Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr. discusses the need for liberation at the DC Environmental Film Festival

Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr. receives the Environmental Champion award at the 2024 DC Environmental Film Festival.
Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr. receives the Environmental Champion award at the 2024 DC Environmental Film Festival.

Oscar Nzekwu

Related Topics:
Environmental Art, Justice

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF) is a film event held annually in March that features over 100 films reaching over 30,000 people every year. The festival was launched in 1993 by Flo Stone, designed the programming to cover topics such as activism, conservation, discovery, and exploration. 

According to their website, DCEFF’s mission is to “inform and inspire our community through the power of film to incite change and take action so that we can preserve our planet for generations to come.”

On March 24, 2024, I attended the Festival and met Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr., a community activist, who serves as a minister, and president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, a nonprofit organization founded on September 11, 2004, that enables young U.S. voters to participate and get involved in political activism through hip-hop music and culture. Through the nonprofit organization, the Hip Hop Caucus has influenced policies, held political officials responsible and accountable, and developed diverse, powerful movements to shape positive changes for the future of the United States.

Rev. Yearwood poses with his certificate for winning the Environmental Champion Award. (Oscar Nzekwu)

During the event, Rev. Yearwood earned the Environmental Champion Award from the DCEFF for his long-standing contribution and advocacy for racial and environmental justice, which included a showing of the Hip Hop Caucus’ short film, Underwater Projects, narrated by famous comedian Wanda Sykes. As I sat with Rev. Yearwood, he taught me about his inspiration for becoming a reverend and hip-hop influencer, which was to address words of wisdom to the public, including his collaborations with artists and the community, and how we use our art to become intersectional environmentalists. 

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