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Co-Founder Ezra Silk Departs The Climate Mobilization

By Margaret Klein Salamon and Matt Renner

Today we are letting our community know that Ezra Silk has moved on from The Climate Mobilization (TCM) and is pursuing other opportunities to advance an emergency response to climate change.

TCM has played a key role in shifting the politics of climate change, and Ezra has been at the heart of that shift. As Co-Founder, Strategy & Policy Director, and Deputy Director and a member of our Leadership Team, Ezra has always summoned his rigor, brilliance, strategic instincts, and collaborative style to effectively advance our mission.

Inspired by Margaret’s call for a national climate mobilization effort, Ezra spent his early days at TCM developing the organization with Margaret and defining our policy paradigm: A whole-of-government mobilization to restore a safe climate. This work culminated in our policy platform as well as two major publications: The Case for Climate Mobilization and The Victory Plan. The Victory Plan, Ezra’s sweeping blueprint for a national climate emergency response, recruited many to join TCM and emboldened key climate movement leaders to start advocating for solutions at the scope, scale and speed necessary to solve climate change.

Ezra then turned fully to advocacy and organizing work, committed to building political support for a whole-of-government climate response that, unlike the incremental approaches predominant at the time, would protect all people and species from the ravages of climate catastrophe and build a fair and equitable economy. 

First, Ezra played a central role in our team’s campaign to elevate our platform in the 2016 presidential election, which resulted in Senator Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party Platform Committee adopting our call for a Climate Mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II.

Following the 2016 elections, Ezra recognized the need and opportunity to build climate emergency campaigns at the local level. To this end, Ezra advised the Office of Councilmember Paul Koretz and served on the L.A. Leap Coalition Leadership Team from 2017-2019, to help advance L.A. Leap’s campaign that passed multiple pieces of legislation declaring a climate emergency and establishing and funding the world’s first Climate Emergency Mobilization Office

Thanks to TCM’s deliberate efforts to spread the climate emergency campaign across the country and to the United Kingdom, the example set by the L.A. project helped set in motion a chain of events that led over 31 countries and 1,800 sub-national governments collectively representing over 820 million people across the world to officially declare a climate emergency. The declarations in turn led to concrete climate emergency policies, including the City of Berkeley’s historic ordinance banning natural gas in new buildings, which resulted in a wave of similar building electrification mandates across the country. The resulting 10,796% increase in the use of the phrase “climate emergency” also led the Oxford Dictionary to declare Climate Emergency the Word of the Year 2019.

In 2019, Ezra also played a central role in drafting the Climate Emergency Resolution (H.Res.52 and S.Con.Res.22) introduced by Senator Sanders and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as convening the national coalition that supported it. This campaign won support for the resolution from 113 members of Congress (including Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and seven other presidential candidates). It also inspired The New Yorker’s endorsement of a national declaration of climate emergency and the World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency now signed by over 13,000 scientists.

Ezra’s contribution to TCM, and the climate movement at large, has been enormous. While we are pleased he will be joining our Advisory Board, we will very much miss working with him on a day-to-day basis. We are confident he will continue to have a significant and lasting impact in the years to come and we look forward to future collaborations. 

Margaret Klein Salamon is the Founding Chair of The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project, and Matt Renner is the Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. 

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Kristen Cashmore

Senior Director
Kristen brings more than 25 years of social justice advocacy to Climate Mobilization. Her previous positions at human rights, public health, environmental justice, and clean energy organizations inform her work with the variety of stakeholders she is engaging with to bring an accelerated response to the climate emergency. Kristen earned a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley, where she was a teaching assistant in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

Malik Russell

Communications Director

Malik leads Climate Mobilization’s press and communications strategy. He formerly served as Communications Director for the NAACP. He is a journalist, author, community-based educator, and former lecturer in the Department of Strategic Communications at Morgan State University. The former editor of the Washington Afro-American newspaper, he has worked as a journalist in the Black Press for over two decades.He has a BA in American history from Brandeis University and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College in New York, where he was selected as a National Urban Fellow.

Ezra Silk

Deputy Director

Ezra is co-founder of The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization Project. He authored The Climate Mobilization’s Victory Plan, an influential exploration of how the federal government can organize and implement a mobilization to save civilization from the Climate Emergency and ecological crisis. This document directly shaped the demands of the Extinction Rebellion movement and the Green New Deal framework. Ezra was also a lead author of the climate emergency declaration resolution introduced in Congress in July 2019. A former newspaper reporter, Ezra has a BA in history from Wesleyan University.

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.

Laura Berry

Research & Policy Director

Laura brings over a decade of experience to Climate Mobilization in climate advocacy, organizing, research, and policy. She has worked on climate, environmental, and sustainability issues from local to global scales with organizations including the Stockholm Environment Institute, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, and 350.org. She is passionate about deepening democratic engagement in response to the Climate Emergency. Laura has a BA in human ecology from College of the Atlantic and an MSc in global environment, politics, and society from the University of Edinburgh.

Rebecca Harris

Organizing Director

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

Operations and Community Manager
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.

Sydney Ghazarian

Digital Organizer
Sydney leads digital strategy for The Climate Mobilization and Climate Mobilization project. She is also a founder of National Democratic Socialists of America Ecosocialist Working Group and worked to establish climate as a primary focus of the American Left. Sydney has previously worked in journalism and in academic research. Sydney received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California San Diego.

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.

Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD

Founder and Board President

Margaret is the founder of The Climate Mobilization (TCM) and Climate Mobilization Project (CMP) and helped catalyze a worldwide climate emergency movement through her work with both organizations. Margaret now serves as Climate Awakening Program Director. She is the author of Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth (New Society Publishers, April 2020) and several influential essays. She is also a member of the Climate Emergency Fund’s Advisory Board. Margaret earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University and a BA in social anthropology from Harvard. Though she loved being a therapist, Margaret felt called to apply her psychological and anthropological knowledge to solving the Climate Emergency.

AriDy Nox

Organizational Development and Engagement Manager
AriDy brings creativity, enthusiasm and a tremendous capacity for organization to her/their role, assisting the executive director with travel, communication and fundraising. AriDy Nox is a multi-disciplinary black femme storyteller and social activist. They have served as a national representative for The Young Women of Color Leadership Council, the Millennials of Color Leadership Bureau, and held writing positions with Advocates for Youth and RH Reality Check. She has worked as an administrative and executive assistant for a myriad of organizations including the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch School of the Performing Arts at NYU, the Youth Engagement Fund and the Community Resource Exchange.