2021 TIME100 Next
Landon Speers
By Gina McCarthy
February 17, 2021 6:55 AM EST

When the dark consequences of climate change engulf our discourse, I search for a light that shines on the opportunities and potential for the future. That’s why I turn to Ayana Elizabeth Johnson.

Ayana embodies and inspires optimism in the fight against climate change, injecting creativity, joy and hope into an issue that often feels dire. A marine biologist by trade, Ayana is a powerful force who has used her voice to ensure the climate movement encompasses a diversity of voices, especially women and people of color. As a co-founder of the All We Can Save Project, she has pulled chairs to the table, reached more voices and made sure everyone has a role to play in fighting climate change. And her scientific research has also proved that protecting our oceans and coral reefs is a pivotal piece of the climate crisis puzzle.

Ayana’s research, voice and impact have already made waves in the climate movement. She is a leader whose boundless potential has given me and so many others hope for an equitable, healthier and brighter future.

McCarthy is the White House national climate adviser and a former Environmental Protection Agency administrator

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