Video: Student Leader Talks Conservation & Generation Y Monday, March 19, 2012
By: Jennifer Janssen
Deji Akinpelu leads his peers in the conservation movement, and shares his view on the most critical work for his generation.
The first time Deji Akinpelu heard about "environmental
justice"--the inequitable distributions of environmental burdens on
low-income and minority communities--the term gave him the shivers.
At the time, he was a student in the National Wildlife Federation's the Earth Tomorrow
environmental leadership program in Detroit. Environmental justice just clicked
with him and it is "still one of my main passions and what drives me"
as he pursues a degree in environmental science and leads other students in
environmental advocacy at Wayne State in Detroit.
Deji is one of the founding members of NWF's Young Leaders
Assembly that brought together emerging leaders in conservation and
environmental advocacy to discussways
to inspire and invigorate the environmental movement in the years ahead.
When asked what the most critical thing that his generation
should be working, Deji's analysis is good advice for all generations:
In the interview clip, Deji tells us:
Honestly I believe the critical
thing that we should be working on is policy. Policy usually gets swept under
the rug or not talked about as much, but the fact of the matter is the policy
is involved with anything with the environment, because you need to have people
who are accountable to actually make the changes, to actually see that the
changes are being made. It's the thing that most students tend to shy away
from, but it’s something we need to start being more rigorous about.