With communities of color facing continuous environmental injustices, environmentalist, writer and poet Diandra Marizet is keeping this at the forefront of her social justice work. This is especially evident in her role as a co-founder and executive director at Intersectional Environmentalist (IE), a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering underserved communities with resources to shape the future of environmentalism that benefits the planet and generations to come. Keep reading to learn about Marizet’s approach to environmentalism and community-building.
How Marizet Got Her Start in Environmentalism
Marizet, a born-and-raised Texan, has channeled her enduring love for the environment into connecting with communities who share her commitment to sustainability in various fields, including fashion and agriculture. Through this, she realized there was a need to dig deeper and address how sustainability affects communities of color. Instead of relying on a big corporation to take action, Marizet, alongside environmentalists Leah Thomas and Kiana Kazemi, established IE in 2020, with a shared mission to enhance education and awareness regarding environmental justice.
Marizet’s Role at IE
As an executive director, Marizet’s role is overseeing the logistics and operations side of IE. This includes working with clients to thoughtfully and effectively carry out their clients’ environmental solutions.
In a 2021 interview, she noted that only offering environmental resources in English creates an accessibility issue when circulating the information among communities. “There’s this natural distrust of how to engage some of those benefits that are being distributed,” she said. “And so one of the things that we typically work on with clients is really effective community engagement for that trustful coalition building.”
Marizet added that IE emphasizes to their clients the importance of working with local environmental justice leaders before executing a project. “After you’ve built in an intentional timeline to invite more players to the table, who believe in it and have vetted it, it’s going to integrate into the community a lot more effectively than if you just make a single social media post and you’re like, ‘Hey, we’re a huge not-so-trusted institution or not-so-well-known institution. You can’t say we didn’t make a post about it,'” she explains.
Watch the clip of her presentation at The Ripple Center for more of her insights.
To keep up with Marizet’s work and upcoming projects, follow her on Instagram at @diandramarizet. Additionally, you can learn more about environmental justice and stay updated on the IE’s latest happenings via their Instagram (@intersectionalenvironmentalist) and website (intersectionalenvironmentalist.com).
Featured image credit: Photo by Riley Blanks Reed