Nonprofit Youth Versus Apocalypse aims to combat environmental racism

Black families are 75% more likely to live near toxic oil and gas facilities

SAN FRANCISCO, L.A. (Ivanhoe Newswire)– According to the NAACP, Black families are 75% more likely to live near toxic oil and gas facilities. Besides a worsening climate, the pollutants are also linked to cancer, asthma, and birth defects.

Isha Clarke said this is not a coincidence, but another sign of environmental racism. That’s why the 17-year-old formed the nonprofit, Youth Versus Apocalypse, and is determined to change that course.

This may look like a light-hearted conversation among teenagers, but Isha Clarke and Aniya Butler have bigger things on their mind.

“What I am fighting for is a world where all people can truly thrive,” Isha Clarke, Founder of Youth Versus Apocalypse, told Ivanhoe.

Clarke founded Youth Versus Apocalypse, a youth-run, nonprofit that’s striving to not only reverse climate change but the environmental injustices that caused it.

Clarke shared, “Environmental injustice and environmental racism specifically, is when communities of color are targeted with pollution. That looks like refineries in communities of color.”

Another example of environmental injustices resides in Detroit where higher rates of asthma has been documented among minority children. It’s believed those numbers are connected directly to their polluted neighborhoods built alongside busy interstates.

“Our future is now becoming a possibility as we continue to do, nothing you know about climate change,” Aniya Butler, participant at Youth Versus Apocalypse, stated.

That’s why Youth Versus Apocalypse has been mobilizing young people to make a difference.

“Sometimes that looks like mass protests, or social media campaigns, public board meetings, and making public comment. We led a climate strike with over 30 thousand people,” Isha Clarke announced.

Last year, they released an EP of their work.

Aniya Butler uttered, “You don’t have to, you know, speak in front of millions of people to be an activist, just fight for our future.”

It seems the voices from Youth Versus Apocalypse and other climate activist groups are being heard. California representative Raul Ruiz has backed New Jersey Senator Cory Booker in a new piece of legislation to combat environmental injustice. It seeks to hold federal agencies accountable for environmental hazards impacting communities.


Contributor(s) to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor. To receive a free weekly email on Smart Living from Ivanhoe, sign up at:

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez has been at KSAT since 2010. He's covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area, and is the lead reporter for KSAT Explains. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms. You can see RJ regularly on KSAT Explains and Good Morning San Antonio. He also writes a weekly Spurs newsletter.

Roslyn Jimenez is a news producer for GMSA at KSAT12. Roslyn joined the KSAT12 team in January 2020 after being the First Edition producer for KIII-TV in Corpus Christi.