Diana Lopez, the young activist who featured in the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) film “Image of Contamination”, recently said that a summer of volunteering with the union changed her life plans in order to keep fighting for environmental justice in her community.
The role of Lopez in convincing the city to put up signs around Leon Creek advising people of the health risks was appreciated by many members of the society.
AYV: Do you have any words of advice for young people who want to get involved with environmental activism?
DL: One thing I want young people to know is that it is important not to hold back any opinions or suggestions that you have around bettering your neighborhood. It is important to demand that young people be part of a struggle for environmental justice. Your opinions and ideas are important, because many times we get used to the same routine and when young people introduce new ideas into the space, it advances the movement.
There are many opportunities for summer internships for young people with the Southwest Workers Union. I invite any young people to apply with us, or to look for an internship in their area. It might just change your life!
Lopez is also teaching the community sustainable gardening skills, such as rainwater harvesting, building a garden using recycled materials, and how to create an urban farm.