Courtesy Sanetra Longo

Leah Thomas’ mother made sure she was surrounded by stories centering brown and Black voices throughout her childhood in St. Louis. But at college, and while working as a National Park Service ranger, the self-­proclaimed science nerd realized conversations about the environment and social justice didn’t always take into account how the issues overlapped. When Black Lives Matter protests erupted in 2020, she posted a call to action on Insta­gram that popularized the idea of “intersectional environmentalism.” Scientists echoed the words. Professors began lecturing on the topic. Thomas and her friends launched a resource hub to help everyone from the public to major brands rethink their approaches to sustainability. In the time since, she’s continued to build a coalition of educators and activists to further raise awareness—and uplift solutions. This includes launching a unique Black eco-­feminist summit in London this October. Her work addresses more than just injustices, she says: it also shows that “diversity and inclusion and environmentalism is very joyful.”

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