My name is Cristal Cisneros and I am originally from Gary Indiana, a town with a history of environmental injustice. I use she, her, hers, ella pronouns and I am first generation Mexican and I love nature! I am currently working on my doctorate in Education focusing on environmental racism and environmental injustice and its impact on students of color.
You see I grew up with contaminated water and air I want change. We need to change to stop big corporations from intentionally poisoning communities of color. I am one of ten siblings who grew up harvesting the beautiful brown earth to feed not only our large family but also our hearts. Nature has a way of healing in the nourishing fresh produce it has to offer to the oxygen needed for our lungs to soft chirps of birds that help lull our chaotic life. Nature is medicina Environmental justice es en mi sangre. From the ancient Azteca days, Madre tierra days, the pre-Conquest days, our goddess tonantzin days, maker of moon and stars days, my ancestors worshiped her days.
For me developing an environmental justice curriculum for youth of color is not the only solution. We need aggressive climate action. Because, Rigoberta Mechu who in her last words stated “Our Mother Earth – militarized, fenced-in, poisoned, a place where basic rights are systematically violated – demands that we take action.”
Was then, is now, futuristically true.