Courtesy Cecilia Martinez

As a leader in everything from international projects to grassroots organizing, Cecilia Martinez has dedicated her impressive career to a moral imperative: the pursuit of environmental justice and the inclusion of equity and justice in environmental policy.

Martinez has helped raise up the voices of communities that have been disproportionately harmed by toxic pollution and has advocated fiercely for policies to protect them. As I started to work on comprehensive environmental-justice legislation in the Senate, I turned to Martinez to provide critical insight on the cumulative impacts of pollution—when communities are subjected to many different toxins at once—that disproportionately harm communities of color, low-income communities and Indigenous communities.

Martinez’s indispensable work on behalf of communities that have long suffered from the burden of pollution has demonstrated that the fight for environmental justice is ultimately a movement for human dignity and for our collective future.

It is my hope that we summon the collective will to follow her lead.

Booker is a Democratic Senator from New Jersey

More Must-Reads From TIME