Growing up in the Bay Area, 2018 Grist 50 Fixer Favianna Rodriguez witnessed firsthand the impact that pollution and racial injustice had on her friends and family. Now an interdisciplinary artist and activist whose most recognizable work includes social justice posters and social media content, she connects the dots between climate change, justice, and an extractive economy — that is to say, one that exploits many for the benefit of a few.

To arrive at policies that can correct these problems, she says, people first need to see that a new path is possible. Art can lead the way. “Art helps us imagine the world in a different way, and it can also illuminate what is not [so easily] seen,” Rodriguez says. “In doing so, art can help us imagine solutions to move forward.”

The organization she leads, the Center for Cultural Power, just released a COVID-19 cultural-strategy activation guide designed to help people build their own artistic narratives to advance social and environmental equity in a time of strife. Rodriguez spoke with Grist about why art matters in a time of social crisis — and how regular people can be more involved.

  • Paint the whole picture
  • Tell a story of justice
  • Create new narratives

Read the full article about how art can advance social justice by Adrienne Day at Grist.