A New Photo Series, “Tokala,” Spotlights BIPOC Youth Climate Activists



At just seven years old, Hoopa activist and water protector Danielle Rey Frank attended her first protest on the Hoopa Valley Reservation in Northern California where she grew up. “I went to my first in-person water dam protest with my father,” says Frank, now 18. “It’s been an intergenerational fight to get these dams taken down. My great uncle was the one who actually proposed it—and the fight is still happening right now.” Since that first rally, Frank has been heavily involved in the fight to restore water levels in her community. “If these rivers dry up, the salmon will die, and we’re not going to be able to make baskets or do our traditional boat dances,” she says.

Frank is one of many inspiring young people who are the subject of a new series spotlighting a generation of BIPOC climate activists. Titled Tokala, it’s spearheaded by creative director and stylist Marcus Correa and photographer Carlos Jaramillo, along with filmmaker Jazmin Garcia and the nonprofit Future Coalition’s Youth Direct Action Fund manager Thomas Lopez. “The climate activism space is a very white-led space,” says Correa. “But POC communities are being disproportionately affected by climate change. There’s so much strength in these communities, and these activists should be getting this celebrity treatment. We wanted to tell their story in a visual way that’s optimistic and uplifting.”

The name “Tokala” is derived from the historical Tokala (Kit Fox) Society of the Lakota tribe, a group of warriors who showed bravery and leadership from a young age. In the new photography project, which is published exclusively on Vogue, the team set out to find present-day youth who are proving to be leaders in their respective communities.

Correa and Jaramillo traveled across the U.S. to capture activists—all under the age of 25—and the evolving environments that have motivated their work. “Our goal is to empower all these subjects and give them a platform to hopefully inspire younger generations or other people in their community,” says Jaramillo. The first photos in their series focus on the West Coast, looking at issues happening in Hoopa—focusing on Frank—and in L.A., where they zeroed in on the activist Atlakatl Ce Tochtli Orozco. “We wanted to shine light on places that have not been given light—getting a good mixture of different regions and issues,” says Correa.





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