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  • Kaya Patel

Earth Month With Member Kaya Patel!

Throughout this past month, I have learned a lot about intersectional environmentalism through different events that I have organized at my school. In early April, my school hosted our third annual Eco Summit with the theme of water justice. At this event, we heard from speakers such as Indigenous activist Angeline Cheek from the Montana ACLU and Anthony Diaz from the Newark Water Coalition. These presentations along with our conversations in smaller breakout rooms and workshops highlighted the importance of water protection and the intersections between environmental health and public health. On Earth Day, our school environmental club called the Green & Blue Committee hosted Candi Brings Plenty who is a Two-Spirit Oglala Lakota Sioux and a water protector. Their presentation inspired me to think critically about the role of Indigenous people in the fight for environmental justice. Another project that I worked on at my school was a Day of Service focussed on environmental justice and environmental stewardship. We created pollinator gardens and mental and wellness garden with native plants on campus, conducted trail maintenance, set up bird and bat houses, set up an outdoor classroom by our pond, and planted fruits and vegetables to donate to local food pantries. Outside of school, I attended the Green Amendment Showcase from the coalition this week which was really inspiring as well.

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