Global warming is a burning issue for many young people, including local students who recently heard from – and performed for – climate-change activist and former EPA official Mustafa Santiago Ali.
Kalil Adams loves hip-hop, but he never really connected it to global warming until he met Mustafa Santiago Ali.
The East Kentwood senior performed a hip-hop track about environmental justice for Ali, a former top official with the Environmental Protection Agency and a climate-change activist. In recent performances at City High/Middle School and Aquinas College, Kalil and fellow members of All of the Above Hip Hop Academy rapped and danced an urgent message on climate change.
Kalil said it’s something that should be paid attention to, because there are people who literally can’t breathe clean air.
Ali sees that kind of passion and concern in young people all across the country, as he brings his global-warning cq message to students through the lens of hip-hop culture. He recently spoke to students at the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology, at City High and at Aquinas.
A vice president with the National Wildlife Federation, Ali worked for 24 years at the EPA before stepping down in 2017 in protest of the Trump administration’s plans to gut environmental protections. Young people like Kalil give him hope.
Said Ali, “I’m super-proud of all the young leaders. They’re changing the game. They’ve got folks on Capitol Hill shook.”
Charles Honey, School News Network.