If you don't know the name Jerome Foster II, you should. He is the youngest person—of any race—to serve as a White House advisor. Working on President Biden's White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, Foster uses his voice to advocate and speak up for often marginalized communities as it relates to climate reform. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
As a climate activist, he champions for the fair treatment of all people in the creation of policies and projects that address the systems that create climate change and perpetuate discrimination.
"As a young Black man in America, I've faced many challenges and barriers along the way," Foster shares in an Instagram post. "But I never let those obstacles stop me from fighting for what I believe in—a world where environmental, social, and economic justice is a reality for everyone. My generation organized in the millions and from our passion, our dedication and our willingness to fight for a better future—I am here today representing us. I'm proud to be able to use my voice to advocate for those who are often marginalized and unheard, and to work to reach a more just world. As activists, we are instruments of disruption, so stand up and speak out. There is no business as usual on a burning planet!"
Prior to joining the Biden administration, the 20-year-old served as an intern for Congressman John Lewis at just 14-years-old.
"Being the first Gen-Z Advisor in the White House, symbolizes that for the first time in American history the Federal Government is taking into account the perspectives of young people on what our future should be," the activist shares in a subsequent Instagram post. "Because of years of relentless grassroots protests, strikes and digital mobilizing, young people finally have a seat at the table to impact policy at the highest levels of government."
Beyond his powerful work on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council—to which he was recently asked to serve a second term—Foster is also the co-founder of Waic Up, a youth-led news and civic organization.