We're Fighting Against Climate Change, Misogyny And Lack Of Diversity

Every week I am blown away by the number of BIPOC women making change in the world! I'm sure you will be too after reading this week's newsletter.

This week, we've highlighted some incredible women who are doing their bit to save the planet - because the latest report on climate change is no joke! The Queen of Recycling also makes an appearance.

Maria Thattil and Tisiphone are fighting the bad guys while Sophia Chowdhury shakes up social media spaces in multiple ways.

So, let's get glowing!


News To Know

The BIPOC Women Who Will Help You Learn More About Saving The Planet From Climate Change

The BIPOC Women Who Will Help You Learn More About Saving The Planet From Climate Change

ICYMI, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first part of its sixth assessment report.

Spoiler alert: the situation is dire. The UN Secretary General referred to it as a "code red for humanity."

Early next year the IPCC is due to release two volumes about ways to adapt to, and reduce, climate change. Most of us know that combatting climate change requires collective effort. Mainly by governments and corporations but also by communities and individuals (through advocating for change and being more sustainable).

Here are five of our favourite BIPOC women environmentalists that can help you learn more about the tangible actions we can take to help save the planet:

Glowreel Reco Of The Week

You need to try: All the delicious recipes by Sweet Potato Soul

Founder Jenné Claiborne loves to use fresh, local ingredients to make the most mouthwatering vegan dishes you'll ever taste! Check out her banana peel recipe/vegan carnitas for something that's a bit different, delicious and helps you to reduce food waste - winning!

Insider tips:

Have a reco to share? Let us know what you love and why here - we'd love to share your recos in Glowreel!


  • Maria Thattil has ignited a critical conversation about the way young men talk about women. Thattil, aka Miss Universe Australia, called out the "sexist" and "misogynistic" messages she saw when she was accidentally added to a group chat. Thattil is also calling on everyone to engage in the conversation to change things.
  • Tisiphone is combatting non-consensual porn through an AI app so women can find content with their faces online. Tisiphone (a pseudonym) found out a video of her that was recorded without her knowledge was uploaded to Pornhub. Her app is being created by a team of five women of colour to support greater accuracy. Existing tools have a lower accuracy rate when it comes to women and people of colour.
  • Remember when there was only one 'skin colour' crayon? Well, the crayon box has officially been diversified, thanks to Mimi Dixon! Dixon spearheaded Crayola's Colors of the World crayons. The crayons consist of 24 specially formulated colours representing over 40 global skin tones, so kids and adults can easily express themselves when colouring.
  • You need to add these 10 women of colour directed films to your must watch list. Compiled by Cynthia Peng, this round up celebrates the "multi-faceted perspectives and voices of female directors from minority ethnic backgrounds." From Regina King’s One Night in Miami,to Haifaa Al-Mansour's Wadjda, your next few movie nights are sorted.
  • Eman Mohammed's photo project is shining a light on Muslim-American women in sports. Mohammed is documenting each woman's journey, hoping to inspire other Muslim-American women to pursue their sporting passions.

Community Spotlight

Sophia Chowdhury Is Diversifying Social Media Spaces In More Ways Than You Can Imagine

Sophia Chowdhury Is Diversifying Social Media Spaces In More Ways Than You Can Imagine

Image via Sophia Chowdhury (

Naarm (Melbourne, Australia) based freelance digital marketer Sophia Chowdhury is proud of her Bangladeshi heritage.

Fun fact: she was the first Bangladeshi woman to be featured in Vogue Australia!

In 2010 she started her blog, Every Day Like This, to help diversify the fashion space.

"I was in uni and just didn't see anyone who looked like me or dressed like me."

As her career has grown, Chowdhury has been working to diversify fashion and media campaigns. "I always make sure my clients no matter what background ensure safe spaces for BIPOC ..."

For better representation of BIPOC in mainstream media more broadly, Chowdhury highlights that more work needs to be done behind the scenes to ensure proper procedures are implemented.

"... like cultural consultancy, so things like cultural appropriation can be avoided and cultures and people can be highlighted and celebrated in a respectful manner."

On a personal level, she uses her platform to represent brown girls and those with Vitiligo.

"I think the more I got comfortable with having Vitiligo in real life the more I was ready to start talking and posting about it online."

Chowdhury started off small before fully sharing her Vitiligo journey.

"I started with first not covering my spots with make-up, then stopped covering it with the way I dressed in front of my friends who knew I had it and then proceeded to start shooting with them and posting online."

Her wise words for for feeling comfortable with putting yourself out there? "Keeping good people [around you] who get it makes all the difference!"

Historical Woman

Isatou Ceesay: The Queen of Recycling

Isatou Ceesay: The Queen of Recycling

Image via Climate Heroes

Isatou Ceesay is an activist and social entrepreneur who helps empower women by recycling plastic waste

As a child, Ceesay and others in her village used woven baskets to carry goods to and from the market. But the baskets started to be replaced with lightweight and strong plastic bags.

The plastic bags were being used once or twice before being thrown in a pile behind people's homes. This led to a huge waste problem. Animals were eating the plastic bags, plastic bags would fill with water and attract mosquitoes - spreading diseases, and plastic bags were being burned as fuel for cooking - releasing toxic fumes.

In 1997, 25-year-old Ceesay held the first meeting of her women’s group to educate fellow villagers on the importance and benefits of recycling and reducing waste

Ceesay had learned about the benefits of recycling waste while volunteering for the US Peace Corps. She also knew how to crochet, which gave her the idea to upcycle plastic bags by repurposing them from waste into something valuable.

At the first women's group meeting, the women used around 10 plastic bags to make a purse. They continued making purses over the next few months. Ceesay then took these to a market in the city and managed to sell them all!

Ceesay's original women's group has since expanded to become the the N’jau Recycling and Income Generation Group. Cessay is also known as the Queen of Recycling

Ceesay was able to secure funding through the Peace Corps to build a skill centre where women could meet and work together to reduce waste and earn an income.

They continued making bags and purses, selling them throughout Gambia, and over in the US. The women at the recycling centre also started repurposing other types of waste, like turning food waste into compost for their vegetable plots.

Ceesay has trained over 11,000 people all over her country in the dangers of plastic and reduced waste in her village, and in surrounding villages. She is credited with creating a healthier environment and changing the loves of the women around her.

One Lioness To Another

“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments."

-Wangari Maathai

January 19, 2023
Shilpa Bhim