Earth Guardians’ Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a 19-year-old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of the global youth-led environmental movement. Xiuhtezcatl began speaking internationally on these issues at the age of 6, including at the United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the UN General Assembly in New York.
Since then, he has worked at the local level to get pesticides out of parks, to reduce coal ash pollution, and to initiate fracking moratoriums in his home state of Colorado. He is currently a plaintiff in Juliana v U.S., a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for the government’s inaction around the climate crisis and its failure to protect their essential public trust resources.
Xiuhtezcatl has traveled around the world educating his generation about the climate and environmental crisis, and has launched Earth Guardians youth crews in 60+ countries. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Upworthy, The Guardian, Vogue, Bill Maher, The Daily Show, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, VICE, and elsewhere. Xiuhtezcatl ‘s book “We Rise” was published by Rodale in 2017, and he has just finished writing Imaginary Borders, to be published and released by Penguin in the spring of 2020. His first EP, “Broken,” and album, “Break Free,” were released in 2018.
Xiuhtezcatl’s work has received wide recognition, including a 2015 Peace First Prize, the 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award, 2016 Captain Planet Award, Sweden’s 2016 Children’s Climate Prize, and 2017 Univision Premio’s Ajente de Cambio Award. In 2013, he received the United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President’s Youth Council.
Produced by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, George DiCaprio and Mathew Schmid and directed by Leila Conners, Ice on Fire is an eye-opening documentary that focuses on many never-before-seen solutions designed to slow down our escalating environmental crisis. The film goes beyond the current climate change narrative and offers hope that we can actually stave off the worst effects of global warming.