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Emma Hokoda

As a passionate and creative young professional with local and global climate experience,  I seek to mitigate climate change and advance sustainable development worldwide through community-driven work that promotes environmental justice. LinkedIn

 

Organizations I work with & support

  • Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
     

    • Miller Center’s mission is to accelerate entrepreneurship to end global poverty and protect the planet. 

    • I completed the nine month Global Social Benefit Fellowship and spent eight weeks conducting action research in Tanzania working with Solar Sister, a social enterprise that trains women in rural communities to be microentrepreneurs of clean energy products. My research was focused on partnership practices to promote sustainable business scaling.

  • Center for Sustainability - Santa Clara University 

    • The Center’s mission is to empower SCU students, faculty, and staff to build a more humane, just, and sustainable world.

    • From 2018-2020 I worked as the Curriculum Development Intern at the Center where I tracked, managed, and reported curriculum data for over 4500 classes a year as well as planned an annual conference for faculty across and outside the University to incorporate sustainability into their courses. 

  • tUrn

    • tUrn is an invitation to all members of higher education institutions and partner networks, alumni & community members to lean in to the climate crisis because it is time. And we must.

    • tUrn was started in 2019 with a tURn week in October 2019 and April 2020. I supported the October tUrn events and was a contributor to the Art for Climate’s Sake event held during the April tUrn week.

 

About me

I grew up in Seattle, WA, perfectly positioned between the ocean, mountains, and forest. I was taught to appreciate and protect the environment from a young age. My parents whisked me off to hike, camp, backpack, and explore the natural beauty around us at every opportunity. My alternative elementary school was very environmentally conscious. Recycling and composting were the norm and many of our studies were focused on conservation, appreciation, and respect for the natural environment. However, it wasn’t until my first year of college when I took an Environmental Ethics class, that my care for the environment developed from a side hobby into a central passion. Our class was discussion based and we covered a wide variety of topics from the ethical obligations of treating the environment as a moral entity to recognizing the inherent anthropogenic problems of placing human value on the environment. This class broke open my previous understanding of the Earth and natural world and propelled me to declare a major in Environmental Studies. 

My commitment to the environment was further strengthened by my study abroad experience in Iceland and Greenland focused on climate change and the Arctic. One particular lecture on communicating climate change was incredibly transformative for me. Our guest lecturer, Dr. Guðni Elísson, an environmental humanities professor had a quote on one of his slides from a Clive James translation of a line from Dante’s Divine Comedy. The quote read “Your future now is to regret the past. Forget your hopes, they are what brought you here.” The words were ingrained in my mind and effectively shattered my perspective on industrialization, human development, and the concept of progress. Through this and other impactful experiences I had abroad, it became apparent to me that I had a responsibility to contribute towards creating a more just and sustainable world. 

In June, 2020 I will graduate with a Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Studies from Santa Clara University with a concentration in Sustainable Development and a minor in Sustainability.

 

My lightbulb moment

During a Greenlandic language class in Nuuk, I read the chorus of Sliarsuaq Takuiuk, “Have You Seen the World,” Greenland’s unofficial national anthem highlighting the role and impact humans have with the earth, and felt an electric pulse shoot through my body. Eqeerit illit, aat inuk: wake up, human. I had been wrestling with this statement long before I knew the song, but that day, in Greenlandic, the message was clearer than ever before.


Spending time in Greenland further awoke me to notice social and environmental inequity I had learned about in the classroom. In witnessing the massive, cramped apartment structures in Nuuk housing the thousands of Greenlanders forced to move to the capital by the Danish government, it became apparent that injustice was built into the very structure of the city. Furthermore, in a lecture on traditional knowledge, I learned that researchers coming to Greenland to study climate change were overlooking input from and the opportunity to collaborate with indigenous people. Forced to recognize the inequity exacerbated by my own field of Environmental Studies, my passion for including community, and particularly indigenous voices in conversations of global importance was ignited.


Emboldened by discovering my human responsibility to the wellbeing of both our planet and its people, I strive to wake up, and stay up every day. 

 

People I read & follow

  • Greta Thunberg

  • AOC

  • Jay Inslee

  • Elizabeth Warren

  • Marianne Williamson

  • Cory Booker

  • Melinda Gates

  • Leonardo Decaprio

  • Ziggy Alberts

 

Climate media

  • Project Drawdown

  • IPCC reports

  • Vox - Climate Change

  • Climate Nexus

  • Greenpeace

  • Our Changing Climate (youtube)

  • Instagram:

  • @ChicksForClimate

  • @get.waste.ed

  • @least.waste

  • @EcoWithEm_

  • @DearTomorrow

  • @ClimateVisuals

  • @c40cities

 

  • Twitter:

  • @MillenPolitics

  • @ArcticCouncil

  • @WRIClimate

  • Podcasts with episodes that discuss climate issues:

  • Planet Money

  • TED Radio Hour

  • Pod Save America