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

A stop sign stands outside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) building on May 24, 2013, in Washington, D.C.

EPA Ordered to Freeze All Contracts and Grant Programs, Including Environmental Justice Ones

Agency employees were told not to disclose this information, but anonymous sources leaked the information last night.

New York Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez campaigning alongside former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to organize Latinx voters on April 9, 2016, in Brooklyn, New York.

One Democrat's No Nonsense Response to Trump's Inauguration

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) had only one thing to say.

People watch on the National Mall the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Trump, the 45th president.

Hundreds of Women Disrupted D.C. Offices to Challenge White House Cabinet

The group included veterans, Indigenous women, climate justice activists, women of color and their allies.

Native American and other activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline at Oceti Sakowin Camp on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016, outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

READ: Tribal Rights and Sovereignty Can Save the Climate Justice Movement Under Trump

The #NoDAPL battle at Standing Rock shows how Indigenous people are the cornerstone of a movement.

Colorlines screenshot of natural gas pipeline explosion, taken from Spearman Police Department Facebook page on January 19, 2017

ICYMI: A Natural Gas Pipeline Exploded, And a Police Dashcam Caught It

This explosion follows the controversy surrounding two pipelines currently being built in the state.

Thousands of anti-Donald Trump protesters, including many pro-immigrant groups, held a demonstration along 5th Avenue in New York City on November 13, 2016.

Going to the Women's March in DC? Be Prepared

This means staying hydrated, fueled and safe—especially if you're a person of color, undocumented or in the LGBTQ community.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to the crowd at the Marriott St. Louis Airport Hotel on September 11, 2015, in St. Louis, Missouri.

WATCH: Energy Secretary Nominee Rick Perry Makes Case to Enter White House

The former Texas governor testified before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, defending his ties with the fossil fuel industry and ability to manage the $12.9 billion nuclear security budget.

President Barack Obama waves to local people cheering for him after attending a service event for Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Jobs Have Priority Naylor Road Family Shelter January 16, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

President Obama Transfers Half a Billion Into Climate Fund

The $500 million will help developing nations brace for and adapt to climate change.

President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), on Capitol Hill January 6, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

WATCH: Climate-Change Denying EPA Nominee Testifies Before Senate

Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt faces the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to confirm his position as EPA administrator for the Trump Administration.

A map of where the pipeline will cut through in Suwannee County, Florida, where yesterday's arrests happened. The pipeline crosses over the Suwannee River in the map's northwest portion, seen above.

Direct Actions Against Pipeline in Florida Leads to 8 Arrests

Those arrested include two women who locked themselves to a construction truck.

 Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014, outside Gascoyne, North Dakota.

Louisiana Environmentalists Rally Against Pipeline Developed by Same Company Behind DAPL

In the past weeks, Energy Transfer Partners has been served with a lawsuit and become the target of protests in both Lousiana and North Dakota. 

A water protector who has chosen to remain unnamed locks herself to a piece of construction equipment on January 12, 2017. She was not arrested.

Texas Water Protector Locks Herself to Construction Equipment

Her action was in direct opposition to the Comanche Trail Pipeline, a 195-mile long natural gas pipeline in the Texas town of San Elizario.

Flint, Michigan, Mayor Karen Weaver testifies before the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee on February 10, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Yesterday, she addressed her city at a town hall.

Flint Residents Disrupt City's Town Hall Meeting

Many in the crowd interrupted by crumpling plastic bottles as goverment representatives spoke.

Sexual assault survivor Amita Swadhin testifies against Sen. Jeff Sessions' confirmation on January 11, 2017.

Hear From the Sexual Assault Survivor Who Testified Against Jeff Sessions

Amita Swadhin: "I agreed to testify because it’s really important for there to be public record that there was resistance to his nomination both from the grassroots along with our allies who are elected officials."

Environmentalists opposing a proposed natural gas power plant in Oxnard, California, protest at a public meeting on January 10, 2017.

California Environmentalists Disrupt Public Meeting on Proposed Power Plant

"No more power plants," the group of nearly 30 chanted. "We say no."

Tina Johnson walks alongside Charlleen Charles, on horseback, and Ricky Mckenzie and Celine Desiree Jade Charles, with her fist raised as they make their way to Standing Rock, North Dakota, from Saskatchewan, Canada.

Canadian Native Youth Arrive at Standing Rock After Walking for Almost a Month

Buffalo greeted the youth as they arrived at the #NoDAPL camp site.

The map shows the proposed route of the 162-mile long Bayou Bridge Pipeline, as well as where pipeline accidents have occurred throughout the state, including in the Gulf of Mexico. Some accidents occurred on locations outside of the map.

New Report Cites 144 Total Pipeline Accidents in Louisiana Last Year

The state is currently trying to push through a new pipeline, which is being built by the same company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline.

President Barack Obama walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on January 7, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

President Obama Urges Trump to Support Clean Energy in Academic Journal

"We have long known, on the basis of a massive scientific record, that the urgency of acting to mitigate climate change is real and cannot be ignored."

#DayAgainstDenial Actions Happening Across the U.S. To Protest Trump Cabinet Picks

People are calling on the Senate to reject the President-elect's nominees, most of whom deny climate change.

Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Atlanta Falcons on December 18, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia. He announced his December donations for his $1 million pledge Friday, January 6.

Colin Kaepernick Donates $50K to Standing Rock Health Clinic

Half of the quarterback's December 2016 donations went toward the free healthcare clinic providing support to frontline #NoDAPL supporters.