TRAINED: MINNEAPOLIS-ST.PAUL, 2019
No one can accuse 15-year old Alexandra Villaseñor of thinking small. After nearly a year of spending her Fridays on climate strike in New York City in solidarity with Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, Villaseñor saw world leaders weren’t listening to her or the countless other young people demanding action now.
So, she did what any teenager would do, and joined 15 other young people in suing the world’s five largest nations at the UN for failing to protect them from the climate crisis.
“The moment where I knew had to be a part of this lawsuit was seeing how all these people in positions of power were listening to the students but they weren’t taking any action,” she says, “They were only praising us. And it seemed like they didn’t have the political will to do anything. And so now we’re making sure that they know they have to do more.”
While the lawsuit rumbles on, Villaseñor has kept protesting at the UN almost every Friday, come rain, wind, or snow. She was a co-founder of the US Climate Youth Strike that helped bring hundreds of thousands of Americans of all ages to the streets in September 2019 as part of the Global Climate Strike with millions protesting worldwide.
Since then, Villaseñor has founded her own organization, Earth Uprising, to empower young people to fight for their future all across the US.
As she says, “I am an activist because I want to protect communities all around the world who are facing the impacts of the climate crisis.” You can be sure you’ll be hearing more from her in years to come.