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Young people in the Bay Area use hip-hop to demand climate action » Yale Climate Connections

Young climate activists march in the streets, lobby elected leaders, and make hip-hop.

Music clip from “Where’s the Money At”: “Oh my, oh my / Power to the people / So the people gon’ climb / We gon’ keep flowin’ / Like the rivers and the sky / Generations of resistance / Be the reason for the rhyme”

The Hip-Hop & Climate Justice initiative is a program of a Bay Area activist group called Youth Versus Apocalypse. Participants work together to write and perform songs and make videos demanding climate action.

Twenty-year-old Dulce Arias helped start the program. She says climate change disproportionately harms low-income communities of color.

“Our struggles are very real,” she says. “And I feel like with music … it’s a way to express ourselves and kind of heal ourselves in a way.”

She says songs stick with people in a way speeches or articles often do not, so she says hip-hop can be an effective tool to get new people engaged in the fight for climate justice.

The group’s latest release, “Where’s the Money At?” calls out companies and leaders that continue to invest in fossil fuels. 

Music clip from “Where’s the Money At”: “Money spent, just to bring this torture to our lives / Money spent, just to see the tears in our eyes / Money spent, to kill off and see us alone / Where’s the money at? Cause how could we know?”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media

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