Category: Social Media

Angelina Interviews Vanessa Nakate about Activism and the Power of African Voices

For Time, Angelina interviewed climate activist Vanessa Nakate about the topics of activism and the Power of African voices.

TIME100 talked to UNHCR special envoy Angelina and climate activist Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate, 23, for an interview which will be published in the TIMES issue on July 20. You can watch the entire interview above. Read on for some snippets:

The work you’re doing is really teaching all of us because, as you know more than anyone, the conversation about the climate crisis has been very limited to a few voices. How did you get involved?

Before my graduation, I started carrying out research to understand the challenges that people [in my community] were facing, and I was really surprised to find that climate change was actually the biggest threat facing humanity right now. I realized every part of my country, Uganda, is affected by the climate crisis: when you go to the north, the people are suffering with long dry spells; when you go to the eastern part of the country, they’re suffering with landslides and floods. I decided that I had to become a voice in the climate movement and try to get justice.

Often you hear people are going hungry because of conflict or bad governments. But it’s often linked, as you point out, to climate.

Some of the conflicts arise from shortages in resources. For example, Lake Chad, in Africa, has shrunk to a tenth of its size in just 50 years. The population keeps growing. So there is definitely going to be a struggle for resources. And this will disrupt the peace in the area. When you look at the root of all of this, sometimes it starts [with] climate change.

Climate activism is not easy in many places, but you’re in a place where you could be arrested. You are really very courageous to do what you do.

It is not easy to go out there, especially in the beginning when I was doing these strikes by myself. My family didn’t really understand what I was doing. Most of my friends found it very, very weird. But later on, many of them started understanding why I was doing this. And some of them decided to get involved.

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Angelina Reunites with RefuSHE Alumna Chantale Zuzi for World Refugee Day

As UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Reunites with RefuSHE Alumna Chantale Zuzi for World Refugee Day.

You can watch the full Zoom video call on Harper’s Bazaar’s website.

On a Zoom call shared exclusively with BAZAAR.com, Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy to the UN Refugee Agency, reconnected with Chantale Zuzi, a refugee she met in Kenya three years ago who has since been resettled in the United States. Zuzi is an alumna of the community for Nairobi refugee girls known as RefuSHE, which will host an online fashion competition in honor of World Refugee Day, celebrated on June 20, 2020. Zuzi was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she faced persecution for her albinism and tragically lost both her parents before she was a teenager. She was resettled in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 2018 through the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program. Now 18 years old, Zuzi is staying home with her foster moms, Deborah and Alisa, finishing up her junior year of high school remotely, and putting the sewing skills she learned at RefuSHE to use making masks to help protect against COVID-19 in her free time. She dreams of studying art and international development at Columbia University and working for the United Nations one day.

Angelina attended her first first fashion show on World Refugee Day during a visit to the RefuSHE safe house for separated and orphaned girls and young women in Nairobi, Kenya, three years ago.

Angelina and Zuzi are both looking forward to RefuSHE’s next fashion show, Fashion Challenge: Reimagined, an interactive virtual design competition set for next week. Hopefully, with the new digital format, “More people will learn about the work, and the program, and the designs and all of the good,” says Angelina.

Seven young designers from Chicago, where RefuSHE has its U.S. offices, will compete by each creating a unique runway look that incorporates hand-dyed fabric made by seven members of RefuSHE’s Artisan Collective. The contestant-muse pairings are as follows: Concetta Cipriano and Solange, Amy Fenderson and Aimé, Taylor Graves and Clementine, Fraley Le and Cecile, Lagi Nadeau and Marth, Xochil Herrera Scheer and Bersherb, and Kate Van Asten and Jessica.

The show will be screened live next Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. CDT, with voting open to the public, and the winner to be announced on World Refugee Day, the following Saturday, June 20. Scarves in the same prints as those seen on the runway will be available for purchase on RefuSHE’s online shop, with 100 percent of proceeds reinvested into the Artisan Collective and its members.

We added screen captures of Angelina during the Zoom video call to our photo gallery.