Kira Liu: Courageous Innovator

  • May 27, 2020
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  • Christina Vang

At Environmental Initiative, we believe that there are many ways of solving environmental issues. The environmental movement often relies heavily on science-based methods to present solutions, but as time passes and new generations join this work, additional approaches to tackling environmental issues are emerging. One thing has not changed, though, is that people turn to music and arts to express themselves. Kira Liu is doing just that: combining art, music, and storytelling methods to spark conversations around climate change.

Meet Kira Liu, Our Courageous Innovator

Presented by Aveda

Kira Liu is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, an organization focused on normalizing conversations around climate change and engaging the public in solutions through sharing stories and building connections in communities. Kira is the co-editor of Eyewitness: Minnesota Voices on Climate Change, a collection of stories, poems, and artwork from Minnesotans sharing their experiences. She also leads the Band Together Podcast where it is exploring how musicians and artists are thinking about climate change and how they can bring climate conversations into new realms to provide space for artists and other change-makers. At the local level, Kira is working on public convenings that focuses on building community and support for climate action that brings people together around shared values and experiences. Whether it is at a local or national level, Kira is making space for climate change conversations by bringing together people from different disciplines and allowing them to express in non-traditional ways.

When asked about her work, Kira said, “We have a responsibility to play a role in this movement and to do it not only for the communities who are being impacted right now, but also for future generations…because I feel that I have the responsibility to do something, supporting the work of storytelling and personal narratives feels like the way I can contribute and play a role. I’ve been privileged to be able to do this work in the climate movement and to really be doing it for the communities and the people I love.”

A Climate Movement through Storytelling

Kira’s work is built on the belief that storytelling and arts help to illicit emotion, imagination and creativity that engages people to think about climate change in a new way. She works with people to help develop their personal stories and narratives around climate change, not only through writing, but by exploring the intersection between climate change and art. For Kira, sharing stories from those who are mostly impacted by climate change and those who are on the front lines of the climate crisis is how she, through her work at Climate Generation, can uplift and amplify the voices of others. When asked about the importance of her work, she said, “We can’t solve climate change on our own and we also need to build a climate movement that everyone can see themselves in and meets the needs and represents all communities to make sure this movement is accessible so that people can see themselves reflected in it.”

Staying Inspired

At Climate Generation, Kira has seen interest in engagement around storytelling and positive responses from people to connect art with climate change. It has encouraged her to not only think through graphs and presentations, but also through artistic expressions such as painting, music, sketches, and photography. This way of work celebrates successes of the climate movement while allowing people to process the heavy emotions that come with the climate crisis. After listening to Kira talk about her approach around climate change, we have to agree that storytelling gives people the freedom to express themselves and reminds us that having a human-centered, artistic lens to the climate crisis helps to build necessary connections to our everyday lives.

Learn More about Kira

Celebrating the 2020 Environmental Initiative Awards

The wait is over – it’s finally time for the 2020 Environmental Initiative Awards! We are excited to celebrate the 2020 Environmental Initiative Awards online with you. While this is the first time in the 26-year history that the Awards event will not convene in person, we remain committed to highlighting innovative, impactful and collaborative people and projects working in partnership at the nexus of a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and an equitable society.

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