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Grist 50

Grist / Montana / Steve Eberhardt

These 5 Southerners are fixing up Dixie.

Researchers have found that climate change is hitting the South especially hard. Luckily, the region is churnin’ out fixers left and right. We interviewed some of them for the Grist 50 2018, our annual list of the biggest, baddest rising stars in the sustainability game.

  • Miami is slowly sinking into the sea, but Florida native Delaney Reynolds is a teenager with a plan. Her nonprofit, the Sink or Swim Project, shows young people how to push for climate change policy.
  • James Beard-nominated chef Cheetie Kumar is whipping up South Asian interpretations of southern food with local ingredients. She runs her own restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, and somehow still finds time to shred the guitar with her band.
  • Nathaniel Smith — nominated to the list by actor Mark Ruffalo — has a bold, new agenda for the South. He’s weaving together equity and environmental justice in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Activist Yudith Nieto isn’t afraid stand up to Big Oil. She takes people on “toxic tours” of Houston, Texas, showing how the industry has shaped her hometown.
  • Daniel Blackman is advising Georgia politicians, faith leaders, and business leaders on how to build an equitable green economy. Environmental justice champion Mustafa Santiago Ali calls him a “ball of focused energy.”

Hungry for more fixes? We got you.