Harvard event for high schoolers includes 'Queer Brown Vegan,' 'climate storyteller'

The summit hosted 85 high school students attending from both within and outside the United States at The T.H Chan School of Public Health Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment

Over three dozen experts attended the summit including a "climate media creator," a "climate storyteller," and two contributors to a climate activist group for Black women.

Harvard hosted its third annual Youth Summit on Climate, Equity, and Health on August 1, aiming to train high school students on combating climate change.

“Young people care deeply about social justice and climate change,” Harvard stated in a press release for the inaugural summit in 2021. The summits are “designed to channel this energy, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, encourage solution-minded thinking, and give young people a platform to make their communities healthier and more equitable.” 

This year’s summit hosted 85 high school students from the U.S. and abroad at The T.H Chan School of Public Health Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (Chan C-CHANGE). The event was offered to high schoolers through a partnership with Putney Pre-College to provide scholarships to attendees.

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Chan C-CHANGE hosted speakers, workshops, and additional activities for students to focus on “topics such as environmental justice, policy and advocacy, and climate communications.”

Over three dozen experts attended the summit including “climate media creator”, Isaias Hernandez founder of  “Queer Brown Vegan” whose most recent talking points include ‘Queer Ecology’, ‘The Issue With White Veganism & White Supremacy’, and ‘Environmental Racism’, as listed on his website.

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His mission is “to represent the diversity of the environmental movement after recognizing that…there’s not that many queer people of color that are…doing environmental work,” Hernandez told Campus Reform. His session consisted of teaching students how to use digital media to enact change in their communities.

Hernandez explained that the 2023 annual Youth Summit was a success and that the students left inspired to lead the future generation on the “environmental justice tract”. 

Additional speakers to the panel include Wawa Gatheru, and Arielle V. King, contributors to Black Girl Environmentalist, a nonprofit “dedicated to empowering Black girls, women, and non-binary people” who are involved in climate activism.

Samuel Rubin, a “climate storyteller” and co-founder of Yea! Impact, also spoke to high schoolers at the Harvard Summit. The “social impact agency” focuses on “issue areas like climate justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, mental health,” and more.

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.