Leandra Praetzel, a climate activist in Münster, Germany, has been crucial in our divestment campaigns and in building our Fossil Free network. Leandra, or Lele, is a member of Fossil Free Münster, and she has been instrumental in two significant divestment victories. She has also been a key member in creating 350.org’s new Movement Support Team in Germany as a facilitator and trainer.
In 2013, Lele joined the then-new Fossil Free group in Münster and immediately became involved in 350.org’s divestment campaign. She joined the German trainings team, which supported Fossil Free groups by teaching campaign skills like how to develop strategy and set goals. Lele was deeply involved in an important victory — one she thinks of as her greatest achievement as a climate activist — in 2015, when Münster became the first city in Germany to divest from fossil fuels.
With support and guidance from 350.org staff, the Münster campaign built strong relationships with local partners and convinced the Greens Party to include divestment in their election platform. In the next election, the Greens Party won their seats in government and fulfilled their promise to divest the city. Lele remembers fondly that the city’s finance committee “even went a bit further and excluded not only coal, oil and gas companies from their portfolio, but also nuclear, arms companies, and child labor.”
Lele is now an active member of our Movement Support Team. She is one of the trainers that helped launch the team last year and is now part of developing support structures for local groups based on peer-to-peer learning and skill-sharing. One of her current tasks is to give workshops for new or inexperienced groups in the region, helping to guide and develop their campaigns, and drawing on her past experience.
Kate Cahoon, 350.org’s Germany campaigner, is grateful for Lele’s leadership and notes her “commitment to climate justice and enthusiastic, inclusive approach to the work helps to brings people together and motivates them to get active. If we need someone with experience to represent what Fossil Free stands for, Lele always comes to mind first.”
Lele is a strong leader and passionate climate activist. 350.org works closely with and depends on leaders like Lele and thousands of other grassroots organizations to make progress at the local level. Our profound thanks goes to Leandra Praetzel and all of our volunteer activists, leaders, partners, and supporters around the world.
Pacific Climate Warrior
Brianna Fruean is a young Samoan activist who is helping us grow our work in Pacific Diaspora communities in Australia and New Zealand. Brianna, like many other young Pacific Islanders living in the diaspora, are working to ensure young Pacific people the world over can show up powerfully in our campaigns like Rise For Climate, #StopAdani and the Climate Strikes.
Brianna has never let age be a deterrent when it comes to advocating for climate change issues, and in 2009, at the age of 11, she became a founding member of 350 Samoa. Her youth has served as an advantage when speaking to her peers about the need to take urgent action on an issue that looms large in their lives, and she’s emerged as a voice of Pacific youth on climate change.
She reflects that “years ago, as a little girl, I would love the abundance and variety and color that the Pacific Ocean provided. As I grew older, I started to see a change in that variety, a change in color and a change in sea life. Changes in weather patterns are affecting our plantations and threatening our food security. The climate crisis is something we can’t stay quiet about. It threatens our very livelihoods and is very much our business!”
Brianna sits on the Pacific Climate Warriors’ Council of Elders, which is a traditionally-inspired structure that acts to support and sustain the Warrior’s organizing. During Rise For Climate, the Pacific Climate Warriors lead 20 Pacific Pawa events around the region to build momentum for climate action. In Samoa, Brianna helped to run training days at local primary schools that are committed to transitioning to 100% Renewable energy.
She is also an important partner in 350 Australia’s current fight to stop the proposed Adani megamine in Australia, which would be one of the largest coal mines on the planet. In October last year, Brianna was part of the team that called 10,000 Pacific people in key electorates to call on their Members of Parliament to review Adani’s controversial approvals. 2019 will now see the largest number of Pacific people eligible to vote in Australia head to the polls for the Federal election.
Joseph Zane Sikulu, 350.org Pacific Campaigner, notes that “wisdom doesn’t come with age and Brianna is a testament to that. She brings so much value to our youth movement but all of us in the wider movement have something to learn from her many years of experience. She’s been fighting this battle all her life and for that, we are grateful to have her leadership.”
Brianna’s presence as an organizer, a mentor, and a leader is something 350.org depends on. In a time where we are looking towards our youth for leadership, it is young leaders like Brianna that we can find the vitality, the hope and the courage to power this movement forward. Thank you, Brianna, for your activism and leadership.
Indigenous Climate Leader
Andreia Takua is a mother, President of the National Council of Indigenous Health of Brazil, and a frontline organizer for Indigenous communities. Andreia is a Cacique (leader) in the Guarani Indigenous community, which is the largest ethnic group in Brazil. The Guarani people are deeply spiritual and have a religious leader whose authority is based on prestige rather than formal power.
Andreia’s involvement with 350.org started when she attended workshops about climate change organized by 350 Brazil and CONDISI (The Indigenous Health District Council). Thanks to this partnership and Andreia’s leadership, 350 Brazil visited more than 15 Indigenous villages in five different Brazilian states. We trained over 5,000 people on issues related to fossil fuels, climate change, and the need to ban fracking in their communities. Indigenous areas in Brazil are extremely important to protect the planet’s ecosystem, and Indigenous communities around the world are crucial partners when it comes to advocating for climate action.
Andreia reflects that it “is great working with 350.org. They helped identify and teach us about threats that we could not identify ourselves. Now, 350.org is part of our fight to defend nature, and those who share this fight with us become family. We’re like soul brothers. I only have to say Aguyjevete (thank you) 350.org.”
As the fossil fuel industry and the Bolsonaro government threatens Indigenous territories, health, and livelihoods all over the country, Andreia is leading the fight for the Guarani people. She is currently helping 350.org organize and educate Indigenous communities about climate change and resist the new threats to their lands.
Rubens Born, 350 Latin America Team Leader, reflects that Andreia is a “courageous woman and Indigenous leader, not hesitating to take action to defend the rights of Indigenous communities in a period of great threats and prejudices stimulated by government authorities.”
Ensuring the health and rights of Indigenous communities are essential to keeping fossil fuels in the ground and transitioning to 100% renewable energy for all. Andreia’s extensive network, passion, and organizing skills are invaluable to our work in Brazil. Thank you, Andreia, for your strong leadership and activism.
Actions + Campaigns
Our grassroots campaigns fighting climate change around the world.