Women's Assembly for Climate Justice:
Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change
Presented by the Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
September 11th, 2018 from 1:00-8:30 pm
The Green Room, 401 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco and worldwide via Facebook Livestream
Corrina Gould - Ohlone, Spokesperson of the Confederated Villages of Lisjan, Co-Founder of Sogorea Te Land Trust, and Co-Founder of Indian People Organizing for Change
Corrina Gould is a Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone woman, born and raised in Oakland, California - or the ancient village of Huichin. She has three children and two grandchildren. She is the Co-Founder and a lead organizer for Indian People Organizing for Change, a small Native run group that works on Indigenous peoples’ issues. In April 2011, Corrina joined Johnella LaRose, Wounded Knee De Ocampo, and a committee of allies, to bring together dedicated warriors for a spiritual encampment at Sogorea Te, a 15 acre sacred site in Vallejo CA. The occupation lasted for 109 days and resulted in a cultural easement between the City of Vallejo, the Greater Vallejo Recreation District, and two federally recognized tribes. This struggle set a precedent for this type of work going forward, inspiring others that are working on sacred sites issues. Corrina’s current focus includes creating an Ohlone land trust within the urban setting of her ancestral territory in the Bay Area. She also works full time at the American Indian Child Resource Center, where she assists in directing an after school program that provides services for Native students in Oakland. Corrina also sits on the California Indigenous Environmental Association Board, the Board of Directors for the Oakland Street Academy Foundation and is the treasurer for the Edes Ave HOA. Last but not least, she is an avid Raiders Fan.
Pennie Opal Plant - Yaqui and undocumented Choctaw and Cherokee, Co-Founder of Idle No More SF Bay, Co-Founder of Movement Rights, and Signatory on the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty
Pennie Opal Plant is one of the co-founders of Idle No More SF Bay, a co-founder of Movement Rights and a signatory of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty. She has worked for over 35 years to ensure that the sacred system of life continues in a manner that is safe, sustainable and healthy. Her mother is Yaqui and Mexican, her father undocumented Choctaw, Cherokee and European. No members of her family have ever lived on a reservation. She lives in unincorporated Contra Costa County and sees the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California every day.
Her Excellency President Hilda C. Heine - President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands
President Hilda Heine is a Marshallese educator and politician, currently serving as the eighth President of the Marshall Islands, the first woman to hold the office. Prior to taking on the Presidency, Hilda served as the Minister of Education, and was the first individual in the Marshall Islands to earn a doctorate degree. President Hilda is the founder of the women's rights group Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI), and previously worked on critical initiatives including the Pacific Islands Climate Change Education Partnership, Leadership Pacific Advisory Board, the Commission on Education in Micronesia, and the Human Resources in Health Task Force.
Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner - Poet and Co Founder of Jo-Jikum, Marshall Islands
Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner is a poet of Marshallese ancestry. She received international acclaim through her performance at the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014. Her writing and performances have been featured by CNN, Democracy Now, Huffington Post, and more. In February 2017, the University of Arizona Press published her first collection of poetry, Iep Jāltok: Poems from a Marshallese Daughter. Her work has recently evolved and begun to inhabit gallery and performance art spaces – her work has been curated by the Honolulu Biennial in Hawai’i in February 2017, then the Smithsonian art lab ‘Ae Kai in July of 2017, and most recently the upcoming Asia Pacific Triennial in Australia in November 2018. Kathy also co-founded the non-profit Jo-Jikum, dedicated to empowering Marshallese youth to seek solutions to climate change and other environmental impacts threatening their home island. She has been selected as one of 13 Climate Warriors by Vogue in 2015 and the Impact Hero of the Year by Earth Company in 2016. She received her Master’s in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Honorable Mary Robinson - President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, and former President of Ireland
Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland (1990-1997), former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002), and founder and President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative (2002-2010), has spent most of her life as a human rights advocate. As an academic (Trinity College Law Faculty 1968-90), legislator (Member of the Irish Senate 1969-89) and barrister (Irish Bar 1967-90, Senior Counsel 1980; called to the English Bar 1973) she sought to use law as an instrument for social change, arguing landmark cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court in Luxembourg as well as in the Irish courts. A committed European, she also served on expert European Community and Irish parliamentary committees. Mary Robinson returned to live in Ireland, following the planned end of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, in December 2010. She now serves as President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. Between March 2013 and August 2014 Mary Robinson was the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa. From August 2014 – December 2015 she was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. In May 2016 the UN Secretary-General appointed Mary Robinson as a Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate.
