Today we’d like to introduce you to Kori Malia.
Kori, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have had a deep respect for nature and our planet’s biodiversity for as long as I can remember, so it makes sense that I became an environmentalist. The climate and ecological emergency became more personal when there was an explosion at the refinery near my home, which nearly hit a tank of lethal MHF. If the tank exploded, people in my community would have died. That is when I started thinking about the danger of our reliance on fossil fuels.
Over a year ago, I started researching climate science. The more I learned, the more I connected the dots between our notoriously bad air quality in Los Angeles, our state’s water scarcity, the California wildfires, the fossil fuel infrastructure disproportionally placed in communities of color, and the climate and ecological crisis. The environmental and social injustices I saw everyday made me angry, and I turned that anger into action. When I learned about the rise of Fridays For Future and Extinction Rebellion, I made the decision that I was going to be an activist. I was going to do everything I possibly can to save our futures.
I created my environmental art and education website Bee Tree And Sea, started writing climate music, raised awareness for climate while street performing in Santa Monica, and began giving climate presentations to younger students throughout Los Angeles. As my fear for the state of our future grew, I became a full-time organizer for the climate movement, and I joined the Extinction Rebellion Youth National Team this year.
Has it been a smooth road?
My involvement in the climate movement stemmed from grief over the lives already lost to the climate crisis, anger over inaction, and absolute necessity. Certain parts of activism have been a challenge: I have a chronic autoimmune disease which means that organizing for multiple organizations on top of my classes is physically exhausting. But I feel an obligation every single day to do all I can to fight for climate justice. Any obstacles I am facing while doing this work are nothing compared to the challenges humanity will face if we do not mitigate the climate emergency.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Extinction Rebellion and Bee Tree And Sea story. Tell us more about the business.
I started my environmental art and education website Bee Tree And Sea as a hub for my climate illustrations and videos and articles on different aspects of the climate and ecological emergency that were informative and useful. Bee Tree And Sea served as a website to where I could direct students after presentations, and different people I met when street performing or speaking on panels. Through the website and it’s corresponding social media, I have had the privilege of meeting incredible activists from many activists all over the world. Using my art and music to spread awareness for climate reinforced my belief that the arts are a connector and a universal language. It also taught me the value of art in the climate movement.
I am an outreach coordinator for the Extinction Rebellion Youth US National Team and a coordinator for Extinction Rebellion Los Angeles. Joining the Extinction Rebellion movement has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Within these groups of extraordinary people, I have met humans feeling my level of grief and anger, who are just as dedicated to the cause as I am. I have encountered regenerative culture, new ways of group structure, and most importantly, love in its purest form.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
It is nearly impossible to predict the future of Bee Tree And Sea’s platform when the future of the climate and ecological crisis is so uncertain. For this year, I will continue to make art and write music about the climate emergency and continue to share with others. I am hopeful that this platform of educating through art will continue to invite more people to educate themselves on climate change and take action.
Extinction Rebellion / The Climate Movement: I don’t know what the state of the climate emergency will be in five or ten years. This depends on whether our governments and society take urgent action before it is too late. But whether we gain support from people in power or not, we will keep rebelling against extinction until our demands are met. For as long as it takes.
- Website: https://www.beetreeandsea.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beetreeandsea/
- Twitter: @koko_malia
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/koko_malia/