Last year, Allison Chin became the first person of color to ever serve as president the Sierra Club. For the latest issue of Hyphen, Chin, a Chinese American, sheds some light on how the organization has changed throughout its 117-year history. She also talks about the effect of being Asian American in the environmental movement. She says, “I think the main role is that it provides visibility for the world—that everybody cares, [that] people of color care.”
Chin’s position as the Sierra Club’s president stands in stark contrast to the white-dominated image of much of the environmental movement. “The terms environmentalist and minority conjure two distinct images in most people’s minds,” Jennifer Oladipo wrote for Utne Reader, “a false dichotomy that threatens any chance of pulling the planet out of its current ecological tailspin.” People like Chin are making sure that doesn’t happen.
You can watch a video interview with Chin below: