what made me ‘wake up’ & be someone.

agrily picking up cigarette butts, right after having witness there was more plastic than fish in the ocean.

my first (ever) batch of ocean debris.

the first event be someone hosted in collaboration with Vive Mar

I started Be Someone about three years ago after finding myself angrily picking up every piece of trash that I came across with. 

Six years ago, I began to see an increase of plastic pollution underwater and in beaches. I didn’t think of it much, I only blamed it on the nearest town, and moved on. In 2017, my family and I went scuba diving to an extremely isolated spot, in the middle of nowhere. During that week, I began to come across an immeasurable amount of plastic, to the point that there were not enough hands (in a group of ten people) to get all of it out of the water. 

During our dive breaks I began to pick up tiny pieces of plastic that were by the shore. I had picked up trash once before, as a volunteer for my local park (I needed volunteer hours to graduate High School). This time instead of skipping around it and getting disgusted by it, I began to pick up every single piece of plastic out of anger. I I was so angry and shocked from all this trash, I wanted everyone to see how polluted our oceans were and become conscious of it. Just like I just had, I wanted everyone to wake up.

As soon as I got home, I began to draw cartoons of marine animals struggling with certain single-use plastics I had come across while in those dives. I had no idea what to do with the drawings, I just had a feeling that more people had to become aware of all the plastic that was in the ocean. I felt like I needed to raise awareness and consciousness on the ocean’s plastic pollution crisis. In January of 2017, I turned my cartoons into stickers and patches, soon after I co-branded with Klean Kanteen and To-GO Ware in order to provide people with alternatives that were reusable rather than disposable. I launched an Etsy shop, and got myself involved in marine conservancy events in Florida, then began to raise awareness in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca where I partnered up with a local turtle conservancy organization, and gave part of my profits to in order to protect the nests and hatchlings of Olive Ridley turtles,  Black Sea Turtles and Leatherback Turtles. Today, Be Someone hosts multiple beach cleanups throughout the year, and also supports climate action movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future. 

 The main challenge I face is that many people are aware of this issue, but many don’t really care enough about it. They feel that it doesn’t affect them, as it’s ‘personally’ not affecting them right now. However, they don’t realize that oceans are fundamental to the health of our planet, that they already are ingesting plastic as the microplastics marine animals ingest, go up the food chain to us, and that plastic is connected to Climate Change. Links between climate change and plastic are already known; 6% of global oil consumption goes towards creating plastics yet a study done by The University of Hawai’i has demonstrated that plastics actually release greenhouse gases after being created. Further research is needed to determine more precisely the mechanisms involved in this release of gas – nevertheless the study adds to the growing list of ways plastic is destroying our planet. (Parley. “A New Link Between Plastic and Climate Change.” PARLEY, PARLEY, 1 Aug. 2018)

resources (a living document)

this is a living document of resources to educate ourselves on primarily on social and environmental justice.


If you are buying books, please avoid Amazon and support your local bookstores! 

With bookshop you can support your local bookstores while also buying online. If you can’t find the book you’re looking for there, try booksamillion.


  • The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina: Real-life exploration of exploitation and lawlessness on the high seas.
  • The World Is Blue by Siliva A Earle: How half a century of oceanic change threatens the existence of life on Earth. Urges mankind to take action and protect the underwater world.
  • Under the Sea-Wind by Rachel Carson: The magic, mystery and natural history of the underwater world.


  • The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben: By sharing his deep love of woods and forests, Wohlleben explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific processes behind the wonders of which we are blissfully unaware.
  • The Secret Wisdom of Nature by Peter Wohlleben:  A thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. The final book in The Mysteries of Nature trilogy.

