This week of Black History Month, we highlighted Black creators involved in sustainability and impactful living! We stuck to the industry in which we are a part of, because it's important to broaden horizons even within the topics that you are already interested. Check out these influencers who are truly making significant change!
Leah Thomas: Intersectional Environmentalism
Leah Thomas is an eco-creative & communicator, focusing on the intersectionality of environmentalism (IE)! She is paving roads & making waves in the sustainability realm. Learn more about her background:
While studying environmentalism in college, IE founder Leah Thomas recognized the erasure of oppressed communities resulting from a white-washed environmental narrative. Simultaneously, mainstream media began discussing a more inclusive version of feminism using the idea of ‘intersectionality’, a term coined by lawyer + professor Kimberlé Crenshaw. As a Black woman in the environmental movement, Leah was inspired to focus her efforts on a new study: intersectional environmentalism. This more inclusive perspective of sustainability recognized the intersectionality of social justice + sustainability.
In May 2020, following the murder of George Floyd, Leah called on the environmental community to make a pledge to Black lives and commit to a journey of intersectional advocacy that would amplify silenced voices. The post went viral, and the online sustainability community began looking for spaces to listen to and amplify these silenced voices.
Blair Imani: Historian & Educator
Blair Imani is a critically-acclaimed historian, social activist, public speaker, educator and influencer. She is the author of two historical books Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History (2018) and Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream (2020). The New York Times praises Blair Imani’s unique “brand combining progressive lessons with vibrant visuals and a perky, quirky delivery.” Her work centers women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQ community.
Blair Imani educates using a variety of social media platforms (Youtube, Instagram, TikTok) in addition to speaking at universities and organizations around the world. She serves on the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation, and Muslims for Progressive Values.
Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Blair Imani attended Louisiana State University where, in 2014, she founded Equality for HER, a non-profit organization that provided resources and a forum for women and nonbinary people to feel empowered. Her fearless leadership took her to the front lines of anti police violence protests and, following her arrest at the protests of Alton Sterling’s murder in Baton Rouge, Blair began building a platform and social media presence to organize and create awareness about injustices in Black, LGBTQ+, and Muslim communities.
Following her meteoric rise to prominence during the uprisings of 2020, Blair Imani was profiled by The New York Times to discuss her daily routine as a historian, social activist, and influencer. A highly sought-after public speaker, Blair Imani has appeared on FOX News (“Tucker Carlson Tonight”) and MSNBC (“The Point”), presented at colleges and universities (including Harvard, Yale, and Brown), spoken at progressive conferences around the world, and has delivered powerful talks and speeches for organizations that include GLAAD, TEDx, and LoveLoud.
Her viral TEDxBoulder talk, “Queer & Muslim: Nothing to Reconcile”, has sparked important discourse about the intersection of the two identities. In 2019, she was proudly featured in New York City Pride’s campaign honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. From the United States to Germany, Kenya, and the United Kingdom, Blair Imani has inspired audiences around the world.
As an Influencer and historian, semi-retired organizer, and public speaker, Blair Imani is dedicated to making the world a better place and amplifying the voices and work of those fighting the good fight.
Ijeoma Oluo: Author
Ijeoma Oluo is a Seattle-based writer, speaker, and Internet Yeller. She’s the author of the New York Times Best-Seller So You Want to Talk About Race, published in January by Seal Press. Named one of the The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2017, one of the Most Influential People in Seattle by Seattle Magazine, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Seattle by Seattle Met, and winner of the of the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award by the American Humanist Society, Oluo’s work focuses primarily on issues of race and identity, feminism, social and mental health, social justice, the arts, and personal essay. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, NBC News, Elle Magazine, TIME, The Stranger, and the Guardian, among other outlets.
She is known for her ability to start hard conversations, and make those conversations informative and productive. Many are drawn to her topics because she is willing to be open, honest, and upfront about things that most try so hard to avoid. There's no time to avoid these issues, but rather confront them and move forward in a positive manner. Check out her work here:
"So You Want To Fight White Supremacy" The Establishment
"He's Not Really Here" Hazlitt
Social sustainability is all about equality and treating people fairly. Make conscious decisions to diversify the media you are exposed to!