President Mirian Cisneros - (Kichwa) President of the Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador
Mirian Cisneros is one of the first women to serve as the President of the Kichwa Pueblo of Sarayaku in Ecuador. From a young age she has been involved in community and regional organizations, including the Sarayaku women's organization. This spring, she took part in historic dialogues between indigenous leaders and Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno, and leads her community’s efforts to confront oil extraction in indigenous territories and promote alternative development pathways like Kawsak Sacha ["the living forest"].
Annie Leonard - Executive Director of Greenpeace USA
Annie Leonard is the Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, an independent environmental organization which uses research, creative communication, non violent direct action and people-power to advance environmental solutions. Prior to this role, she created The Story of Stuff, a hit 20-minute webfilm and book that take viewers on an eye-opening tour of the often hidden environmental and social costs of our consumer driven culture. The Story of Stuff film has generated over 40 million views in more than 200 countries and territories since its launch, making it one of the most watched online environmental-themed films to date and sparking a much needed conversation about patterns of consumption today.
Casey Camp Horinek - Ponca, Ponca Nation Council-Woman, and WECAN International Advisory Council Member
Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation is a long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress. As traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society, Camp-Horinek helps maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma for herself, her family and her community. She has been at the forefront of grassroots community efforts to educate and empower both Native and non-Native community members on environmental and civil rights issues. In April of 2008 Camp-Horinek, as a delegate of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), was chosen to speak to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and present IEN’s global platform regarding the environment and Native rights. She has continued as a representative in this capacity in various forums. In 2016, Casey Camp-Horinek became a Council Woman for the Ponca Nation. She additionally serves as WECAN International's Special Programs Advisor, and is an honored member of the WECAN International Advisory Council.
Amy Goodman - Host and Executive Producer of Democracy Now!
Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide. The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard honored Goodman with the 2014 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence Lifetime Achievement Award. She is also the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone, and was later selected for induction into the Park Center’s I.F. Stone Hall of Fame. The Independent of London called Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration.” Goodman has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers. Her latest, Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America, looks back over the past two decades of Democracy Now! and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world. Goodman has received the Society for Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence; American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award; the Paley Center for Media’s She’s Made It Award; and the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. Her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria has won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press. PULSE named Goodman one of the 20 Top Global Media Figures of 2009.
Jacqueline Patterson - Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Environmental and Climate Justice Program
Jacqueline Patterson is the Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Since 2007 Patterson has also served as coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United. Jacqui Patterson has worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice. Patterson served as a Senior Women’s Rights Policy Analyst for ActionAid where she integrated a women’s rights lens for the issues of food rights, macroeconomics, and climate change as well as the intersection of violence against women and HIV&AIDS. Previously, she served as Assistant Vice-President of HIV/AIDS Programs for IMA World Health providing management and technical assistance to medical facilities and programs in 23 countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Patterson served as the Outreach Project Associate for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, West Indies. Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the International Committee of the US Social Forum, the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, Advisory Board for Center for Earth Ethics as well as on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story Based Strategy and the US Climate Action Network.
Kandi White - Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Lead Organizer on the Extreme Energy & Just Transition Campaign with the Indigenous Environmental Network
Kandi has emerged as a leading voice in the fight to bring visibility to the impacts that climate change and environmental injustice are having on Indigenous communities across North America. Upon completion of her Master’s Degree in Environmental Management, Kandi began her work with the Indigenous Environmental Network as the Tribal Campus Climate Challenge Coordinator, engaging with more than 30 tribal colleges to instate community based environmental programs, discuss issues of socio-ecologic injustice, and connect indigenous youth with green jobs. She is currently the Indigenous Environmental Network's (IEN) Lead Organizer on the Extreme Energy & Just Transition Campaign, focusing at present on creating awareness about the environmentally & socially devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing on tribal lands and working towards a Just Transition away from the fossil fuel industry. Her local work is complemented by international advocacy work, including participation in several United Nation Forums and a testimony before the U.S. Congress on the climate issue and its links to issues of health, identity, and well being on tribal lands.
