We are a dedicated team of dynamic young leaders that represent the youth voice and the vision of Earth Guardians
About the Speakers Bureau
The RYSE program is uplifting some incredible public speakers who can present on a variety of topics including climate change, environmental education, human rights, Indigenous equity, social justice, green entrepreneurship, innovation and cultural concerns - bringing the youth perspective to the forefront. This intergenerational cohort of leaders is available to together for Workshops and Trainings, and as well, to give keynotes at conferences, participate in panels, speak at rallies & school assemblies, and to give media interviews. Earth Guardians have spoken at United Nations events, international rallies, and many other high-profile events. Aside from a variety of topics, there is a wide range of geographical range, which allows for travel efficiency in booking.
Meet Our Speakers
Aidan Ferris | New York
Aidan, 22, has been working to educate and inspire those around her to take action on climate change since she was 15 years old. She is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science at SUNY Ulster County Community College, where she revived the college's environmental club and serves as the club's president. She has worked on a campaign for her school to adopt environmentally sustainable practices and lower its impact on the world, and she has initiated global environmental projects for the environmental club.
Aidan's current projects include Project Chicanti - an initiative to buy 100 acres of old growth forest to add to an existing nature reserve on Cerro Chucanti in Panama, and community initiatives to prevent water privatization and Niagara Bottling Company's plans to build a bottling facility using water from local sources
With the better part of a decade's experience working with children, Aidan is passionate in her mission to teach the future generations how to be caretakers of this earth. As the director of Earth Guardians New York, she is excited to empower and elevate the youth around her to rise up and become leaders.
Aji Piper | Washington
Aji grew up in the woods on the Kitsap Peninsula, raised to be conscious of the Earth and how he walks on it. From this upbringing, he developed a deep love and connection to the forest and waters of the Pacific Northwest. He is a frequent volunteer at local food banks and doing forest restoration work with his mother.
Aji is President for Plant for the Planet, and founded Earth Guardians Seattle. After learning about oil trains coming through his city and along the coast, he began getting more involved in protests and legislative hearings.
As one of 21 youth plaintiffs suing the United States Government in the landmark Climate Case, Aji is taking matters into his own hands. He is also plaintiff on another youth-driven lawsuit demanding that Washington's environmental department act to mitigate climate change.
Aji is a powerful performer of activist-driven music.
Jonathon Reed | Ontario
As a passionate speaker, Jonathon's goal is to inspire more young leaders into climate action. Jonathon first connected with activism by sleeping on the street with the Occupy movement in 2011. In the years following, his love of nature and hunger for justice brought him into the climate justice movement. He recruited for Powershift 2012, marched in solidarity with Idle No More, protested planned pipelines, and organized for the People's Climate March. Currently, Jonathon is involved in organizing against tar sands in his homeland of Canada.
Jonathon has the natural ability to connect with young people, having spent years working with kids in outdoor education and at-risk youth programs. In his spare time, Jonathon enjoys performing slam poetry and mentoring youth.
Journey Zephier | Hawaii
Journey Mani Wanji Itacan Zephier is a 15 year-old environmental activist and youth leader from the Yankton Sioux Tribe, Ihanktonwan Dakota Nation. He is the youth director of Earth Guardians Kauai, founder of Earth 7.0, and works to encourage youth to get more involved in local politics and legislation.
Journey regularly speaks and testifies on legislation on behalf of the seventh generation. From his home on Kauai, he fights for Native and Indigenous rights, sacred sites, the environment, and the overall protection of Mother Earth. He is also the newest member of the RYSE Youth Council.
"I feel like it is our responsibility to think about the next 7 generations to come and what we are leaving them, Our leaders have left our generation a world in crisis, now we will ries together and find solutions to make sure our children inherit a livable planet. Our message to the world? It is that we are here, we are awake, and we will protect our future!"
Kelsey Juliana | Oregon & North Carolina
Oregon-native Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana, 20, has worked on climate issues since age eleven. By sixteen, she was already a trainer and organizer for the Sierra Student Coalition’s week-long grassroots organizing camp where she inspired, taught, and collaborated with fellow youth on leadership organizing and activism skills. Her background includes work with Our Children’s Trust, iMatter, and 350.org.
Kelsey deferred her fall semester of college in order to participate in the Great March for Climate Action, marching 1,600 miles from Nebraska to Washington, D.C. urging climate action from world leaders...us! The march brought her to the People’s Climate March in NYC and Flood Wall Street, as well as an opportunity to testify at the People’s Climate Summit.
Mercy Carpenter | Ohio & New York
Mercy is a trained peer educator at the Center for Anti-Violence Education, where she helped launch an online LGBTQ youth self-defense toolkit. She helped organize a street harassment summit with the Coalition for Gender Equality in Schools and spent a summer working with Groundswell, a nonprofit organization that facilitates mural-making projects designed and painted by underrepresented groups.
That same summer, Mercy received a position at a summer leadership retreat hosted by Generation Waking Up. She has also been an Arts & Activism fellow with the Willie Mae Rock Camp, where she taught an arts and justice curriculum.
Mercy continues to use art in order to inspire healing and justice. She is presently a member of BATALA, an all-female Afro-Brazilian drum troupe.
Victoria Barrett | New York
New Yorker Victoria Barrett participated in the COP21 United Nations climate summit in Paris on behalf of the Alliance for Climate Education. She is a plaintiff in the lawsuit brought by Our Children's Trust against the United States government for failing to act to protect our climate for future generations. She has spoken to media outlets and the general public on the importance of protecting our climate in the pursuit of social justice. Additionally, Victoria is a member of the 2016 RYSE Youth Council and most recently addressed the United Nations General Body on Earth Day, including more than 150 heads of state, before the formal signing of the Paris Agreement.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez | Colorado
As a 15 year-old indigenous environmental activist, hip hop artist, and public speaker, Xiuhtezcatl's (pronounced 'Shoe-Tez-Cot) resume is impressive. He has spoken at over 100 events around the world as the youth director of the Earth Guardians, including the Rio+20 United Nations Summit. Locally, he has worked on successful campaigns to get pesticides out of parks, regulate coal ash, and enact bans on fracking in Colorado cities. 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 future.
He has won numerous awards for his work, being featured as the youngest of 24 change makers chosen to serve on President Obama's youth council. In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the United States Community Service award from the president. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, and the HBO series 'Saving My Tomorrow.'
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