On Saturday, May 2, I had the honor of representing Intersections International at the World Conference 2020: Youth Assembly. Over 300 participants tuned in from around the world to partake in an electric, youth-led conversation on nuclear war, climate change, the COVID pandemic and racial and economic justice. The conversation highlighted some of the ways in which these issues intersect and impact one another with the hopes of creating a movement that is deeply rooted in cross-sectoral collaboration, knowledge sharing and collective action. A recording of the event can be found here.
A common thread throughout the discussion was the need to protect the most vulnerable. In regards to climate change, I outlined how the rise in extreme weather, such as the hurricanes and recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico, have only further marginalized LGBT, elderly and homeless populations living on the island. As I was sharing the work of our partner Waves Ahead, who is providing fundamental resources to these communities, another catastrophic earthquake hit Puerto Rico early Saturday morning causing more devastation, long-lasting trauma and mental health issues for so many people. This emphasizes the dire need to continue making the direct link between issues like climate change and racial and economic justice.