Honoring Jonathan Soohoo: A Champion for Environmental & Climate Justice

May 30, 2024 | BM4F Spotlights, Catch the Green Tea, Young, Gifted & Green Blog Series | 0 comments

As we celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are proud to highlight the remarkable work of Young, Gifted & Green’s Board of Director Member Jonathan Soohoo, a tireless advocate for environmental and climate justice. Throughout his career, Jonathan has made invaluable contributions to protecting our planet and empowering underserved communities.

After graduating from The George Washington University with a degree in Political Science, Jonathan began his journey in the world of organizing as a field organizer – his first job out of college – supporting a U.S. Senate candidate in Louisiana. Jonathan’s exposure to environmental advocacy began while working for a communications firm that provided services to a national coalition of environmental advocacy groups.   

In 2016, Jonathan’s career trajectory took an exciting turn when he joined the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)’s youth initiative, Defend Our Future. Defend Our Future mobilized young people across the United States to become active champions for climate action and environmental protection. Working with a team, the initiative flourished, and he helped lead a nationwide network of student-led chapters, local elected officials, volunteers, and other young activists who united in their mission to drive meaningful change. Jonathan also led Defend’s legislative strategy, bridging the gap between policymakers and young leaders across the country. While with Defend, Jonathan honed his skills in managing complex operations, fostering effective partnerships, and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. Jonathan’s commitment to environmental justice is unwavering, whether when empowering young activists, urging policymakers to take action on more equitable solutions, or working with impactful and environmental justice-focused organizations like Young, Gifted & Green that are on the ground and solving challenges faced by communities of color and low-income neighborhoods who often bear the brunt of environmental degradation.

Most recently, Jonathan brought his skills to philanthropy, where he partners with environmental, community-based, and grassroots organizations that share a commitment to advancing an equitable clean energy future – a world in which anyone can benefit from the clean energy revolution and where those who have been marginalized have a seat at the decision-making table.

Throughout his career, Jonathan has been a tireless advocate for environmental justice, recognizing that the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation disproportionately affect marginalized communities. He has worked diligently to ensure that the voices of people of color as well as other underserved communities are heard and that their unique perspectives and needs are prioritized in the fight for a sustainable future.

As we celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we celebrate individuals like Jonathan Soohoo, whose dedication to environmental and climate justice has had a profound impact on communities across the United States. Through his laudable efforts, Jonathan has demonstrated that by amplifying diverse voices and fostering collaborative solutions, we can create a more equitable and sustainable world for all.


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