Wawa Gatheru: Record-Breaking Black Academia, Championing Climate Justice and Representation

In the urgent fight against climate change, Wawa Gatheru emerges as a trailblazer, advocating for empathetic and inclusive climate communication. Born from her deep-rooted passion and fueled by her academic prowess and activist spirit, Gatheru’s journey embodies a commitment to creating a climate movement that reflects the diversity of our world.

Gatheru’s accolades speak volumes about her remarkable achievements and unwavering dedication to environmental advocacy. As the first Black person in history to receive the prestigious Rhodes, Truman, and Udall scholarships for her environmental scholarship and activism, Gatheru’s impact reverberates through academia and beyond.

At the forefront of her endeavors is the founding of Black Girl Environmentalist, a national organization dedicated to empowering Black girls, women, and non-binary individuals within the climate sector. Through this platform, Gatheru amplifies voices that have long been marginalized, fostering a more inclusive and representative environmental movement.

Her influence extends to the national stage, where she serves as an inaugural member of the National Environmental Youth Advisory Council of the US EPA, the first federal youth-led advisory board in US history. Additionally, as a Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis, Gatheru collaborates with The OpEd Project and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication to elevate climate discourse and awareness.

Gatheru’s impact is further magnified through her involvement in various boards and advisory councils, including EarthJustice, Climate Power, and the National Parks Conservation Association, among others. Her collaborative spirit and unwavering commitment to collective action have earned her recognition as a Forbes 30 under 30 recipient, a Young Changemaker at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, and a Climate Creator to Watch by Pique Action and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, among numerous other accolades.

Most notably, Gatheru graced the cover of VOGUE in January 2023 alongside Billie Eilish and seven other climate activists, symbolizing her pivotal role in shaping mainstream conversations on climate justice and representation. Through her tireless advocacy and transformative leadership, Wawa Gatheru inspires and mobilizes communities worldwide, igniting a movement that is as diverse and inclusive as the planet we strive to protect.


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