Meet Orlee Lauren, a dedicated and passionate Massachusetts Our Climate Fellow!
Orlee is a Sophomore at Brookline High School and is a strong advocate for social justice. Outside of her work with Our Climate, Orlee is involved with Green Era Massachusetts and Boston Climate Strike, where she leads teams and campaigns, plans events, and educates her community about the effects of climate change. Gender equity and climate change are two intersectional issues, which Orlee is also very passionate about. She is involved in multiple organizations that work to amplify her vision of a world with a clean environment and equal opportunities for all genders. Orlee is excited to continue her work for climate justice through her fellowship with Our Climate. Read more about Orlee in the following interview!
What is your name and what are your pronouns?
Orlee Lauren (she/her/hers)
How old are you?
What is your title or in what capacity are you involved with Our Climate?
I am an Our Climate Fellow
Where are you based now, and where is "home" for you?
What drew you to Our Climate and the climate movement in general?
Addressing climate change is an important issue, yet we still have not taken sufficient action to reduce the impact of our activity on our planet. My passion for climate activism is driven by my vision of an equitable society where environmental racism, greenwashing and many other social injustices don’t exist. I am also committed to climate activism because the environmental crisis has broad implications on agriculture, wildlife, our oceans and the health of our planet. I admire Our Climate’s approach to the climate justice movement, as it encourages youth to educate leaders while protecting front-line communities. Passing equitable climate policy is essential to building a habitable planet.
What is something you are really proud of, either in your professional or personal life?
I am most proud of the work I did to receive the top award in my middle school, "The Principal's" award for embodying my school values of "work hard, be kind, help others". I am proud of this achievement and the dedication I had to receive this nomination; it reflects my commitment to serving others and ensuring an equitable society. Subsequent to this award, I became active in several youth organizations. I am proud of how my leadership skills have evolved throughout my experience as an activist, and of the small steps I have taken towards being a better organizer. For example, I have learned how to effectively lead conversations, teams, and events. This is something I did not expect to learn how to do so quickly, and I am proud of myself for adjusting to the different spaces and expectations that activism has exposed me to.
What does climate justice mean to you?
To me, climate justice is critical because it falls at the intersection of many social issues. To protect our environment means to protect all people in this world irrespective of their social background. It also means protecting the species that coexist with us, and ensuring that we minimize our impact on the planet.
Organizing in the climate movement can be tiring work. What is your favorite way to relax, take care of yourself, or unplug from work?
I enjoy listening to music, doing yoga, and talking with my friends to unplug from my work as an activist.
When (or where!) are you at your happiest?
Anywhere with a good friend is a good place.
What's a song that energizes you?
Sunflower by Harry Styles and Midnight Love by Girl in Red
Are you involved in any other organizations, and in what capacity?
I help lead the Creative Team and manage the social media for Green Era MA, a non-profit organization that aims to raise awareness about the climate crisis and bring justice to people who are more affected by the crisis. I am also involved with Boston Climate Strike, for which I lead the Environmental Justice Campaign.
Orlee practicing her nature yoga!