Jihan Gearon, Mixed Black-Navajo (Diné) Advocate

Jihan Gearon, Mixed Black Navajo (Diné) Advocate Jihan Gearon, Mixed Black Navajo (Diné) Advocate Photography (c) Wahleah Johns

Celebrating inspiring Jihan Gearon who is Diné (Navajo) and Black American. 

Jihan Gearon is the Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition and an aggressive advocate of Indigenous Peoples rights and environmental justice as well as an active organizer, speaker, and writer on these issues.


Her experience and expertise includes work on Indigenous Peoples rights, environmental justice, climate justice, the impacts of energy development and climate change on Indigenous Peoples and people of color, particularly in North America, but also around the world. Jihan is currently based out of Flagstaff, Arizona.

She is Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, and her maternal grandfather is Tl’ashchí’í (Red Bottom People) clan. Jihan’s family is from the community of Old Sawmill and she grew up and went to high school close by in Fort Defiance, located on the eastern part of the Navajo reservation in Arizona. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelors of Science in Earth Systems and a focus in Energy Science and Technology.

Introduction to Black Mesa Water Coalition

Black Mesa Water Coalition is dedicated to preserving and protecting Mother Earth and the integrity of Indigenous Peoples' cultures, with the vision of building sustainable and healthy communities. BMWC strives to empower young people while building sustainable communities.

Throughout her career Jihan Gearon has worked to build the capacity and collective strength of Indigenous communities throughout North America who are impacted by energy development and climate change first in her position as Coordinator of the Native Energy & Climate Campaign at the Indigenous Environmental Network, and now as Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition.

Photo Credit: (c) Ronnie Farley - (L) Jihan Gearon, (R) Wahleah Johns

Jihan Gearon is a board member of the Center for Story-based Strategy (formerly known as smartMeme) and has served on the Coordinating Committee of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Steering Committee of the Environmental Justice & Climate Change Initiative, the Steering Committee of the Climate Justice Alliance and various other climate justice alliances. In these roles, Jihan has led broad coalitions of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organizations in connecting the issues of energy development in Indigenous communities to larger social justice movements and common strategies. Jihan is currently based out of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Visit website of the Black-Mesa Water Coalition and Facebook Fan Page. Jihan Gearon is also a contributing writer for Last Real Indians (LRI).

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