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She Interrupted the White House Press Secretary– Here’s Why

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNT chapter.

Gen-Z for Change Executive Director interrupts White House Press Secretary to condemn the Biden administration’s approval of a series of climate catastrophes.

Green-lit in March of this year, the Willow Project- what will be a decades-long oil drilling venture in Alaska, has made headlines and totaled millions of views on social media. Angered and feeling betrayed, many climate and environmental activists have called out Biden and his administration for leading in the opposite direction of Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign commitment for the U.S. to reach a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy by 2050.  

Elise Joshi is among the group of voices condemning Biden and his administration’s decision. Now Executive Director for a youth-led media organization, Gen-Z for Change, Joshi quickly gained attention for her content advocating for climate action and human rights issues back in 2020.  

As of September, Elise Joshi has an audience of 160,000 TikTok followers and approximately 30,000 on Instagram. If these numbers impressed you, wait until you hear about the over 7 million views (and 1 million likes) received on a video of her standing up and well… interrupting the White House Press Secretary. 


I just mustered up every ounce of courage to interrupt White House Press Secretary and urge the Biden Administration to stop approving new coal, oil, and gas projects. The climate crisis is here now. Biden must listen to Gen-Z, scientists, and frontline communities. #genz #whitehouse #biden #bravery

♬ original sound – elise joshi
“…asking nicely hasn’t worked out,” Elise Joshi reflects.

Portrayed in the video is a nervous Joshi voicing her and millions of other Gen-Zers’ calling against the series of climate disasters foreseen with the Willow Project and Biden’s behavior towards the extreme heat

“Excuse me for interrupting,” then becomes a symbol of courage and voice, as she continues “..but asking nicely hasn’t worked out.” Joshi recalls as America’s youth stood up and took action through a petition with one million signatures at the time (now FIVE MILLION).

While Press Secretary Jean-Pierre offers words of acknowledgment, her response was agreeably not a response: “..he has taken more action on climate change than any other president.” Despite this, the confrontation continues with Joshi bringing up scientific credibility and furthering her campaign against oil and gas subsidies.

With promises unkept and a sense of betrayal from young Americans, Elise Joshi is one of many green-panthers who continues to represent Gen-Z’s climate action demands.

Rebecca is a first-year undergrad at UNT studying Political Science & Government. Born and raised in India, her family migrated to Texas in 2013 and thus began her love for writing.