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

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt address employees at the agency's headquarters February 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Pruitt, long a critic of the EPA, faced a contentious confirmation fight in the Senate.

New EPA Head Discusses Removing Environmental Regulations

Scott Pruitt has stressed that the Clean Power Plan and the Clean Air Act's Water of the United States rule are first in line to be cut.

Hosted by Noticias Telemundo Anchor José Díaz-Balart, “Conoce tus derechos” (Know Your Rights) covered specific scenarios under President Donald Trump’s new immigration policies and informed the audience about their legal rights.

3 Must-See Segments from Telemundo's Latest 'Know Your Rights' Special

The Spanish-language network touched on what documented and undocumented immigrants need to know if ICE officers show up.

A flooded home is seen on August 15, 2016, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Record-breaking rains pelted Louisiana that weekend leaving the city with historic levels of flooding that caused 13 deaths and damaged thousands of homes.

Congress Investigates How FEMA Handled Louisiana's Historic Flooding Last Year

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a letter to the federal agency demanding documents.

These flags from different tribal nations once dotted Flag Road in the Oceti Sakowin Camp. Now, authorities have cleared out the camp and are on track to begin cleanup.

Tribal Chairman Responds to White House After 46 Arrested During DAPL Camp Evacuation

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is contradicting the administration's claims that it was in contact with them during the militarized raid.

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt,, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

EPA Head's Past Emails With Fossil Fuel Industry Confirm Close Ties

Scott Pruitt released 7,564 pages of emails to the Center for Media and Democracy.

Campers set structures on fire in preparation of the Army Corp's 2 p.m. CT deadline to leave the Oceti Sakowin protest camp on February 22, 2017, in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

What 4 Indigenous Women Have to Say About Standing Rock's Ongoing Fight

Authorities are clearing out the Oceti Sakowin Camp, though water protectors remain. What does the end of the largest camp mean for the movement?

Campers prepare for the Army Corp's 2 p.m. deadline to leave the Oceti Sakowin protest camp on February 22, 2017 in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.

Police Move in on Water Protectors Who Remain at Standing Rock

Officers have reportedly arrested six people.

Pump jacks and wells are seen in an oil field on the Monterey Shale formation where gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is on the verge of a boom on March 23, 2014, near McKittrick, California.

STUDY: In Almost 10 Years, 4 States Saw 6,600+ Spills from Fracking

North Dakota, where the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline is almost complete, had the highest number.

Pruitt Addresses EPA Staff, Talks Energy and Regulation

The new EPA administrator discusses how he wants the agency to be pro-energy and pro-environment.

Water Protectors at Standing Rock Camps Face Eviction in 24 Hours

Women at the camps have issued a final call to all media, activists and allies to stand with them.

A business is closed as immigrants take part in a "Day Without Immigrants" on February 16, 2017, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The sign reads, "Closed on Thursday, February 16 to support our community!"

#DayWithoutImmigrants Results in 100+ Workers Fired

While some businesses showed their support by closing doors, others responded by firing participants.

Colorlines screenshot of Michigan Civil Rights commission report, taken on February 20, 2017.

Flint Water Crisis A Result of Systemic Racism and History of Segregation

A new report tracks what led to the disaster—and how to prevent it from happening again. 

Photo Illustration by Lars Baron/Getty

ICYMI: City Threatens to Turn Off Flint Residents' Water

Residents who don't start paying for their lead-contaminated water will face shut-off notices this spring.

Immigrants and their supporters rally in New York City during a protest against recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids on February 16, 2017. Now, a leaked draft memo seeks the National Guard to conduct such raids.

White House Denies Allegations It Plans to Activate National Guard for Immigration Enforcement

"There is no effort to do what is potentially suggested," said Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

President Donald Trump signs H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the Stream Protection Rule on February 16, 2017, in Washington, D.C. He is surrounded by coal miners and opponents of the original rule.

Trump Removes Obama-Era Regulation on Coal Industry

It is the administration's second repeal this week of climate regulation that was created by the last administration.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on January 18, 2017, in D.C.

Senate Approves Scott Pruitt to Head the Environmental Protection Agency

The vote was not along party lines.

Illustration courtesy of Gingger Shankar

Water Protectors Call on Women to Join Them at Standing Rock This Weekend

"As care takers of Unci Maka (Mother Earth) and Life-givers we hold a responsibility to secure the future for our children and the next seven generations to come."

Loren Kerns / Flickr

Natural Gas Pipeline Explodes in Texas

People living more than 50 miles away felt it happen.

President Donald Trump speaks during a listening session with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and member company chief executive officers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 15, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Trump Signs First Major Rollback of Obama-Era Climate Regulations

The president did say that for every new regulation, he'd remove at least two.

Pieces of coal sit on the ground at the Savage Energy Terminal on August 26, 2016, in Price, Utah.

Coal Power Plant on Navajo Nation Land Scheduled to Close

The generating station is a major employer of Navajo and Hopi people.