Kelsey Juliana
Photo: Dale Robbins/Moyers & Company

Kelsey Juliana

Environmental Activist

Kelsey Juliana was 15 when she, and 11-year-old Olivia Chernaik, filed a lawsuit against the governor of their state of Oregon, claiming that the state government had “violated their duties” to protect the water, land and atmosphere. The first judge said his court didn’t have jurisdiction to resolve the issue, but the Oregon Court of Appeals found merit in the case and told the lower court to try again.

Even in her early teenage years, Kelsey was known for her environmental activism. She had learned from her parents, who met in the 1990s when they were protesting the destruction of old growth forests by the logging industry.

Now 18, Kelsey has deferred her first semester at Warren Wilson College to participate in The Great March for Climate Action – a dedicated group of people walking 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to Washington, DC to convince the American people and our leaders that the time to address the climate crisis is now. She will begin college in January, and plans to focus on ecology and sociology.