In the final countdown to 2021, we’re taking a minute to look back on a year that’s been like no other. We asked Fix staff to share their favorite stories from the 2020 archive and to reflect on what made these pieces special. Whether it’s because they brought a hint of optimism to an otherwise grim year or because they taught us a little something new, these are the stories that stuck with us in 2020. We hope you’ll enjoy this highlight reel of hope while stuck inside this winter (unless you’re lying on a beach somewhere, in which case … jealous!).

Meet the Rapper-Turned-Restaurateur Bringing Beats (But Not Meats) to the East Bay

By Adrienne Day

Courtesy of Vegan Mob

“I choose this profile of Oakland artist and vegan chef Toriano Gordon. It’s always great to read about chefs and restaurateurs doing creative things with plant-based proteins. Plus, the music video is fire.” — Andrew Simon, director of leadership programming

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Why Racial Justice Is Climate Justice

By Claire E. Thompson

Grist / Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

“If I have to choose just one, my favorite story is this feature on why climate justice is racial justice. It hearkens back to the history of environmental justice — which is environmental racism — and drives home the need to address these issues systemically. I love how the voices featured in this piece honor the elders of the EJ movement, but they are the new leaders carrying it forward.” — Lisa Garcia, Fix director

Meet the Young Lawmakers Crossing Party Lines for a Green Future

By Scott Shigeoka

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Courtesy of Millennial Action Project

“We’re barely on the other side of the most divisive presidential election in my voting lifetime, and this has just been an all-around garbage year in general. So I was happy to revisit a story about two young Iowa lawmakers (one a Democrat, the other a Republican) who are working together on climate solutions in their state. It gives me hope for a more progressive future — one in which the notion of ‘progressive’ is used to unite, not divide.” — Jaime Buerger, managing editor

How Indigenous Land Victories Can Cool a Warming Planet

By Kynan Tegar

Borneo landscape

Kynan Tegar

“My pick is a piece by 15-year-old photographer and filmmaker Kynan Tegar, about the movement to restore land ownership to Indigenous people and the victory of his own community in the forests of Indonesian Borneo. It’s a story with lots of fantastic visuals and a happy ending!” — Jennifer Block, opinions editor

Welcome to the Feminist Climate Renaissance

By Brianna Baker

“This roundup on climate feminism was my favorite to work on. Everyone I talked to had such beautiful insights, and managed to speak to one core theme in different and unexpected ways. The concept of healing the world with femininity is one I haven’t stopped thinking about since I wrote it — and I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say it’s changed my life.” — Brianna Baker, climate solutions fellow

Returning the Land

By Claire E. Thompson


Willi White

“This story on the Indigenous landback movement is a fascinating and thought-provoking exploration of a topic I was utterly unaware of, passionately explained by the people directly involved in the effort.” — Chuck Squatriglia, freelance editor

Growing Hope

By Anna Deen

“I can’t get enough of this story about gardens designed by prisoners in solitary confinement. Such inspiring work at an intersection that doesn’t seem immediately obvious — urban gardening and prison reform. It’s a compelling read, and the artwork is stunning.” — Claire Thompson, associate editor

COVID, Climate, and Equitable Spaces: Why Outdoor Learning Is More Essential Than Ever

By Adrienne Day

Outdoor classroom during covid

Viktorcvetkovic / Getty Images

“I loved highlighting Sharon Danks in this story about outdoor education. I chose her because she is actually achieving what she set out to achieve: helping move education outdoors and fighting climate change in the process. You can’t fix anything systemic without addressing policy, supported by research and education. Her organization, Green Schoolyards America, does all these things.” — Adrienne Day, Fix contributor

21 Predictions for 2021

By Fix staff

“I liked the 21 predictions list. It’s a big shot of hope at the end of an incredibly difficult year!” — Kat McGowan, freelance editor

Reporting by Anna Deen