The Forum series at UW-Eau Claire is welcoming one of its youngest presenters ever: 19-year-old climate-change activist, author and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez.
Martinez will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in UW-Eau Claire’s Schofield Auditorium.
Martinez, whose indigenous roots go back to Aztec tradition, has been speaking out on world stages since he was 6, including several appearances before the United Nations General Assembly, where he spoke in English, Spanish and his native language of Nahuati.
Author of the 2017 book “We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet,” Martinez serves as youth director for Earth Guardians, a global organization of over 2,000 youth activist crews in more than 40 countries.
Martinez has received numerous awards for his activism, including:
• 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Barack Obama.
• 2015 Peace First Prize.
• 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award.
• 2016 Captain Planet Award.
• 2016 Children’s Climate Prize in Sweden.
• 2017 Univision Premio’s Agent of Change Award.
• 2019 DoSomething.org’s Youth Empower Player.
In a September 2019 interview with PBS television, Martinez reflected on the recent global climate strikes, led by himself, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and other youth leaders in cities around the world.
“These climate strikes are landmark events that symbolize the global momentum of young people’s will to overcome the stagnant energy of current political power,” Martinez said. “Young people ages 18-30 represent the largest voting bloc in the United States, and we will not vote for anybody who doesn’t have a solid climate platform. We’re not pretending to know everything; we’re just asking politicians to listen to scientists, the scientists who’ve been saying for decades that we must pay attention to these changes immediately.”