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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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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.