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Black History Month:
Centering Black Voices in Environmental Conservation & Justice

Black History Month is wrapping up, but we at Friends of the Rainforest continue to learn from and alongside Black environmentalists and activists year-round. We've created a short list of organizations and individuals that center Black voices in their sustainability work, whether in St. Louis or nationwide. Their Instagram or Twitter accounts are linked to the images below. We highly recommend following each and adding these amazing folks (and many more brilliant Black activists, creators and educators) to your feed! 

Outdoor Afro Logo (click for Instagram)
Intersectional Environmentalist Logo (click for Instagram)
National Black Environmental Justice Network logo (click for Twitter)
Black Girl Environmentalist Logo (click for Instagram)

Outdoor Afro is a leadership organization that facilitates outdoor experiences for Black individuals and families nationwide. 

The National Black Environmental Justice Network(NBEJN) is "a national coalition of environmental justice organizations and activists of African descent." NBEJN has been united in their fight for environmental justice since 1999.

Black Girl Environmentalist is an online community of Black women, girls, and non-binary folks to engage in environmentalism in an affirming space separate from mainstream environmentalism.

Alexis Nikole Nelson, aka Black Forager (click for Instagram)
Isra Hirsi (click for Instagram)
Rev. Roderick Burton (click for Twitter)
Tyrean Lewis (click for Instagram)

Alexis Nikole Nelson, better known online as Black Forager, teaches folks how to safely forage wild foods and shares why foraging as a Black woman is a revolutionary act.

Isra Hirsi is a young female Black Muslim environmentalist,  Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of the US Youth Climate Strike, and daughter of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Listen to her TEDx talk about finding her voice in climate and racial justice amidst her intersecting identities.

Rev. Roderick Burton is the pastor of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in North St. Louis. In 2019, he hosted a national summit called Green The Church that centered ongoing environmental justice work in majority-Black churches. He is featured in the 2019 report Environmental Racism in St. Louis.

Tyrean Lewis is the founder of Heru Urban Farming and on the Board of Slow Food Saint Louis. A 5th generation farmer, Lewis works to grow and distribute food in St. Louis neighborhoods affected by food apartheid - an issue affecting Black residents at twice the rate of white St. Louis residents.

The St. Louis area is rich in Black culture and history. Read about local BIPOC activistssupport local Black-owned businesses, or plan a museum trip with friends or family.


Looking for more teaching resources? We love The Conscious Kid, the Education Equity Center of STL, and Learning for Justice, to name just a few!


Everyone has a place in environmental work, but some spaces are designed to serve certain communities. Please be respectful of any events designed to hold space for specified groups (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, youth, etc.). 

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