The destruction of Earth’s environment affects all people, however, BIPOC often experiences a notably larger impact. Sustainability and racism have deep ties, often resulting in funding and recognition going to white activists. In honour of celebrating Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, we wanted to highlight the outstanding achievements of 3 BIPOC women working towards creating a more sustainable future across North America. From students to industry leaders, Manvi Bhalla, Dr. Etosha Cave, and Tina Yeonju Oh are shaking up the sustainability industry, and working towards a more sustainable future for all.
Manvi Bhalla is co-founder and current president of Shake Up the Establishment. This youth-led national non-profit has a mission to encourage youth to get involved politically with climate change and improve literacy on the climate crisis. While completing her Master’s Program, Manvi researched climate change-related health risks by public authorities. Recently, she was an expert reviewer on a federal government report on climate change and the health impacts this has on Canadians. Bhalla has been recognized numerous times for her achievements, including being named in Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists and Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders.
Dr. Etosha Cave, Founder and CSO, of Opus 12 is a Californian-based company in the carbon economy whose mission is to find profitable solutions to carbon emissions. Their patent technology recycles CO2 into cost-competitive chemicals and fuels that they then sell to companies. Founded in the heart of silicon valley, the founding team Dr. Etosha Cave and Dr. Kendra Kuhl took their research from the Jaramillo Group at Stanford University and built on their discoveries into founding Opus 12 in 2015. This type of technology can drastically reduce large companies’ carbon footprint and open a new stream of revenue for companies. Opus 12 now has 16 partners, including Shell and Nasa, and are taking the carbon economy by storm.
Tina Yeonju Oh is an award-winning-environmentalist focusing on climate action and social movements across Canada, all while balancing grad school. Her research is on environmentalism, human rights, and feminism. She focuses on the importance of recognizing and bringing attention to the disproportionate effects these issues have on disadvantaged communities. CBC named her in the top 13 Canadian Environmentalists in 2018. A member of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition and won the annual UN COP meeting as a Canadian Youth Delegate, Tina continues to work towards a more sustainable future for all.
The work of Manvi Bhalla, Dr. Etosha Cave, and Tina Yeonju Oh are just a few examples of the amazing work being done to move towards a more sustainable future. There is still great work to be done towards saving the Earth, but these 3 women are prime examples of dedication, activism and commitment to sustainability.