Meet Jasmine Sanders, scientist and executive director of OurClimateLeaders
What led you to become a climate scientist?
I have ALWAYS loved science and the outdoors. I wanted to know the "what", "why", and the "how" and wasn't afraid to ask questions. Combine that with a fearless adventurous spirit and friendly personality that can connect with people from various cultures, backgrounds and generations then you get a climate scientist!
My life as a climate scientist really didn't start to take off until graduate school where I had the unique opportunity to study in England and also conduct research in one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, namely in Indonesia. This was where I had a "lightbulb moment" that I could utilize both my education and experience in climate change and my love for socio-cultural perspectives. This was where I discovered I could utilize my voice to raise awareness to the disproportionate impacts of climate change on communities of color.
In what ways have you contributed to the climate movement?
From my voice to collaboration and thought leadership. I contribute my whole self to the climate justice movement on a daily basis. Scientist, Executive Director, and writer are just three parts of my identity. There's also fiance, partner, momma, daughter, sister, tribe, speaker, friend. In the climate justice movement, we talk about intersectionality a lot and I like to think of myself as an example of an intersectional being bringing all of my perspectives from my identity to the table.
What advice would you give to someone interested in climate activism?
Do it. You can't go wrong. Know that you can be a climate justice advocate both professionally and personally. And it can look different. Start doing your own research about how climate change is impacting you individually, your family and community, and the geographical region you live in. Have the conversation at the dinner table (or at happy hour). Climate change is not waiting on us, but we are asking you to join the movement!