Marshall Islands

/Tag: Marshall Islands


14 01, 2022

Selina Leem, 18 year old from Marshall Islands, speaks at final COP21 plenary

2022-05-14T15:58:09-04:00Tags: |

Selina Leem, an 18-year-old woman from the Marshall Islands, gives a captivating speech about the impacts of climate change on her native coastal lands during the closing ceremony of the COP21 climate change talks in Paris in 2015. This young leader shares the symbolism of the coconut leaf in the tradition of her ancestors and how she hopes to be able to pass this down to her children and grandchildren in the future. Leem calls for this to be a global turning point where leaders take responsibility for climate change and strive to create a sustainable world. Video credit:

17 01, 2018

Can Poetry Turn The Tide On Climate Change?

2020-10-10T19:15:39-04:00Tags: |

Marshallese poet and activist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner uses the power of poetry to humanize the climate crisis faced by Pacific nations and demand swift global action. Her spoken word performance of Dear Matafele Peinem at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit was an impassioned call to action to ensure a safe, vibrant earth and rich cultural heritage for future generations. Her poem was met with acclaim and helped to convey the threat of rising sea levels and more frequent flooding to her home nation. She continues to advocate through her art as well as her work with Jo-Jikum, a nonprofit educating and empowering Marshallese youth on climate change. Photo Credit: The Adelaide Review

27 11, 2017

1st Female President Of The Marshall Islands And Her Poet Daughter: We Need Climate And Nuclear Justice

2017-12-27T18:07:28-05:00Tags: |

During COP23, held in Germany under the leadership of Fiji, women of Pacific Island Nations took action at the forefront of advocacy efforts as a voice for women and most-vulnerable island communities impacted by climate change. In this Democracy Now! interview, first woman president of the Marshall Islands, Hilda Heine, and her daughter, world-renown climate justice activist and poet, Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, share poignant analysis on the fight against nuclear contamination in the Marshall Islands, about the need to expose the dangerous policies of the Trump Administration at COP23, about women's leadership, and about the global struggle to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Photo credit: Democracy Now!

27 09, 2017

Inspiring Pacific Women: Her Excellency Dr. Hilda C. Heine

2017-10-27T15:18:33-04:00Tags: |

Throughout her lifetime, President Dr. Hilda C. Heine has paved the way for more female leadership in government and academia in the Pacific. For one, she became the first female leader of an independent Pacific Island nation with her presidency in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. As president, she continues to call for international climate change action, especially as the threat of sea level rise and extreme weather events threaten island communities. She also co-founded Women United Together Marshall Islands to fight domestic violence against women. Photo credit: The Pacific Community/Communauté du Pacifique

9 06, 2017

Marshall Islands Activist Selina Leem Explains Why She Protests Climate Change

2017-10-09T20:55:04-04:00Tags: |

Selina Leem, a young activist from the Marshall Islands, explains that she protests climate change to ensure that her low-lying atoll island nation will survive the coming decades and to protect the identity, culture and well-being of her people. As a member of renowned poet-activist Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner’s youth nonprofit environmental organisation Jo Jikum, she works with other members to address issues of climate change through the arts and creativity, locally and in international forums. Photo credit: Impolitikal

30 03, 2017

Three Poems Of Mourning For Teresia

2017-10-19T22:51:00-04:00Tags: |

Marshall Islander poet and spoken word artist Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner wrote three poems to process her grief for Micronesian poet and scholar Teresia Teaiwa, who passed away in March of 2017. Teresia’s work explored themes of cultural appropriation and erasure throughout Micronesia, and drew attention to the history of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. A mentor and friend, she will be missed. Photo credit: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

5 11, 2016

Selina Leem Doesn’t Want To Lose Her Country To Climate Change

2017-10-19T23:21:33-04:00Tags: |

Selina Leem comes from the Marshall Islands, a small island nation of approximately 50,000 inhabitants that is one the most vulnerable to climate change. As a young woman now studying in Freiburg, Germany, Selina has taken it upon herself to use her voice to speak out about the devastating impacts of the rising seas that her people are facing and the urgency for concrete climate action. Photo credit: HuffPost

24 08, 2016

Glass Marbles And Mutual Inspiration

2017-10-08T23:12:23-04:00Tags: |

In this post on poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s website, Kathy writes about the Jo-Jikum Climate Change Arts Camp, organized by the NGO Jo-Jikum and targeted for high school students. The camp focused on climate change issues as inspiration for the artwork to be done during the week. The post shows two murals that were in the Performance and Art Showcase at the end of the Climate Change Arts Camp. Talks about Westernization at the camp inspired Kathy to write a poem called "Glass Marbles." Photo credit: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

25 03, 2016

On Birthing New Life, And Fresh Possibilities

2017-10-08T23:10:42-04:00Tags: |

This post on poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s website is a reflection on the International Women’s Day in the Marshall Islands, in which she looks for a connection between gender and the nuclear legacy, in light of the Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day on March 1st. The the detonation of 67 nuclear weapons from 1946 and 1968 in the Marshall Islands has had lasting impacts. Jetnil-Kijiner analyzes how women are impacted by climate change, citing two women that have had their lives change due to sea level rise in the Island, and the leadership role they played in adapting to these disasters. Finally, she shares a poem about her cousin who lost her house after it was destroyed by strong tides; a celebration of the resilience of the women at the Marshall Islands. Photo credit: WECAN International

25 03, 2016

Fishbone Hair

2017-10-08T23:03:12-04:00Tags: |

This is a poem by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner called "Fishbone Hair," written in honor of her niece Bianca Lanki, who died at only eight years old from leukemia. It is a reference to the many people from the Marshall Islands who get cancer as a result of nuclear testing programs by the United States in their islands. The video of the poem was produced in partnership with Dan Lin and Corrin Barros from Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, and the College of the Marshall Islands Media Club. Photo credit: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner

27 03, 2015

Local Woman Is Defending Her Islands From Climate Change

2017-10-27T10:50:02-04:00Tags: |

Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner is a poet and climate activist from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Her home has seen severe coastal erosion as a result of climate change, along with sea-level rise, storm surges, and droughts. Her community must rely on emergency teams delivery food and water at critical times. Kathy still has hope for her islands and continues her work as an activist with the desire that the situation will improve. Photo credit: Inez and Vinoodh

23 11, 2014

Marshallese Poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner Speaks At United Nations Climate Leaders Summit

2017-09-04T11:51:32-04:00Tags: |

In 2014, Marshallese poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner spoke on behalf of civil society during the opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Leaders Summit in New York City using footage of climate action from around the world. Kathy performed a new poem entitled "Dear Matafele Peinem," written to her daughter. The poem received a standing ovation. Kathy is also a teacher, journalist and founder of the environmental NGO, Jo-jikum. Photo credit: the United Nations