Eriel Deranger - Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Indigenous Climate Action, Canada
Eriel Deranger is a founding member of Indigenous Climate Action (ICA), and spent two years in the role of interim director before becoming Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action. A member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation(ACFN), Deranger has a far reaching reputation for challenging fossil fuel development and championing the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Deranger has over a decade of experience working with environmental organizations as well as front-line Indigenous knowledge holders, water protectors and land defenders across Turtle Island. More recently, Deranger worked for her Nation as the strategic Communications and Climate Change Coordinator. She is an active member of the UN Indigenous Peoples Caucus and sought after globally as an opinion leader on climate change and Indigenous rights.
Nina Gualinga - Kichwa, Leader from the Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador
Nina Sicha Siren Gualinga is an Indigenous woman leader from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Since she was eight years old, she has been actively involved local, national and global advocacy efforts in defense of Indigenous rights and territories in the Amazon and for climate justice. In 2011, she represented Sarayaku youth at the final hearing before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica where Sarayaku won their historic victory against the Ecuadorian government for violating their rights and territory for oil drilling. In 2014, she joined global calls to keep oil in the ground at the People’s Climate March and COP21. In 2015, she joined a large delegation from Sarayaku at COP21 in Paris advocating for the protection of “Living Forests” and in 2016 she joined a historic indigenous women’s march uniting indigenous women of 7 nationalities in defense of rights and territories. Nina splits her time between Sarayaku and Sweden, where she is a law student. Most recently, she a co-Founder of HAKHU Amazon Design, working to support efforts of Shiwiar, Kichwa and Waorani women to defend their territories, through sustainable sales of their hand-made designs.
Michelle Cook J.D. - Diné/Navajo, Human rights lawyer, and Founder and Co-Director of the Divest, Invest, Protect campaign
Michelle Cook is an Indigenous human rights lawyer and a commissioner on the Navajo Human Rights Commission. She is the Founder of the Divest, Invest, Protect campaign, and has worked with the Water Protector Legal Collective, the on the ground legal team which provides legal services to those arrested at the Standing Rock encampment. She advocates for Indigenous human rights internationally.
Neema Namadamu - Founder of SAFECO/Hero Women Rising - Maman Shujaa, and Women's Earth and Climate Action Network Regional Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Neema Namadamu is a visionary peacemaker from Bukavu, South Kivu Province in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where she advocates for peace, women’s rights, rights for persons with disabilities, rights for Indigenous pygmy peoples, and Rights of Nature. She is Founder and Director of SAFECO, the Synergy of Congolese Women’s Associations and Maman Shujaa: Hero Women of the Congo, through which she has a established a media center for Congolese women to make their voices heard on the range of issues affecting their country. Neema also serves as WECAN International’s Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leading workshops and trainings with local women to address deforestation, build women’s leadership, support Traditional Ecologic Knowledge, and protect the rich ecosystems of the Itombwe rainforest.
Antonia Juhasz - Energy author, investigative journalist and analyst, specializing in oil
Antonia Juhasz is a leading energy analyst, author, and investigative journalist specializing in oil. Her investigations have taken her a mile below the ocean surface in the Gulf of Mexico to the rainforests of the Ecuadoran Amazon, from the deserts of Afghanistan to the fracking fields of North Dakota, from the Alaskan Arctic to the oiled beaches of Santa Barbara, and many more places in between. Antonia reported from Standing Rock on the Dakota Access Pipeline for Pacific Standard Magazine and Grist. She completed a series of six articles for Newsweek on the UN Paris climate talks, reporting from Alaska, North Dakota and Paris. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Bachelors Degree in Public Policy from Brown University. She is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. Antonia founded and runs the (Un)Covering Oil Investigative Reporting Program, a project of the Society of Environmental Journalists - and is a Yale University Poynter Fellow in Journalism.
Wanda Culp - Tlingit, Artist and forest defender, and Women's Earth and Climate Action Network Regional Coordinator in the Tongass, Alaska
Wanda “Kashudoha” Loescher Culp is an Indigenous Tlingit activist, advocate, and hunter, fisher and gatherer of wild foods, born and raised in Juneau, and living in Hoonah, Alaska. She is the mother of three children, and is recognized as a storyteller, cultural interpreter, playwright, and co-producer of the film Walking in Two Worlds. As of 2016, Wanda has united with WECAN as a Regional Coordinator, revitalizing initiatives to protect the Tongass Rainforest and the traditional rights and lifeways of the regions Indigenous peoples.
