Climate Justice Activist
Who is Xiye Bastida?
Xiye Bastida is no stranger to the dangers of climate change. Growing up in San Pedro Tultepec, a small town outside Mexico City, her community suffered from extreme droughts. Then, in an abrupt change of weather, the rain came and would not stop, causing flooding like never seen before. It was here that Xiye experienced firsthand the wonder of nature, the effects of climate change, and how it can disproportionately affect smaller communities. Eventually, her family had to flee to New York City to escape the floods.
This move would eventually offer Bastida a platform for change when she joined a high school environmental club. She helped steer from low-effort activities like documentary watching to writing politicians. Xiye herself began speaking publicly about climate justice and Indigenous rights (never forgetting where she came from). She would go on to mobilize six hundred students to participate in the first climate strike of 2019.
As a young activist, Bastida has chosen to put aside regular teen interests and devote her time to learning about climate policy. Making change, to her, goes beyond simply knowing what needs to be changed. It means being able to articulate and understand the science behind it all. At the tender age of 19, Xiye is one of the leading organizers of Fridays for Future youth climate strike movement. She sits on the administration committee of the People’s Climate Movement, where she brings the voice of her generation who will have to confront the worsening consequences of climate change long after the previous generation is gone. She is “stubbornly optimistic that we will all find a way to come together to protect the Earth’s resources — for the mutual benefit of all.”
3 Things We Love About Xiye Bastida:
- In 2018, Bastida was invited to the 9th United Nations World Urban Forum to speak about Indigenous cosmology. It was here that she received the “Spirit of the UN” award.
- Bastida is the co-founder of the Re-Earth Initiative which aims to make the climate movement more accessible to all.
- Her name means “soft rain”, which speaks to the Indigenous philosophy that we all take care of the earth, because the earth takes care of us.