Jihan Hafiz at the Climate Justice Youth March in New York City
Jihan Hafiz is an Egyptian, Samoan award-winning independent journalist and documentary filmmaker. Since 2018, she has worked on several video projects with the Climate Justice Alliance in San Francisco, California, Detroit, Michigan, Brooklyn, New York, and Washington, DC. Over the past 10 years, she has covered some of the world's biggest news events in Latin America, the Middle East, the United States and Europe. She has filmed documentaries in Rwanda, along the Turkish/Syrian border and embedded herself on a flotilla to Gaza. She co-directed "Benghazi Rising" which was nominated for a Rory Peck Award as best documentary in 2011 and won an Emmy in 2013 for her contribution to the HBO film about the Egyptian revolution "In Tahrir Square." In 2015, her film 'Fists Up! Fight Back! won a National Association of Black Journalists award for television feature for Al Jazeera America. Jihan spent months in the Native American led camps opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline working as a cinematographer for the film 'Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock' She is working on her first feature-length film 'GenderWars' about women using violence as a means of self-defense.
From September 20-21, 2019 Jihan Hafiz joined UPROSE and Climate Justice Alliance for the 7th Climate Justice Youth Summit (CJYS) in NYC. The CJYS is the largest gathering of young people of color in the country on climate change. The 2019 Summit focused on ways to operationalize Just Transitions. This framework, birthed by the climate justice movement, examines ways to move us out of an extractive economy to a regenerative one that respects our people, our bodies, our land and our future. Given the scope of the climate crisis and our current political climate this is more necessary now than ever.
As the generation that will be most impacted climate change it is necessary that young people lead on these issues because they will affect us the most. That is why this summit is important.
We are fighting, not only for our survival, but to change a system that has been sustained off the backs of the working class and particularly people of color for hundreds of years. The grassroots are growing and will not sit idly by while this administration ignores one of the greatest threats to our survival. Now is the time to power up, because It’s OUR people, OUR hoods, and OUR power!
Photo by Rae Breaux, Climate Justice Alliance