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TCM Update: Jacob Blake, Extreme Weather and Climate Voters

In this Update: Impacts of the climate emergency are intensifying, shooting paralyzes unarmed father of three Jacob Blake, some good news from Brazilian rainforest, and more.

Extreme Weather

Along with pandemic fears and political tensions, this month is bringing extreme weather to the United States. The impacts of the climate emergency are clear, terrifying, and intensifying. Our hearts are heavy for those affected, and our dedication to our mission is stronger than ever. We must have a national transformation that rapidly restores a safe climate and creates a just and democratic society.

Iowa is still recovering from a devastating derecho wind storm that hit the region without warning on August 10, tearing through farmland and urban areas with category 2 hurricane-force winds. Little national media coverage or government response has followed. 

More than 1.4 million acres of California have burned in the past week of wildfires. The scale of this destruction is truly staggering, with over 600 separate fires burning around the state. And as an example of our cascading crises and injustices, California is facing a lack of firefighting capacity due to the state’s reliance on prison labor, which is less available due to pandemic-related prison lockdowns and early release programs to spare prisoners from the virus that is ravaging incarcerated people across the country. Air quality in Northern California has been extremely poor and wildfire smoke has reached across the West as far as Kansas

Hurricane Laura has become a category four storm and is poised to hit the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast late this evening with risk of devastating storm surge.

Racial Justice

Protests began this week around the nation, after the police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin of Jacob Blake, a father of three, who was shot seven times in the back by police in front of his children. Blake was unarmed and is now paralyzed from the waist down due to the shooting.

Protests range from ongoing marches in Wisconsin and Los Angeles to practice and game boycotts begun by players and coaches in the N.B.A., and followed by players in the W.N.B.A., M.L.B. and Major League Soccer, and members of the Detroit Lions NFL team. 

Hopeful News

In Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, areas where indigenous groups are given full property rights have much lower deforestation rates, preserving the biodiversity of the rainforest and it’s critical function as a vital storage sink for carbon, at a time when fires and deforestation threaten the region. Over 2 million hectares of land may be turned over to indigenous groups in Brazil, making it more difficult for development and other encroachment to destroy the forest.  

Organizers from many groups, including The Climate Mobilization, Hoboken, are protesting the planned construction of a fracked gas plant in Kearny, New Jersey. Activists are taking to the water in kayaks and marching to protest the air pollution and climate impacts of the project, set to begin in 2021.

New public opinion polling has demonstrated that 68% of the public believes that the government should do more to address climate change. Despite the multiple crises facing the country at this time, the climate crisis is not being eclipsed by other issues as a top concern. This new research suggests that climate will be an important voting issue for a growing sector of the US electorate come November. 

Senate Democrats have called out dark money used to prop up fossil fuels, deceive the public and spread climate denial. Their plan calls for an end to the influence of the fossil fuel industry over policy and public opinion. 

T-Shirts are Back!

We’re happy to announce the opening of our new online store! Our t-shirts, mugs and stickers will start conversations and help you tell the world about the Climate Mobilization we desperately need to create a just economy and a stable climate.

We’re happy to announce the opening of our new online store!

Good Reads

“What Climate Alarm Has Already Accomplished” — David Wallace Wells for New York Magazine

“Disasters are Driving a Mental Health Crisis” Dean Russell and Jamie Smith Hopkins for The Center for Public Integrity

“How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering” — Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich for The New York Times

“The Climate Crisis is an Emergency, Not an Issue” — Mark Hertsgaard for the Columbia Journalism Review

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Alexia Leclerq

Network Coach

Alexia (she/they) is an environmental justice organizer based in Austin, TX. They graduated summa cum laude from NYU (’20), where they self-designed a major titled “The Politics and Economics of Inequality.” Their research focuses on political ecology, environmental justice, AAPI communities, inequality, postcolonialism. As an organizer and researcher they have spent the past 5 years working on various issues from preserving the Colorado River, water rights, fighting land use policy and zoning that enforces race-based discrimination, conducting ethnographic research on climate health, to organizing mutual aid, youth programming, and shaping national legislation alongside members of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance; today Alexia continues to work as an organizer with PODER, a grassroots EJ org. Alexia is also the co-founder of Start: Empowerment, a BIPOC led social and environmental justice education non-profit working with youth, educators, activists, and community members to implement justice-focused education and programming in schools and community spaces. S:E curriculum and programming has reached over 2,000 students, been recognized by the NYC Department of Education, and taught in universities. In 2021, their work was recognized by the prestigious Brower Youth Award.

