(Un)learning With Isaias Hernandez, ‘Queer Brown Vegan’

(Un)learning With Isaias Hernandez, ‘Queer Brown Vegan’

As we approach the holidays and the end of the longest year ever, it’s a perfect time to share the uplifting and inspirational story of Isaias Hernandez.  

 

Isaias is our third #TerraChamp, one of the many awesome people who are champions for environmental and social justice. In fact, the intersection between these two is where Isaias (@queerbrownvegan) is bringing some much needed attention. 

As a graduate of the University of California, Berkley with an Environmental Science degree, Isaiah knows a thing or two about environmental education. He also knows that some of the most important types of education happen outside of the classroom, and that sometimes solving the world’s biggest environmental justice issues requires a little bit of unlearning.

While it’s his Bachelor’s Degree that helped him develop his environmental research skills, it was an upbringing in a community that faced environmental injustices that truly motivated his work today. 

BIPOC and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by environmental issues. Isaiah himself was exposed to heavily polluted air while growing up in Los Angeles, and witnessed firsthand the negative impact it was having on the health of his neighbors.

With environmental racism issues like this in mind, he started Alluvia Magazine after graduating. It is an environmental magazine that highlights BIPOC environmentalists through climate justice storytelling. In fact, it's these spaces that are outside of the constraints of colonialism and heteronormativity that provide a safe outlet for ALL environmentalists. 

This is why he started the @queerbrownvegan Instagram page as a safe outlet for all people and the varied types of wisdom they bring to the environmental movement. It’s a page with not only easy-to-digest and accessible environmental education, but equally digestible (and tasty) vegan recipes and food recommendations, too! 

Essentially, Isaiah wants anyone who cares about the planet to join together to save it—and he’s created the perfect online space to make it happen. 

 

 

We want to spotlight your mission and accomplishments! What is one accomplishment you are most proud of why?

My biggest accomplishment was earning my Environmental Science degree as I had a difficult time in academia trying to learn a multitude of subjects. I feel that my educational experience allowed me to translate the information that is inaccessible to what I do today on social media. 

 

If there was one change you could encourage everyone to make in their lives around climate change - what would it be, and why?

Education! We cannot confidently engage in social, environmental, or geopolitical issues without recognizing how they interconnect. Whether it be through historical, Indigenous wisdom / knowledge, or personal lived cultural based experiences, these are all forms of valid education. 

 

What is the "craziest" thing you've ever done for climate change?

Using plastic-free options! While I am not perfect, I realize that how much plastic I was using in my life and started to reduce my own plastic waste with my bathroom!

 

Who have been your biggest #TerraChamps aka supporters or inspirations in life?

My mother, especially because she was a teacher and taught me so much growing up. I feel that she always made sure that I was ready for the classroom and taught me how to present meaningful information in the most simplified way.

 

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