Climate Crisis

  • The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert: How human beings may be responsible for the sixth mass extinction, examines biological extinctions through history.
  • The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac: Figueres and Rivett-Carnac -who led negotiations for the United Nations during the historic Paris Agreement of 2015-have written a cautionary but optimistic book about the world’s changing climate and the fate of humanity.
  • This is Not a Drill by Extinction Rebellion: XR is a global activist movement of ordinary people, demanding action from Governments. This is a book of truth and action. It has facts to arm you, stories to empower you, pages to fill in and pages to rip out, alongside instructions on how to rebel - from organising a roadblock to facing arrest.
  • No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg: A collection of her speeches that have made history across the globe, from the United Nations to Capitol Hill and mass street protests, her book is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.
  • Common Sense for the 21st Century by Roger Hallam: In here Hallam, who cofounded Extinction Rebellion, explains what is wrong with the climate (and biodiversity) and why civil disobedience is the only way to fix it.
  • The Green New Deal by Jeremy Rifkin: Rifkin delivers the political narrative and economic plan for the Green New Deal that we need at this critical moment in history.
  • We are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer: Our relationship with food and the consequences present in climate change due to our inaction.
  • Drawdown by Paul Hawkin: A strategic offering of realistic and bold solutions to combat climate change, giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable planet.

Social Justice & Environmental Justice

  • The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom: A brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.
  • The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh: In this novel, Ghosh explores the impact of environmental degradation on people who are powerless.
  • Tales of Two Planets edited by John Freeman: Galvanized by his conversations with writers and activists around the world, Freeman engaged with some of today’s most eloquent storytellers, many of whom hail from the places under the most acute stress. This is a literary all-points bulletin of fiction, essays, poems, and reportage about the most important crisis of our times by Octavia E. Butler: In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.

Social Justice

  • The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio: One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.
  • The Politics of Design: A (Not So) Global Design Manual for Visual Communication by Ruben Pater: Many designs that appear in today’s society will circulate and encounter audiences of many different cultures and languages. With communication comes responsibility; are designers aware of the meaning and impact of their work?

Black Lives Matter 

  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement.
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad:  Teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of colour, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: Oluo explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape–from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement–offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide
  • I Know Why The Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: Poetic and powerful, will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson: From the Civil War to our combustible present, acclaimed historian Carol Anderson reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America.
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson:ulitzer Prize–winning author chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. 
  • Why are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in The Cafeteria? By Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD: In this book, a Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity.
  • Just Mercy (adopted for young adults) by Bryan Stevenson: The young adult adaptation of the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy. Stevenson’s story is one of working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society–the poor, the wrongly convicted, and those whose lives have been marked by discrimination and marginalization. Through this adaptation, young people of today will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice.
  • Never Caught, The Story of Ona Judge (Young Readers Edition) by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Kathleen Van Cleve: this is an eye-opening narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave, who risked everything for a better life— as a young reader’s editio.
  • Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You by Ibram X Kenedi and Jason Reynolds: this book reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited. 
  • Making Our Way Home, The Great Migration and The Black American Dream by Blair Imani: A powerful illustrated history of the Great Migration and its sweeping impact on Black and American culture, from Reconstruction to the rise of hip hop.

Self Care

  • The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
  • Curacion a traves de un curso de milagros / Healing through a course in Miracles Enric Corbera
  • You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Films & Documentaries

Black Lives Matter

  • 13th
  • American Son
  • When They See Us
  • Becoming
  • Seven Seconds
  • Mudbound
  • LA 92
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Blindspotting
  • Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
  • The Innocence Files 
  • The Hate You Give
  • Hidden Figures
  • A Ballerina’s Tale
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • I am Not Your Negro
  • The Rosa Parks Story 
  • Whose Streets?
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.


Black Lives Matter

  • About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • 1619 by Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • Pod Save the People DeRay Mckesson
  • Slay in Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke, Elizabeth Uviebinenek 
  • Seeing White by John Biewen
  • United States of Anxiety by  Kai Wright
  • Cape Up: Voices of the Moment by Jonathan Capehart
  • Momentum: A Race Forward by Chevon and Hiba

Environmental Justice

  • Outrage and OptimismFace the climate crisis head on, but understand that we have the power to solve this. From former UN Chief Christiana Figueres and the team who brought you the Paris Agreement, this podcast about issues and politics will inform you, inspire you and help you realize that this is the most exciting time in history to be alive.
  • Humanity Has Not Yet Failed by Greta Thunberg: Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges world leaders to do more. Doing our best is no longer good enough. We must now do the seemingly impossible, Thunberg says in the Swedish Radio show Summer on P1 where she takes us along her trip to the front lines of the climate crisis.

Articles, Essays and Learning resources.

  • Teaching for Black Lives by Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian, Wayn Au, Rethinking Schools.

If you think I am missing something, please let me know here so I can add it!

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