As a third-year Sustainability major, Madilyn Keaton exemplifies civic leadership through her commitment to issues of environmental and racial justice both on our campus and in our regional community. In her roles as a Martin's Multicultural Scholar, the Racial Justice Intern at the YWCA, and a Civil Rights Tour participant, Madi regularly engages issues of race, ethnicity, class, & religion. She understands the intersection of racial and environmental justice, and she also works in the Office of Sustainability and serves as the President of Earthkeepers-both which provide her with planning experience related to conferences and campus initiatives. In the community, Madi has presented on the topic of environmental justice and works with local organizations on food access. She lives her passions and faith through serving weekly at Boys & Girls Club. Madi plans to pursue these commitments through a career in environmental law and policy advocacy.
When I entered my first year of college, I possessed two strong passions: caring for the environment and racial reconciliation. Through growing up close to nature and identifying as multiracial, environmental care and my multicultural background have always been key facets of my identity. I committed myself to leadership experiences involving these areas and to a field of study that combines both: environmental justice. Through my work with the Office of Sustainability and as president of Earthkeepers, I am able to plan events like panels and film-showings that raise awareness of current events involving environmental justice. As the current Racial Justice Intern at the YWCA and my job as Service Leader of the Boys and Girls Club, I bring about a unique perspective to groups that may not expect the environment to intersect with racial and socio-economic inequalities. I've also engaged our community through presentations on environmental issues and assisted with community-organizing projects around food access, ecofeminism and the Dakota Access Pipeline. I plan to carry out these passions through a career in environmental law and policy advocacy--and until then will continue the conversation on campus and in our community about these relevant and crucial issues.