Climate activist offers Marshall Islands perspective

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A poet who writes about climate change, the environment and the dangers of corporate power recently visited Lincoln High School and spoke to students.

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, who is also an educator and social and environmental activist, came to Lincoln April 13 to share the story of her life in the Marshall Islands, which are in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines.

The Environmental Justice and Sustainability Class introduced Jetnil-Kijiner.

In her biography on the Poetry Foundation website, Jetnil-Kijiner says her poetry “mainly focuses on raising awareness surrounding the issues and threats faced by my people. Nuclear testing conducted in our islands, militarism, the rising sea level as a result of climate change, forced migration, adaptation and racism in America—these are just a few themes my poetry touches upon.”

The presentation by Jetnil-Kijiner was preceded by poetry from Junior Sophia Wilson. The EJS class has been studying her poetry and work all year, which has been critically acclaimed by National Geographic, Nobel Women’s Initiative and more.