Dismantling dominant perceptions of what an environmentalist looks like
Sharing his wisdom here is Michael A. Estrada, artist, photographer, writer, and Founder of Brown Environmentalist, also known as BEEN Media. Hear about how mainstream media narratives on environmentalism have negatively impacted BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), the role art plays in activism, the importance of having a multitude of perspectives from environmentalists of all backgrounds, and more.
[1:57] What first inspired Michael's love for nature.
[5:10] Kaméa: "What is the role of an artist in environmental activism?"
[6:58] Michael talks about what led him to focus on the environmental experiences of people of color.
[10:26] Michael: "I don't want kids who are growing up to be like, 'I can't be [an environmentalist] because the media hasn't shown me that it's possible, or the media has only shown it this way.'"
[11:16] Michael discusses how common media narratives about environmental activism may have harmed BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color).
[13:06] Michael: "Yes, it's painful. But in that pain, there is also a lot of healing that needs to be done."
[13:58] Michael: "The more stories we have that are being told and actually heard, amplified, and spread out through society, the more people say, 'Oh hey, that person is kind of like me, and the way they are approaching it is something I could do.'"
[15:06] How social media may have created stereotypes of who an environmentalist is.
[20:40] Michael talks about BEEN Media's microgrant program for artists and creators.
[22:43] Michael: "Take the time to do the self-learning and the self-healing work."
About our Guest
Michael A. Estrada is a first-generation Salvadoran-American (Pipil) artist, photographer, writer, and Founder of Brown Environmentalist, also known as BEEN. With a goal to amplify BIPOC voices using tools that were (and still are) only limited to the few and privileged, he works in many different capacities in the environmental justice movement, from habitat restoration to experiential education.
Keep in touch
Note to self: "I remember that it's not all up to me."
Health practice: "I stay active in some way. I try to ride my bike a couple of times a week."
Sustainability practice: "I'm trying to decrease the waste I'm producing, especially while traveling and moving around a lot."
Element of hope: Michael is most inspired by his community.
Closing words: "You're not alone. You can always tap in and tap out."