Valéria Paye Pereira - Tiriyó and Kaxuyana, Member of Executive Coordination for APIB (Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil) in Brasília/DF
Valéria Paye Pereira is from the Tiriyó and Kaxuyana Indigenous village, located in the states of Pará and Amapá, Brazil. From an early age she participated in the discussions and the Indigenous movement. In 2008, she took over the coordination of the COIAB Representation (Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon) in Brasília (DF), being responsible for the articulation of the Amazon indigenous movement with other regions of the country. As a result, she participated in the foundation of the APIB (Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil) and the organization of Camp Terra Livre (ATL), held annually. In addition, she was responsible for the dialogue with representatives of the government (institutions and ministries), National Congress, Federal Public Ministry, STF, embassies and civil society organizations in Brasilia. She is the first indigenous woman to occupy this important position in the indigenous movement. From 2011 to 2016, she was at UnB (University of Brasília), where she graduated in Social Sciences. In April 2018, at the invitation of COIAB, she became again part of the Executive Coordination of APIB in Brasília / DF.
Dr. Gail Myers - Agri-Cultural Anthropologist, Co-Founder of Farms to Grow, Inc. and co-initiator of the Freedom Farmers Market in Oakland, California
Dr. Gail Myers is an Agri-Cultural Anthropologist. Since 1997, she has being interviewing and writing about African American farmers, sharecroppers, and gardeners. In 2001, as a doctoral student at The Ohio State University, Gail Myers organized the first statewide conference in Ohio, “Sustaining Communities: Ohio’s Black Farmers at the Cross-roads. In 2004, Dr. Myers co-founded Farms to Grow, Inc. in Oakland, CA to work in partnership with African American farmers. Farms to Grow, Inc. initiated the Freedom Farmers Market in West Oakland, CA in 2013. Dr. Myers’ areas of expertise include: Black Agrarianism, Decolonizing the Food Systems, and Agroecology. Also, she maintains a wide spectrum of grassroots organizing and coalition building, locally and globally, through her work with Farms to Grow, Inc. The Root Magazine (April 24, 2015) featured Dr. Myers as one of seven urban farmers to know. In 2018, she received the Advocate for Social Justice Award “Justie” from the Eco-Farm Association. Her upcoming documentary/multi-media project, “Rhythms of the Land”, is currently in post-production. www.rhythmsoftheland.com.
Miriam Nobre - Representative of World March of Women in Brazil, and member of the technical team of SOF (Sempreviva Organziação Feminista)
WMW is an international feminist movement that works to eliminate the root causes of poverty and violence against women and struggles against all forms of inequality and discrimination directed at women. Their values and actions are directed at making political, economic and social change, centered around the globalization of solidarity; equality between women and men, among women themselves and between peoples; the respect and recognition of diversity among women; the multiplicity of our strategies; the appreciation of women’s leadership; and the strength of alliances among women and with other progressive social movements. Miriam is an activist in the World March of Women, and a member of the technical team of SOF (Sempreviva Organziação Feminista) where she develops training, counseling and action research on issues related to feminist economics, solidarity economy, agroecology and food sovereignty.
Leila Salazar-López - Executive Director of Amazon Watch
Leila Salazar-López is a mother; proud Chicana-Latina woman; and passionate defender of Mother Earth, the Amazon, indigenous rights and climate justice. Since 2015 she has served as the Executive Director of Amazon Watch, leading the organization in its work to protect and defend the bio-cultural and climate integrity of the Amazon rainforest by advancing indigenous peoples' rights, territories, and solutions. For 20+ years Leila has worked to defend the world's rainforests, human rights, and the climate through grassroots organizing and international advocacy campaigns at Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange, and Green Corps. She is a 1998 graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Leila lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband and two young daughters.
