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Adesuwa Thongpond Pariyapasat Aighewi, 25. Born in Minneapolis, MN 


I’m African. Was raised African. We are inherently proud. I moved a lot as a kid but spent the longest time in Nigeria, and everything that happened to me there shaped me. Without the past you really can’t understand the future or know where you’re going. Everything’s connected, we’re all part of a giant circle, so don’t be the ignorant one ruining everything. I try and appreciate the smaller things, I believe that’s part of the recipe for happiness. 

Simone Thompson, 19. Born in Minneapolis, MN


Everything that you see impacts you, and your experiences make you who you are. So I feel like, on my side of town anyway, when you see struggle you respect it. Like walking past homeless people in the street in New York you kind of just ignore them, but where I’m from you can’t really ignore them, because you’ve been where they’ve been. You’re not about to just walk by and say nothing to them, you can at least look them in the eye, because they’re human too.  

Selena Marie Johnson, 17. Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti 


Most people wouldn’t expect me to look the way I look, being from Haiti. It makes me different, makes me unique. It really contributes to the way you think, the way you act, your morals—everything. I want to live on an Earth that’s safe, by taking care of what I can take care of myself as a person, and as a whole with other people. To actually be able to enjoy what we’re working on and the people that we work with, to enjoy what we’re producing. 

Rachel Trudden, 20. Born in Boca Raton, FL 


I feel comfort and love from my family’s traditions. And yeah, I feel a responsibility to take care of the planet. Apathy is lazy and sad. It’s easy to neglect environmental politics working in fashion—but when has taking care of something ever been easy? 

Colombe Kela, 16. Born in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire


Tradition is really important to me, it’s all about walking in the steps of my ancestors. Earth is a gift. Humans have no idea of how lucky we are to be able to find food on trees, petroleum in the soil. We should be grateful for all of it and share it, not keep it and waste it while others deeply need it to survive. We all have a purpose, which is to live our best life.  

Eloisa Santos, 17. Born in the Bronx, NewYork, NY 


Coming from the Bronx makes me more strong in a sense, because I get to see this different world, separate from the stereotypes—it makes me less judgmental and more understanding of everyone around me. Everyone should feel a responsibility to maintain this environment, keep it safe, keep it good. Sometimes you have to sit down and really look at something though, really think about something in order to make it great. It doesn’t have to be fast-paced, I think slower is better. The turtle wins the race sometimes, you know? 

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