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Stories for a Sustainable Future

Check out these inspiring stories that can bring us closer to a sustainable future.

Vien Truong

Vien’s work on environmental justice is strongly influenced by her upbringing as a daughter of immigrants in California. Her commitment to a clean air, clean water and strong communities responds to a call for justice. The impact that her work has had in the sustainability movement in the US has been marked by her passion for sustainable and empowered communities of color. Learn about her story:

Aaron Perry

On September 11, 2005 at age 43, Aaron G. Perry became the world’s first insulin-dependent African American diabetic to complete the Ironman Triathlon. In 2007, Aaron founded the Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association (RLWA) with a goal to ensure that African American men who bear the heaviest burden of disease and poor health status, can live fuller and healthier lives. Throughout this journey, his work has also focused on the intersections of public health, green spaces, well-being and economic opportunities for men of color in the Madison region. In October 2016 Aaron opened the nation's first Men's Health & Education Center inside of Madison's largest Black Barbershop. This has become a space where men of color improve their health, socialize, build relationships and find comfort all while getting a great growing service.



“Build It Up” By Hip Hop Architect Michael Ford


From our home in Madison, WI, Michael Ford is shaking the status quo by integrating art, especially hip hop, as a new approach to re-think cities. Hip hop architecture invites youth to get involved and think critically about complex issues such as urbanism, economic inequality,  race relationships, climate change and more. In the case of Michael and the kids participating in the Hip Hop architecture camp, music is a powerful way to tell stories, to engage in local issues and be part of the conversation about what they care about.


Naelyn Pike

17-year-old Naelyn, who identifies as Chiricahua Apache, comes from San Carlos, Arizona where she co-leads the Apache Stronghold, whose mission is to defend and preserve Oak Flat, a sacred Apache site, from mining interests. Naelyn, a high school senior, balances the demands of her education with the fight to protect and preserve her identity that is under constant pressure of erasure. Her personal story, characterized by strength and courage, exemplify the qualities that young activists need to lead the restoration of a world that is in environmental and social freefall. Fearless presence; fighting to protect what is sacred; and holding it through gracious fierceness against the stemming tide of ignorance, miseducation, hate, and apathetic consumption of resources that extract rather than regenerate encapsulate just some of her qualities as one of the leaders of the next generation.


Grandma Mahembe’s Farm --The Moth


Food security is a human right. Even though we can’t live full lives without it, access to healthy food is one of the most common unmet needs in the world. Listen to this story from Zimbawe about food, culture, nutrition security  and health.  Lindiwe Majele Sibanda’s personal story is a wake up call to re-evaluate our relationship with food. Listen here.