Climate and Sustainability, Environmental Equity and Justice

Queer Brown Vegan Event

On March 7, CECE was thrilled to welcome Isaias Hernandez to AU for an informal discussion with students and the broader community. Isaias is a writer, influencer, educator, and activist who works on deconstructing complex environmental issues, while centering diversity and authenticity, and is the founder of Queer Brown Vegan.

The center point of this open discussion with Isaias was the importance of storytelling. In an age flooded with information, disinformation, opinion and political discourse on climate change, it’s important to think about how to reach people through the noise to initiate a deep and meaningful conversation—which is what the discussion on climate change needs and deserves. Queer Brown Vegan aims to do just that and one way that Isaias’s brand has done so is by forming a community.

The art of storytelling is a powerful tool for advocacy. Storytelling is, in itself, a tool to resist colonialist structures and share different ways of knowing. Those who follow the work of Isaias and work with him are dedicated and passionate advocates who value injecting justice, inclusion, and diversity into the narrative. Proving the power of the Queer Brown Vegan network was Executive Director of Veggie Mijas, Estefania Orozco, who joined the crowd of students, faculty, and staff for the chance to connect with Isias on overlapping themes of gender, identity, veganism, and the environment.

Isaias also spoke about the importance of centering his intersectional identities in his brand. He was inspired to step into the spotlight as Queer Brown Vegan because he didn’t see enough BIPOC or queer representation in the environmental field or in environmental activism. This lack of diversity significantly alters the thinking and zeitgeist surrounding climate change and the environment.  Isaias has used his platform and voice to combat this and has authored works that tackle topics of white supremacy in environmentalism, and environmental racism.

Additionally, the LGBTQ+ community is often overlooked and underrepresented when discussing environmental topics, and there is little research, or activism that draws closer connections between ecology, climate change and the environment, and the LGBTQ+ community, despite it being a MAPA (Most Affected People and Area) community, which are communities that suffer the most from the effects of Climate Change. Queer Brown vegan is one of only a handful of activists bringing this topic into the conversation.

Isaias is a passionate trailblazer and an inspirational educator who uplifts community while speaking truth to power. He is changing the narrative and conversation on the environment and empowers others to do the same. The conversation on Thursday concluded on a hopeful note as Queer Brown Vegan encouraged all to use their voice and find community to make change.  

 You can follow @queerbrownvegan on Instagram to keep up with his latest activism and publications!