Wawa Gatheru is an environmental justice advocate and storyteller passionate about cultivating a climate movement that is made in the image of all of us. In 2019, Wawa made history as the first Black person in history to receive the Rhodes, Truman, and Udall scholarships.
She is the founder and Executive Director of Black Girl Environmentalist, an organization dedicated to empowering Black girls, women, and non-binary people across environmental disciplines.
Harnessing her academic background and her work as a youth climate activist, Wawa works to bring empathetic and accessible climate communication to the mainstream. As a climate content creator, Wawa combats climate nihilism and highlights the legacies of those traditionally sidelined from mainstream environmentalism to her audience of over 80,000+ across platforms. Wawa is also a Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis with The OpEd Project, in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Narrative Fellow at the All We Can Save Project, and a former Revolutionary Power Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she worked under the first-ever Deputy for Energy Justice to integrate energy justice in the federal landscape.
Dedicated to bringing climate conversations into untraditional spaces, Wawa workscollaboratively alongside other creatives, musicians and culture shapers to bring climate justiceto the mainstream. In January of 2023, musician Billie Eilish personally invited Wawa to join her on the first ever digital cover of Vogue alongside 7 other youth climate activists.
Wawa has earned a BA in Environmental Studies and a Master’s in Environmental Governance at the University of Oxford. She sits on boards and advisory councils for the Environmental Media Association, EarthJustice, the National Parks Conservation Association, Climate Power, and Sound Future.
Wawa has been recognized as a Young Futurist by The Root, a Grist 50 FIXER, a Glamour College Woman of the Year, a Victoria’s Secret PINK Purpose Project Winner, named a Climate Creator to Watch by Pique Action and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has spoken about her work across the country.