I am currently a Climate Organizer and Program Manager for 350 Bay Area. In this role I work with youth climate activists to build community awareness around environmental injustices in the Bay Area so that people feel empowered to take direct action. I am also working on a Bay Area wide network project to eliminate fossil fuels. Both to ensure new infrastructure isn’t built into new projects and to create space for an equitable process to replace poisonous fossil fuel infrastructure in buildings and across cities and counties.
I am a consultant for Climate Creative. As part of this organization I work with creatives (everyone’s a creative!) to develop art and marketing strategies to engage people to get involved in the climate fight. Recent projects include brining creative awareness to environmental racism and a project create a sustainable roadmap for the future.
I am also a part of the immigrant’s rights movement in the Bay Area, most recently organizing with DSA SF’s Immigrants Rights and International Solidarity committee.
I consider myself an educator. I believe that with deep complex issues like the climate crisis you can bring people into the movement through empathy and community building. Yes there are recalcitrant folx- the pipeline politicians and the disaster capitalists- but we build movements with people to overcome the systemic inequalities these exploiters created. I am a nonbinary trans Fiilipinx child of immigrants and I tend to believe that people are first and foremost experts on themselves. Everyone has the capacity to learn and grow and care we just have to make sure they feel that they have the space to do so.
My lightbulb moment
My background is in migrants’ rights and refugee/asylum protection. Globally, and in the US especially, migrant oppression is rooted in legal frameworks and institutionalized racism. And our modern understandings of migration are completely broken and miss the basica reality that people move regardless of reason.
My lightbulb moment came during grad school. I was focusing on Environmental Migration and Forced Displacement, and it was in this context- studying international refugee regimes while storms are strengthenings and droughts last for years- that I realized that the Climate Crisis underpins our entire global system.
Many folx know about the climate collapse countries like Bangladesh or Tuvalu, but western chauvinism creates a false sense of exceptionalism where it’s harder for us to make the environmental migration connections in our own communities. The US is a climate collapse country: Phoenix heat will make one of the fastest growing cities unlivable in ten years; gulf storm surges will only get stronger as the the coast erodes Louisiana and Texas; modern day settler colonialism that displaced Native communities like the Newtok in Alaska continues to create barriers for land justice while homeland disappears.
The Climate Crisis is not just ‘lots of water in some places, less water in others.’ It is the foundational destruction of our entire society; how we live, how we connect and how we struggle. That was my lightbulb moment.
Climate change in NorCal
350 Bay Area is doing dope work. Check Us Out.
California Environmental Justice Alliance is hands down the leader on EJ work here in the Bay Area
The Asian Pacific Environmental Network is a Bay Area organization that has been leading on the connections of environmental degradation and immigrant’s rights in the Bay Area
The Students of Color Environmental Collective is a great student run organization that sprung up out of the #EnvironmentalismSoWhite movement. They’re a great organization that is combating the white savior complex in the environmental movement by creating space for young people of color to build leadership and community.
People I read & follow
Twitter is truly vox populi and these folx are my go-tos for knowing what’s going down in the EJ world:
Heated is a great substack for Monday through Thursday up to the minute climate reporting.
Displaced is a podcast that focuses on my policy areas of expertise: climate change and forced displacement
I always, always, always suggest this article in Commune magazine about the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal is hot and buzzy, but we have to remember the global cost of our policy actions. The US adopting green new deal policies in a manner that is not lead by front line communities risks creating a global climate apartheid. Environmental Justice is hard work and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Read more: Between The Devil and The Green New Deal.