Dancer, choreographer, activist, actor, business owner, presenter of VICE's 'Rise' series. Sarain Fox is all of these things and more. And to add another string to her bow, we are super excited to announce the involvement of Sarain in our six-two 35 under 35 changemakers of 2018 initiative, judging our human rights category.
We caught up with Sarain to discover more about this hella inspiring woman...
How long have you been working with human rights causes for?
I was raised by a powerhouse indigenous woman in a highly politically active home. Human rights, social justice and advocacy are a part of the fabric of who I am and the work my family has dedicated their lives to. I feel as though I have never worked outside of the fight for access to human rights.
Why do you feel so passionately about fighting for human rights?
An injustice to one, is an injustice to all. I am passionate about humanity. As an indigenous person I know first-hand how discrimination, segregation, racism and injustice destroy community. The intergenerational trauma of such injustice and violations of human rights requires the dedication of all to bring healing and reconciliation. I believe that we all have an inherent responsibility to take care of one another, and to take care of the precious gift of life.
It is not enough just to stop injustice, we must stand together until we unite as human beings. To have the opportunity to lift up and amplify the voices of our communities, is a gift.
Is there a particular human rights cause you feel especially passionate about and why?
Water. Water is life. It is the most fundamental human right. I am passionate about fighting for water, because I am passionate about the future of my great grandchildren yet to come. I am passionate about the future of our planet.
Why are young people so important for the future of fighting for human rights?
I was always taught that young people are close to the spirit realm. So, they are delicately connected to their environment and the people around them. They can often see any problem from a lens of optimism. For many young activists, they are literally fighting for their lives, for their families and for a future. A future that is not guaranteed by the adults who should be ensuring their safety, wellbeing and fundamental human rights, and so they rise up to take on that responsibility. Society teaches us that at a certain point, things can’t be changed. We shift our focus from dreaming to survival. The practicalities that are in the way often seem too big to conquer as adults.
Young people see such challenges not as possibilities, but rather something they can overcome – they must overcome. Dreamers, believers, doers. The gifts of young people. They are fearless.
How have you seen young people change and shape laws and thinking around human rights?
I have witnessed the kindness and dedication of young women change the thinking and actions of multi-million-dollar oil giants, such as the youth at Standing Rock, North Dakota and Oak Flat, Arizona. I have seen young water protectors remind their elders and those bottling water of how precious water is as a life source. Currently, we are witnessing young people all across North America stand up against gun violence. Stand up for life.
At the heart of every revolution, you will find the youth.
What attracted you to being involved with six-two’s 35 under 35 initiative?
I believe in the work of the initiative and I am grateful that there is a platform to raise up the voices of the future. The voices of change.
Why do you think initiatives like this, that celebrate young people, are so important?
Initiatives that celebrate young people are absolutely vital. To support our youth, is to support our future. We must always be thinking about the seven generations yet to come.
What credentials were you looking for in the nominees you selected?
Vision, passion, commitment and community support and recognition.
Want to find out the 5 individuals Sarain nominated within the human rights category, and to discover more about the six-two 35 under 35 initiative? Head here.