Kidest grew up in a small city in Ethiopia and moved to D.C. nine years ago. She is a recent graduate of the University of Richmond majoring in Geography and the Environment with minors in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Visual Arts. She was introduced to VAIPL as the Abby Brown Ayers Civic Fellow in the summer of 2018. The Ayers fellowship supports one student a year working at the intersections of environmental justice and education. Growing up in Ethiopia as an Orthodox Christian faith and religion were a part of every aspect of social life. However, faith communities oftentimes failed to address important issues such as climate change. Since VAIPL stresses environmental education and awareness in faith communities, as a spiritual person, she’s interested in being a part of a movement to encourage faith communities to act on climate. Kidest is motivated to fight against climate change by uplifting environmental justice for communities of color.