We are thrilled to introduce you to our 2021 spring interns, Noely Bernier and Dani Bahena Bustos. Noely is a student at Guilford College in Greensboro, while Dani is a student at Meredith College in Raleigh. Both Dani and Noely are environmental and climate justice advocates who share in our understanding of the climate crisis as an intersectional issue of justice. We are so excited to learn from, and with, them over the next few months. We also want to express gratitude to New Garden Friends Meeting in Greensboro and Quaker Earthcare Witness for their financial support of our Guilford College internship opportunity. Please take a moment to read Noely and Dani’s stories, and join us in welcoming them to our team!
“Growing up in Haiti, I saw first-hand the effects of climate change. Despite not being responsible for most of the pollution leading to climate change, Haiti suffers most from extreme weather events and deforestation. As a result of this, it has pushed me to become more involved in fighting against climate change and learning about environmental racism in the process. My experience with climate change in Haiti gave me a different perspective on understanding environmental racism and how it’s a constant anti-colonial struggle and a racial justice issue.
As someone passionate about all things related to racial justice, over the summer, I worked as a summer intern with Democracy North Carolina to advocate against voter suppression in my community and learn how to organize at the grassroots level. My time at Democracy North Carolina developed many skills, such as communicating with diverse groups of people and working independently and as part of a team.
I am looking forward to joining NC Interfaith Power & Light as an intern. My primary focus will be on researching environmental racism in North Carolina and highlighting how Black, Brown, Indigenous, and impoverished communities have disproportionately been the dumping grounds for our deadliest toxic pollutants–instituting economic and environmental apartheid through redlining and unfair zoning practices. I’ll also bring in my experience from Haiti as part of that research to highlight the connection between environmental racism as an anti-colonial struggle. Furthermore, I will be supporting NC Interfaith Power & Light Youth Leader’s Initiative by engaging the youth in work related to environmental racism and environmental justice in North Carolina.
When I am not thinking about climate justice, the fall of white supremacy, and the fall of the patriarchy, I spend my free time going on long walks with my friends, meditating, doing yoga, and reading.”
Dani Bahena Bustos:
“My name is Dani Bahena Bustos and I will be interning with NCIPL this spring! I am currently a senior at Meredith College double majoring in Mathematics and Environmental Sustainability. I was born in Mexico, but have been able to call North Carolina my home for the last 20 years. I am extremely passionate about environmental justice and advocacy. As a woman of color and child of immigrants, I believe that it is my duty to empower communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental policies.
I am very excited to join NCIPL and do my part in working towards a healthy and just environment for all. My internship will include translating environmental justice resources for Spanish-speaking communities and managing NCIPL’s social media pages to increase youth engagement.
During my free time, I enjoy hiking with my boyfriend, singing with my two sisters, and eating food with anyone who will join me. I am looking forward to reading more books, learning to cross-stitch, and graduating this May.“