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Wanjiku “Wawa”  Gatheru

Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru

Environmental Justice Warrior, Rhodes Scholar & Founder of Black Girl Environmentalist


Wanjiku "Wawa" Gatheru is an environmental justice advocate, writer and current graduate student at the University of Oxford. She is a first generation American of Kenyan descent and the first Black person in history to receive the Rhodes, Truman and Udall Scholarships. Read More >

The founder of the organization Black Girl Environmentalist, Wawa is motivated to uplift the voices of those most adversely impacted by environmental inequities through changing conservations. For her work in collaboration with other activists and thought leaders, Wawa has been recognized as a 2020 Young Futurist by The Root, a 2020 Grist 50 FIXER, a 2020 Glamour College Woman of the Year and has spoken on her work across the country. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

How Generation Z Is Saving the Planet | The 2020 MAKERS Conference

Future Earth "Climate Talk" with Kendall Jenner

Wawa Gatheru X Mark Ruffalo Instagram Live

Speech Topics

Finding Your Climate Story

Stories have the power to build empathy, compel action and cultivate community. In the face of the climate crisis, climate storytelling is one of the most important tools to effectively communicate climate realities and create sustainable solutions. However, the climate stories we most often hear are often inaccessible and include only a select few. In this talk, Wawa speaks on the importance of climate storytelling as a method of climate action, shares how she discovered her own, and guides the audience towards developing their own climate story.

Rehearsing Revolution: The Path to a Truly Just Climate Future

To address the scale and scope of the climate crisis, the world requires a mass upheaval. Many have taken to the street or the courts to demand change and restructure the world for the better. But these are not the only methods to participate. In this talk, Wawa discusses the opportunity we all have to rehearse revolution in our everyday lives, starting with our own relationships and communities.

Reclaiming Our Time: A New Climate Agenda

Around the world, communities of color bear an even heavier burden from the impacts of climate change because of the historic and continuing impacts of colonialism, racism, and inequality. However, communities of color - especially Black and Indigenous communities - have often been sidelined and left out of sustainability discourse. It’s time to flip the script and reframe the climate crisis as a fight for us all. In this talk, Wawa addresses the racist roots of the environmental movement and unveils the decades long contributions communities of color have had in the environmental movement. Sharing the stories of communities of color fighting for a just climate future, she speaks on the need for a new climate agenda that can develop a climate movement made in the image of all of us.