What happens when you put climate and justice leaders in a room with their greatest mentor? Deep, inspiring conversations on what mentorship means, on the power of relationships, and on what it takes to sustain a passion for changing the world. For the second season of Fix’s Temperature Check podcast, we asked six climate leaders to tell us their greatest mentors — the people whose influence and guidance have impacted what they do and why they do it. Then we invited the pairs to come together and discuss their relationship — to the work and to each other. (Learn more.)
This audio story is part of Fix’s Mentorship Issue exploring the unique ways climate leaders found their calling, and how new approaches to mentorship are upending old power structures. Check out the full issue here.
Activist and hip hop artist Xiuhtezcatl and Josué Rivas, a photographer and visual storyteller
Xiuhtezcatl was an aspiring hip hop artist when he met Josué, a photographer. The two have collaborated ever since, documenting the stories of Indigenous communities through powerful lyrics and images. Read the transcript.
Leah Thomas, founder of Intersectional Environmentalist, and Teresa Baker, founder of the African American National Park Event
“When you don’t consider the nuances [among groups of people], it can be really harmful,” says Leah, who founded Intersectional Environmentalist to do exactly that. She speaks with her friend and mentor Teresa, who serves on IE’s council. Read the transcript.
Environmental influencer and drag queen Pattie Gonia and Spencer R. Scott, a science writer and the owner of a queer-run agricultural community space
Bringing as many people as possible into the environmental movement is the goal for both Pattie and Spencer. And the best, most inclusive way to do that? “Collaboration, community, and joy.” Read the transcript.
Herpetologist and science communicator Earyn McGee and Tien Nguyen, a science journalist
Earyn and Tien bonded over their experiences as women of color in STEM and finding their paths from academia to media. Says Tien, “This industry needs our stories.” Read the transcript.
NDN Collective’s Jade Begay and Eriel Tchekwie Deranger of Indigenous Climate Action
For these Indigenous women, mentorship is “less about teaching skills and more about welcoming in.” Here, they talk about the consequences of holding in trauma, and the relief that comes from sharing it with their communities. Read the transcript.
The power brokers
Valencia Gunder of the Red Black and Green New Deal, and Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, CEO of Environmental Grantmakers Association
Valencia and Tamara are dedicated to improving the lives of those facing unjust conditions in frontline communities. They discuss how to build coalitions and work the levers of policy to combat environmental racism. Read the transcript.