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Youth Motivating a Sustainable Future
From a place of deep gratitude at being alive during this important time, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez shares the deep sadness for the destruction of Mother Earth. On the front lines of a youth movement working toward sustainable justice, he points toward the collective power of people gathering from places all over the world to support the generation in building a new way. The youth community needs to be build the kind of world they wish to live in, in which all beings are connected in a sustainable and peaceful environment.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (his first name pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’) is a 15 year old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement. At the early age of six, Xiuhtezcatl began speaking to crowds at conferences and demonstrations from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro to addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations New York.
He is the Youth Director of Earth Guardians an organization of young activists, artists and musicians from across the globe stepping up as leaders and working together to create positive concrete action in their communities to address climate change. He also uses original eco hiphop music to educate and inspire his generation into action. He is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Obama administration for their failure to protect the atmosphere and their future. He has worked locally to get pesticides out of parks, coal ash contained and moratoriums on fracking in his state. He has traveled across the nation and to many parts of the world educating his generation about the state of the planet they are inheriting and inspiring them into action to protect the Earth.
His movement has grown to over 500 teen Earth Guardian crews globally working on the frontline to combat climate change. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stones, Upworthy, Vogue, CNN, MSNBC, HBO and more. In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President's youth council. He is the 2015 recipient of the Peace First Prize and the recipient 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award. Bill Mckibben of 350.org calls Xiuhtezcatl "an impressive spokesman for a viewpoint the world needs to hear.”