Isabella Zizi (california, USA)
Isabella Zizi, 22, is a member of the Northern Cheyenne, Arikara, and Muskogee Creek tribes and the founder of Earth Guardians Bay Area. Zizi's family has resided in Richmond, California for over 40 years and have served the Native community profoundly by bringing the first ever Native American Health Center and pow-wow to their city.
Ms. Zizi's involvement in environmental activism began on August 6, 2012, when a huge explosion erupted at the Richmond Chevron refinery. The explosion caused over 15,000 residents to flee to the hospital due to respiratory problems, itchy eyes, and irritated throats caused by the black smoke that covered the town. Since that day, Isabella has been tirelessly organizing in her community.
The American Indigenous Movement-West (AIM-West) is a huge part of Isabella's life, and much of her activism is focused around raising awareness about local indigenous issues through attending sunrise ceremonies every Indigenous Peoples day and UN-Thanksgiving, protecting sacred shell mounds, and speaking out about culture appropriation. She has also educated students, faculty, and friends about Native activist, AIM member, and political prisoner Leonard Peltier.
Isabella is committed to nonviolent direct action and has helped organize myriad actions in the Bay Area. She joined as the youngest member of Idle No More SF Bay to help organize refinery "healing walks": one walk per month for 4 months all along the refinery towns on the East Bay of San Francisco. Currently, she is focused on raising awareness about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. On November 15th, Isabella helped organize one of the biggest women-led days of action targeting the Army Corps of Engineers offices in SF, in which over 4,000 people shut down a main street to raise awareness about DAPL.