Bridget Burns - Co-Director of the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
A feminist, climate activist & Co-Director of WEDO, where she has worked since 2010, Bridget specializes in policy advocacy, research and movement building at the intersection of gender equality, women’s rights and climate justice. For several years, she has been particularly focused on integrating gender equality into the decisions and outcomes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In addition, Bridget serves as the co-Focal Point of the Women and Gender Constituency, which supports the political participation of women’s rights advocates into the climate process. Prior to WEDO, Bridget worked at LEAD International coordinating a global network of environmental leaders and conducting leadership training. She obtained a Masters from the London School of Economics in Gender, Development and Globalization, where the focus of her research was on eco-feminism, strategic essentialism and its deployment in literature and policy, as well as a Bachelors in International Policy. Through this work and study, Bridget has also spent time completing on site practicum on a wide variety of development issues in several countries: renewable energy infrastructure in Beijing, global health issues in Tunisia, disaster risk and resilience in Bangkok, and women’s economic development in Costa Rica. She has been and is currently engaged in a number of local and international climate activist groups, as well as a feminist writing collective.
Shannon Biggs - Co-Founder of Movement Rights
Shannon Biggs is Co-founder and Director of Movement Rights, which was born in 2015 out of her 12 years of work at Global Exchange, where she served a Director of Development and began the Community and Nature’s Rights Program, focused on assisting communities confronted by corporate harms to enact binding laws that place the rights of communities and nature above the claimed legal “rights” of corporations. Over 160 communities have passed these new laws across the US, and have used this new understanding to stop working defensively against corporations and take courageous action to assert their rights to make governing decisions where they live. Shannon is the co-author of two books, ‘Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots’ and ‘The Rights of Nature.’ She is also a leading international speaker, author and activist on the growing movement for Rights of Nature. Shannon is a lecturer of weekend “Democracy Schools” that explore the rights-based framework for change, and leads rights of nature trainings around the country. She was previously she was a senior staffer at International Forum on Globalization (IFG), where she organized large international teach-ins and wrote and edited for IFG publications. She also was a Lecturer in International Relations at San Francisco State University. Shannon holds a Masters in Economics/Politics of Empire the London School of Economics (LSE), and has a BS in International Relations from San Francisco State University (SFSU).
Elizabeth Kaiser - Regenerative farmer, and Owner/Operator of Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, California
Elizabeth Kaiser owns and operates Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol. With a background in tropical agroforestry, natural resource management and public health in the Sahel of West Africa, Central America as well as Northern California, Elizabeth with her husband Paul had fresh insights into farming and as such developed Singing Frogs Farm’s innovative model. Singing Frogs Farm is multi-award winning for their highly intensive, no-till, ecological management system. They have increased their soil carbon by over 300%, while drastically reducing their water use and generating over $100,000 per acre in sales. Along with feeding her own community, Elizabeth’s passion is teaching their model of resilient small-scale, regenerative, no-till vegetable production.
Doria Robinson - Executive Director of Urban Tilth, and Representative of the Climate Justice Alliance
Doria Robinson is a 3rd generation resident of Richmond, California and the Executive Director of Urban Tilth, a community based organization rooted in Richmond dedicated to cultivating urban agriculture to help community build a more sustainable, healthy, and just food system. Urban Tilth hires and trains residents to work with schools, community-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, and individuals to develop the capacity to produce 5% of Richmod’s own food supply. Formally trained as a Watershed Restoration Ecologist, Doria previously acted as the Program Manager at Urban Creeks Council in Berkeley, Coordinator and Manager for Community Stewardship Programs at the Watershed Project, and Instructional Assistant in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. She also worked at Real Food Company in San Francisco, an early proponent of organic and sustainable agriculture, and with Veritable Vegetable, a women-owned organic produce distribution company, also in San Francisco.. She is passionate about exploring her work from the perspective that physical, social and economic health is dependent upon ecological health; the restoration of one depends on the restoration of the other. Doria is a Certified Permaculture Designer, Certified Bay Friendly Gardener, a Certified Nutrition Educator and a Certified Yoga Instructor and the founder of Sanctuary Yoga, Richmond’s 1st and only yoga and meditation center. She was recognized as Environmental Advocate of the Year for Contra Costa County and as Woman of the Year for Contra Costa County in 2010 and in 2011 she was presented with a Community Resiliency Leadership Award from Bay Localize. Doria currently lives in the neighborhood she grew up in in Richmond with her wonderful 14-year old twins.