Emmett Hopkins

National Organizer

Emmett organizes local-scale mobilization for the Sonoma County campaign, while supporting Climate Mobilization’s organizing efforts around the country. He brings over a decade of experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders to build community food systems, ensure equitable access to public lands, and mobilize resources towards a just transition to an amazing zero carbon future. He graduated from Stanford with a BS in Earth Systems and MS in Urban Planning & Sustainable Design. Emmett enjoys growing food and cultivating relationships, riding bikes and buses, and reimagining our communities to better serve all the people living in them.

Suha Dabbouseh

National Organizer

National Organizer Suha Dabbouseh leads national strategy for The Climate Mobilization. They are originally from Chicago but have lived, organized and rebel-roused in seven states and 11 cities. Suha received their law degree from CUNY-School of Law where they focused on social justice lawyering representing detainees at Guantanamo Bay. While practicing law, Suha had worked to advocate on behalf of domestic violence survivors, transgender clients and fighting employment discrimination. Their passion is building people power and organizing to dismantle structural inequities.

Matt Renner

Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization

Matt has worked as a nonprofit executive in clean energy, climate policy, and journalism for over a decade, focusing on the near-term social and economic impacts of climate change. He leads organizational expansion and works closely with the communications and organizing teams. Matt earned a BA in political science from UC Berkeley, where he was deeply inspired by the work of Professor George Lakoff.

Mariyah Jahangiri

Network Organizer

Mariyah leads Climate Mobilization Network’s recruitment, coordination, and organizing support. She has organized across movements and is passionate about addressing white supremacy in the mainstream climate movement and building capacity for youth-led, BIPOC-led intersectional climate movements. She has been inspired by her experiences organizing to defund the police in Boston, supporting mutual aid and food sovereignty projects in Iowa, Atlanta, and Puerto Rico, and working on a Make Big Polluters Pay campaign. Mariyah worked as an organizer with the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign and Planned Parenthood PAC. She graduated from Grinnell College with a Sociology degree.

Rebecca Harris

Co-Leader and Director of Organizing

Rebecca leads Climate Mobilization organizing efforts. Along with a history of social movement organizing, Rebecca he has worked as a journalist covering equity in Chicago public schools. Most recently, Rebecca worked as Development and Communications Manager at Latino Union of Chicago, an immigrants’ and workers’ rights organization. She is a 2017 graduate of the Reframe Mentorship in strategic communications and a 2019 participant in the Anne Braden Organizer Training Program.

Marina Mails

Co-Leader and Director of Operations
Marina manages operations and volunteers for both The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. She brings broad experience working in non-profit organizations, health care settings, and running her own private counseling practice. Before joining Climate Mobilization, Marina maintained a practice focusing exclusively on climate-related emotional coping, helping people make bold choices for lifestyle and professional change in response to the Climate Emergency. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from Wake Forest University and a Masters in Counseling from UNC Greensboro.

Meghann Beer

Co-Leader and Director of Resource Mobilization and Strategy

Meghann brings more than 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience to The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. For over a decade Meghann has worked as a nonprofit consultant helping organizations expand their capacity, secure revenue, develop successful strategies, and effectively evaluate their programs, enabling them to create greater positive change in the world. She has also worked as an executive director, designed and facilitated international service learning experiences, and taught university courses in fundraising and nonprofit management. Meghann earned a MPA in Nonprofit Management and Comparative and International Affairs from The School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN and a BA in Art History and American Studies from Tufts University in Boston, MA.

Cris Lagunas

Strategy Director

Cris is helping to grow the Climate Emergency Movement by supporting creative campaigns and extending the reach of the movement’s message. Cris is a co-founder of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, an organization dedicated to using direct action tactics to expose, challenge and dismantle the immigration detention system.Cris got his start in organizing when he was 15 years old, getting involved in a local group of fellow undocumented youth.

Zack Burley

Policy Associate

Zack provides policy support for the Climate Mobilization team, and brings a versatile set of policy skills and experiences in labor organizing, journalism, legislative politics, and legal practice to the climate emergency movement. Zack earned a JD from Denver University Sturm College of Law, is a founding organizer of the Political Workers Guild of Colorado, and formerly served as a legislative aide in the Colorado General Assembly.

AriDy Nox

Co-Leader and Director of Narrative Strategy

 AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist with a variety of forward-thinking creative works under her/their belt. They create out of the vehement belief that creating a future in which marginalized peoples are free requires a radical imagination. Their tales are offerings intended to function as small parts of an ancient, expansive, awe-inspiring tradition of world-shaping, created by and for black femmes. They have over a decade of experience as a young social activist and organizer, within reproductive justice and racial justice frameworks with organizations like the Young Women of Color Leadership Council with Advocates for Youth, the Toni Cade Bamabara Collective at Spelman College and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. They bring creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role and deep belief that times of apocalypse are opportunities for rebirth. We need first imagine the world we want in order to create it.