Xiye Bastida on what it means to be an icon in 2022

BazaarThe Icons 2022 issue of pays tribute to a rising generation of stars, that is, people aged 30 or younger, who are impacting the world through their ideas and their art. Here we talk to the activist Xiye Bastida, who in 2019 led her high school through New York’s first major climate strike. Now a student at the University of Pennsylvania, she is a co-founder of the Re-Earth initiative.

“My icons are my parents. Everything they did set the stage for what my work is. They met at the first Earth Summit in 1992, and they not only fought to protect our community in Mexico, but they were also involved for a long time in the UN climate negotiations. And that’s what I want to do with my life. The best advice I’ve ever received is that we need to run this world with care and love, especially in a world where so much seems to be going wrong. To love is what we can most resist. Love is revolutionary. And I know that the good will always outweigh the bad.

bazaar icons 2022

I feel most iconic when I walk the streets. In 2019, I helped organize one of the biggest strikes in New York which united more than 300,000 people and 7.6 million people worldwide. And walking the streets with your friends, with people who support you, with people who support the cause, it’s really powerful. We are powerful together, and feeling the pavement shake when we sing is power. And that’s where I feel iconic. It’s, really, when I feel inspired.

I want my legacy to be a world where everyone can experience joy. I think most of our injustices are rooted in violence. And so when we think and imagine the world that we’re fighting for, I imagine a world where my kids don’t have to worry about air pollution or rising sea levels or forest fires or rising temperatures, where there are no climate refugees. I want a world where you can live your life and thrive, not survive. So that’s what I want my legacy to be. And I think it should be everyone’s legacy to leave the world better than we found it.

Read more of Bazaarof the 2022 edition of icons.

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