Amira Diamond - Co-Director of the Women's Earth Alliance (WEA)
Amira joined Melinda as WEA’s Co-Director in 2007 to expand WEA’s programs, build the WEA team and create a community of support for its work. Active within the NGO community for over 20 years, she has worked for community health, environmental and food justice, LGBTQ, and women’s rights, directing organizations like Julia Butterfly Hill’s Circle of Life and Democracy Matters. She graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Women’s Studies, studied Women and Development at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, and attended Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley. She holds certification as a Holistic Health Counselor and brings a holistic approach to all aspects of WEA’s organizational design. Amira’s deepest inspiration comes from her two young sons, and her family of musicians, artists and dedicated community organizers. In her spare time she plays the violin and directs the Social Prophet Choir.
Crystal Huang - Coordinator of Energy Democracy National Tour and Founder of CrossPollinators
Through the development of CrossPollinators, Crystal Huang works with local change-makers in the frontline communities to co-create the largest database of community-based climate solutions, so they can share resources and gain visibility to create meaningful change from the ground up. She has more than 10 years of experience in climate solutions technology – from resource recovery to energy management to solar, which includes being the Associate Producer of "Time to Choose" – a documentary by Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson. When she learned about the innovative strategies local communities come up with, she never turned back. CrossPollinators is currently coordinating the Energy Democracy National Tour and co-creating an innovative legal model that will help communities get capital to start owning their own energy systems.
Morissa Zuckerman - Representative with Sunrise Movement
Morissa grew up in Oakland, CA, where she attended her first protest as a third grader toting handmade anti-war signs. She began organizing for divestment as a student at Pitzer College, where she helped lead a successful divestment campaign. From there she joined the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network and worked as a regional fundraising coordinator and then Development Director, and coordinated the People’s Climate March Youth Convening this past April. She is now organizing with Sunrise Movement, building a movement of young people to make climate change an urgent political priority, create millions of good jobs, and elect climate leaders who will stand up for the health and well-being of all people. She just launched a local Sunrise hub in the Bay Area. She has also focused on faith-based activism, studying the role of religious leaders in the climate movement and organizing with IfNotNow, a group of young Jews working to end the American Jewish community’s support of the occupation and fighting for freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians. She spends her free time cooking, reading, taking photos, and exploring in nature.
Karina Gonzalez - Women Speak Program Coordinator, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network
Karina Gonzalez is a Xicana born to Mexican-indigenous parents. Raised in LA’s San Fernando Valley, she found her passion for environmental justice experiencing the first-hand effects of environmental racism in LA and directly witnessing the effects of climate change in her family’s hometown in Michoacan, Mexico. She studied Environmental Studies at the University of Arizona and Forestry at Northern Arizona University. Karina has worked for Greenpeace USA, Black Mesa Water Coalition, SustainUS, and currently also works for Friends of the Earth. Karina was a recipient of the 2016 Brower Youth Award, the leading national environmental award for youth. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, PBS, and other news sources.
Emily Arasim - Communications Coordinator, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network
Emily Arasim is a farmer, storyteller, and aspiring educator and community organizer, born and raised in Tesuque, New Mexico. Since 2014, she has served as the Communications Coordinator for the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, helping expand strategic platforms in media and storytelling, outreach, advocacy, and education. Emily is also active in her home region, where she is learning from the land, and working for the protection and continuation of traditional seed keeping, farming, and water stewardship practices. Emily is honored to be an El Puente Caucus Member and 2018 Los Sembradores Farm Apprentice with the New Mexico Acequia Association; a Youth Representative with Communities for Clean Water (CCW); and a 2017/18 Spiritual Ecology Fellow. Her writing and photography documenting global movements of women standing for climate justice has been published in outlets including The Ecologist, Common Dreams and EcoWatch.
Osprey Orielle Lake - Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network
Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International. She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote climate justice, resilient communities, and a just transition to a clean energy future. Osprey serves on the Executive Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is the visionary behind the International Women's Earth and Climate Summit, which brought together 100 women leaders from around the world to draft and implement a Women's Climate Action Agenda. She is Co-Director of the Divest, Invest, Protect Campaign and oversees WECAN’s advocacy work in areas such as Women for Forests, Rights of Nature and UN Forums. Osprey is the author of the award-winning book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature.