medium=copy_link.


Thomas, Leah. “IE's Letter to President Biden.” Intersectional Environmentalist, Intersectional Environmentalist, 7 Apr. 2021, www.intersectionalenvironmentalist.com/press-releases/ie-letter-to-biden.

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