Every year, Fix recognizes 50 individuals — emerging leaders who are making big changes or advancing bold visions that bring us closer to a cleaner, greener, more just future. We call them Fixers, and we think everyone who’s been honored on the Grist 50 list is someone whose work, passion, and ideas can inspire us all.
But we also know that the efforts of one individual don’t make up the full story. Those people are worth recognizing, but so are the many others that helped them in their journey. No one does this work alone.
It’s our relationships that support us and build us up and inspire us. It’s role models and elders and friends who help us find our own paths, keep us on them when things are hard, and give us hope when things look dark.
That’s why we wanted to explore the power of mentorship in climate and justice work.
In Season Two of our Temperature Check podcast, six climate and justice leaders join their mentors for a series of intimate, insightful conversations about what it takes to work on the front lines of the climate fight. You’ll hear conversations about the emotional toll it can take to be a constant voice for change; the boundaries activists struggle to set around how much of themselves to give; and the challenges environmentalists of color have faced in finding spaces that support them. And they share the ways in which these mentor relationships have helped foster purpose, passion, and even enjoyment in the fight for climate justice.
Throughout the rest of the issue, we explore the many ways knowledge is passed between generations and how traditional approaches to mentorship are changing. For example, what happens when the younger generation refuses to wait for its elders to act? Or when Indigenous knowledge practices are upended?
And we explore the limitations of traditional mentorship — ways in which the power structures it supports are limiting and exclusionary, and how our ideas of mentorship must change to make climate and justice work a space for everyone.
The future of mentorship is more inclusive and accessible. It expands the climate and justice space to make more voices heard. It also creates new and exciting opportunities to find a mentor in places like the local university, a favorite cartoon, or even your plants.
Climate and justice work is not a solo mission. Join us in exploring the relationships that make it possible.