Yessenia Funes

Climate Justice Reporter
Picture of Yessenia Funes

Yessenia Funes is the climate justice reporter for Colorlines. She was previously an editor at YES! Magazine, where she covered racial justice with a solutions lens. Her work has appeared in Grist, AlterNet, Public Radio International, and Truthout. Her writing touches on how race and the environment intersect, but she is passionate about any and all social justice issues. Readers can find her essay on El Salvador's environmental degradation in the 2017 Women of Color Anthology. A daughter to Salvadoran immigrants, Yessenia dreams of reporting on climate and environmental justice in Latin America.

Follow Yessenia on Twitter: @yessfun

Illustration by Chris Kindred for The Washington Post

Washington Post Launches Podcast About Being Mixed Race in America

The five-part series begins May 1.  

Calved icebergs from the nearby Twin Glaciers are seen floating on the water on July 30, 2013, in Qaqortoq, Greenland. Greenland loses, on average, 375 gigatons of ice per year, according to a new report.

Two Recent Climate Change Studies Paint A Grim Picture

The manmade global catastrophe is already influencing extreme weather—and that includes in the Arctic, where sea ice is melting rapidly.

Solar panels sit on top of three side-by-side houses in Uniondale, N.Y., on March 4, 2017. The predominantly Black and Latinx community is seeing a dramatic shift toward solar energy.

Where Are Communities of Color Turning to Solar?

Look from the west to the east.

Congressman Donald Payne Jr. attends the World Business Lenders ribbon cutting in Jersey City on July 20, 2016, in Jersey City, New Jersey.

What One Congressman Thinks of Environmental Justice

“The positions and policies of the Trump administration are a direct threat to the health of African-American communities,” writes Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ).

Colorlines screenshot of Facebook live video posted to Shailene Woodley's Facebook page, taken on October 11, 2016.

ICYMI: North Dakota Court Closes 47 Cases Relating to DAPL Protests

However, no felony charges were dropped.

Activists—undocumented immigrants and their allies—hold their banner in solidarity with immigrants who are facing increased ICE detentions.

Immigrant Rights Action Ends in 3 Arrests in Michigan

Activists blocked a highway in lead up to the Day Without Immigrants strike set for May 1.

Activists protest in front of the White House against the Keystone XL pipeline January 13, 2015, in Washington, D.C.

Montana Tribes Want Keystone XL Away From Their Drinking Water

The 1,179-mile long pipeline is set to cross west of their reservation.

President Donald Trump waves to the crowd from the inaugural parade in front of the White House on January 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Energy Interests Contributed $7 Million+ to Trump's Inauguration

Since taking office, the president has repealed many regulations impacting the fossil fuel industry. 

A hazy sky looms over palm trees and traffic along the 101 freeway near Hollywood, on June 14, 2004, in Los Angeles, California.

What Do the Most Polluted U.S. Cities Look Like?

Hint: They're all in California, with large Latinx populations.

Bill Pugliano/Getty

READ: A Look Into What, Or Who, Might Have Been Behind the Flint Water Crisis

Why did the city take the step to change its water source to the one that caused lead contamination?

Gabriella Demczuk/Getty

Flint Mayor Wants City to Stay With Current Water Supplier

The final decision will be made after a public town hall.

A Forward Looking Infrared image from the incident location, taken during an overflight on April 14, 2017. Well 2 and the extent of crude misting is visible on the snow within the red-lined area.

UPDATE: Natural Gas Leak Near Alaskan Native Village Stopped

Authorities were able to stop the leak after nearly four days.

The coast of Grand Isle ahead of Tropical Storm Karen on October 4, 2013, in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

LISTEN: Louisiana Tribes Losing Their Traditional Food in Face of Climate Change

Sinking land and rising sea waters are forcing people off their land and destroying the means to raise cattle. 

A windmill is seen during 2016 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 30, 2016, in Indio, California.

STUDY: Countries Need to Transition to Renewables Sooner to Meet Paris Climate Goal

If nations stay on their current course, global temperatures will rise more than a degree higher than the agreement's goal. 

Fencing surrounds the coal-fired Intermountain Power Plant on March 28, 2016, outside Delta, Utah. The IPP generates more then 13 million megawatt hours of coal-fired energy each year to Utah and Southern California.

The EPA Reversed a Rule That Would Protect People from Toxic Water

"This is appalling," said a representative of the Sierra Club.

Demonstrators rally downtown before marching to Trump Tower while protesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on February 4, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois.

READ: In New Jersey, A New Pipeline Battle Is Brewing

The Pilgrim Pipeline is slated to run through the Ramapough Lenape Nation's territory—though the tribe is preparing to fight it.  

The moon sets over sandstone formations near Round Rock December 5, 2002, on the Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona. A third of the nation lacks access to running water.

The Navajo Nation Is Experiencing a Water Crisis

In Indian Country, 26,000 homes lack access to safe water and/or sanitation services.

A Native American rider climbs a hill outside Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 3, 2016, outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

Company Behind Dakota Access Pipeline Wins Legal Right To Keep Spill Risks From the Public

This ruling came as a result of the pipeline being damaged last month.

Surveillance cameras stand above the U.S.-Mexican border fence at Playas de Tijuana on January 27, 2017, in Tijuana, Mexico.

Environmental Group First to Sue Trump Administration for Border Wall

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ): “Trump’s wall ... will do little more than perpetuate human suffering while irrevocably damaging our public lands and the wildlife that depend on them.”

A child wears a slogan on his jacket during a rally against a ban on Muslim immigration at San Francisco International Airport on January 28, 2017, in San Francisco, California.

ACLU Files 13 Lawsuits Against Government Related to Travel Ban

The suits demand records from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security.