More about the Intersectional Environmentalist

Meet the Environmentalists

Leah Thomas sits on a bench in the shade, smiling at the camera. It is a sunny day, with plants in the background.

Leah Thomas is a celebrated environmentalist based in Santa Barbara, CA. Coining the term ‘eco-communicator’ to describe her style of environmental activism, Leah uses her passion for writing and creativity to explore and advocate for the critical yet often overlooked relationship between social justice and environmentalism. With this intersection in mind, Leah founded and launched Intersectional Environmentalist in 2020, a resource hub and platform that aims to advocate for environmental justice, provide educational resources surrounding intersectional environmentalism, and promote inclusivity and accessibility within environmental education and movements.

Leah’s book The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet published March 8, 2022. Her writing has also appeared in a variety of publications, including Vogue, Elle, Marie Claireand Highsnobiety,and she has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, ABC News Live, Domino, GOOP, and numerous podcasts.

"We hope to empower + instill joy in people of color and historically excluded communities by amplifying the incredible legacies of diverse people in the environmental space throughout history and in the present - because we believe with representation, and an understanding that they have always been part of environmental history, we’ll empower a new generation of environmentalists and reshape the future of environmentalism to one that is rooted in equity and inclusion. We seek to bridge the understanding gap and provide accessible educational resources for those who want to learn and guidance and direction for organizations looking to shift their narrative. We are also movement connectors, leading people to initiatives and organizations they can support in their local community" -The Intersectional Environmentalist Mission


Intersectional environmentalist The Common Experience

Highlighted Podcasts and Videos

UCLA's Common Experience has a history of selecting titles that resonate deeply with current issues, in order to inspire our community to take relevant and impactful action. This year's Common Experience selection, The Intersectional Environmentalist, is no different in that many of its rich themes are rooted in critical social, political, and economic issues.

Intersectional History of Environmentalism
Leah Thomas is joined by Intersectional Environmentalist's Media House Creative Lead Simrah Farrukh and Environmental Justice researcher Lexi Hernandez in a conversation on how their respective journeys in environmental activism began, the initiatives they spearhead, and their future plans for intersectional environmentalism.

How IE Started, A Word From Our Founders ft. Diandra Marizet + Sabs Katz
Leah Thomas debriefs the early beginnings of The Intersectional Environmentalist with IE cofounders, Diandra Marizet and Sabs Katz. They explore how Instagram gave them a platform to form their eco community, tips and tricks to leading a career within the environmental sustainability, and more as they take a moment to reflect on their shared journeys.

Nature is For Everyone: Equity in the Outdoors
It has long been held that nature, and time spent within it, is a key aspect of self-care and wellness. In our fight for social justice and equity, it's important to consider how natural spaces should be a resource available for all. This episode of "The Joy Report" sheds light on the organizations and leaders leading the charge for equity and inclusion in the outdoors.

LYC "The Intersectional Environmentalist" Book Talk with Leah Thomas
An introduction to the intersections of environmentalism, power, privilege, and global social justice, Columbia Riverkeeper hosts a virtual book tour even with Leah Thomas to discuss her new book, The Intersectional Environmentalist. This video covers topics and themes discussed within the book, including intersectionality, cultural contexts, environmental policy, and staying positive in advocacy.

What is Intersectionality? (Kimberlé Crenshaw, Applying it to Environmentalism, + the Start of IE)
One of the core tenants of intersectional environmentalism, "intersectionality" is a term coined in 1989 by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how race, gender, class, and other pieces of identity "intersect", interact, and manifest in our lives. Watch this video to learn more about the topic, the author, and how it connects with environmentalism.

Intersectional Environmentalism : Local and Beyond

Below, you will find categorized opportunities for you to take your climate activism beyond the boundaries of Westwood. As Bruins and as scholar practitioners, we have an obligation to justly contribute to building a greater tomorrow. Check out these resources to see how you can participate in making our Earth a healthier and more inclusive home!

Please understand that the categories these organizations are put in is for convenience reasons only -  all of these groups have a variety of lenses and perspectives in which they intersect and is not to try and categorize or limit the scope of their work 

Intersecting with LGBTQ2+

Queer Brown Vegan

Founded by Isaias Hernandez, a Latinx queer environmentalist advocating for more diverse perspectives to be brought to conversations on sustainability through new lenses like queer ecology. 

Queer Nature

“Queer nature is a project characterized by nature-based education and critical naturalist studies in Northwestern U.S. and Intermountain West”(Queer Nature). 

Intersecting with Racial Justice

Brown Girl Green

“Founded by Kristy Dutman to “Turn climate doom into humor, healing chats, and educational tools for action.” (browngirlgreen). 

Intersecting with AAPI perspectives


“Evolved for a decade of work as a young Indian-American woman inspired the intersecting challenges of one, reforming systems of healthcare to better support all patients and tow, addressing the public health crisis posed by climate change.” (Avritah)

Intersecting with Indigenous Rights

Future ancestors

“Future Ancestors Services supports clients and community in honoring our responsibilities as future ancestors to shape the just and sustainable futures our next generations will inherit” (Future Ancestor Services)

Rising Hearts

“An Indigenous led grassroots organization committed to the heart work in elevating indigenous voice, promoting, and supporting intersectional collaborative efforts across all forms of movements in cultivating community with the goal of racial. Social, climate, and economic justice.” (Rising Hearts)

Intersecting with Food Justice

Black food justice

“The National Black Food and Justice Alliance represents hundreds of Black Urban and rural farmer,s organizers, and land stewards based nationwide working together towards an intergenerational urban/rural movement to map, asses, train and deepen the organizing, institution building and advocacy work protecting Black land and work towards food sovereignty” (National Black food & Justice Alliance)

See LA

 “Our purpose is to build sustainable food systems and promote social and cultural activities that benefit both low-to-moderate income residents of Los Angeles while also supporting California small and mid-sized farms and local small businesses.” (See LA)

Intersectionality Outdoors

In Solidarity Project

“Bringing the outdoor industry together to build a more inclusive future” (In Solidarity Project)

Hike Clerb

“An intersectional women’s outdoor collective founded by Evelyn Escobar (...) inspired to take action by the lack of representation and participation of people of color in the outdoors.” (Hike Clerb)

Runners for Public Lands

“Dedicated to protecting the people and places we love by organizing runners for climate action, sustainability practices, the protection of public lands, and equitable access to nature.” (Runners for Public Lands)

Intersecting with youth-led action

One Up Action

“Our mission is to support marginalized youth by providing them with the resources needed to take innovative steps to tackle the climate crisis within their local communities for a regenerative future” (One Up Action).

Sunrise Movement Los Angeles

 “Building an army of young people to fight for climate justice and a livable future for our city” (SMVT LA)