Txai Suruí
Gabi Di Bella

Txai Suruí already has the kind of credentials accumulated across a lifetime of advocacy. A member of the Paiter Suruí Indigenous community in Brazil, the 26-year-old activist founded the Indigenous Youth Movement of Rondônia, which rallies young people in her state, and coordinates the Associação de Defesa Etnoambiental—Kanindé, a community organization that has worked with Indigenous people for over 30 years. Suruí also was the first woman in her community to obtain a law degree, which she used, with peers, to sue the Brazilian government for defaulting on its emissions commitments under the Paris Agreement. With the help of cameras, drones, and GPS technology, she works with her community to monitor land invasions and improve accountability. Suruí says that defending human rights entails protecting the rights and lands of Indigenous peoples: “We are children of Mother Earth. We are proposing solutions to postpone the end of the world.”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Armani Syed at armani.syed@time.com.

Jalen Hurts
Ice Spice
Rachel Zegler
Paul Mescal
David Moinina Sengeh
5 stories