About the Event
We are at a critical point locally and globally with climate change, it’s time to highlight how we can all do our part. This event will review the social justice commitments that were made last year amid the re-ignition of Black Lives Matter and climate change and turn them into actionable plans that we can all start today. We will have presentations and discussions with experts within the climate justice ecosystem and the opportunity to speak with other organizations and leaders within this space.
Meet our Keynotes
Esq., Member, NYS Climate Action Council and Senior Advisor, Justice40, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Raya Salter is an attorney, educator and clean energy law and policy expert with a focus on energy and climate justice. She is a member of the New York State Climate Action Council, which is developing NY’s plan to reach the nation’s leading climate action goals. She is also Senior Advisor, Justice40 Initiative, to WE ACT for Environmental Justice. In previous roles she was the Policy Organizer for the NY Renews climate justice coalition, a Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a Regulatory Attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.
She started her legal career as an energy associate at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. Raya has practiced in several jurisdictions, including New York, California and Hawaii and is the co-editor of Energy Justice: US and International Perspectives (2018).
Raya sits on the board of directors of the Energy and Environmental Study Institute and the advisory boards of Evergreen Action, Our Climate and the Initiative for Climate Risk and Resilience Law, a joint initiative of Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Environmental Defense Fund, the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, and Vanderbilt Law School. Raya is also an adjunct professor at Cardozo School of Law.
Prior to becoming a lawyer she worked in community and school based youth programs in Yonkers and Brooklyn, NY. Raya has a BA from Wesleyan University and a JD from Fordham Law School.
Dr. Debora Ley
Debora is a Renewable Expert in USAID’s Central America Regional Clean Energy Initiative, working with TetraTech. Her DPhil dissertation topic analyzed if rural renewable energy projects can simultaneously meet the multiple goals of sustainable development, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation and if so, under what conditions, focusing on Guatemala and Nicaragua. Debora has worked at Mexico’s National Energy Savings Commission in the Cogeneration and Renewable Energy departments before joining Sandia National Laboratories, where she was the Program Manager for the Central America and Mexico Clean Energy and Environment Program, jointly funded by the US DoE and USAID. She has also worked as a consultant for the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the InterAmerican Development Bank, the Latin America Energy Organization, the World Bank and Chemonics. She is a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders, Johns Hopkins chapter and has published diverse articles on topics of rural renewable electrification, especially technical codes and standards, and diverse topics linking renewable energy, climate change and sustainable development.
Otherwise known as, “Brown Girl Green” is a Jew-Pina American environmental media host, speaker, activist, and digital media strategist
Kristy is passionate about working at the intersections between media, diversity, and environmentalism. As a youth climate activist, Kristy has spoken in front of thousands as well as facilitated workshops centered around environmental media and storytelling in cities across the United States. She has also worked with youth from around the world to create collaborative, intersectional online media with the goal of creating conscious, culturally relevant content to engage audiences about proactive solution-building to the climate crisis.
Meet The Speakers
Michael Rojas is a Mechanical Engineer with an interest in studying the intersection of engineering, purpose-driven entrepreneurship, and environmental justice. He is currently studying an MBA in Sustainability from Bard College with a concentration in the Circular Economy. As Founder of EcoHomes LLC, Michael is working towards making the Built Environment equitable for all.
Tyler McFadden leads Pacific Environment’s federal climate advocacy efforts, with an initial focus on ship decarbonization and the zero emission transition at ports. Tyler joins Pacific Environment after years of work for social justice causes, including voting rights, policing, and cannabis reform. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Tyler has worked and volunteered on campaigns at almost every level of government, with a particular focus on electoral, legislative, and issue campaigns that address remaining systemic inequalities for Black and Indigenous people of color and other historically oppressed groups.
Tyler holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies, with a minor in Sociology, and a Master’s degree in Political Management from George Washington University. She is based in Washington, DC.
Dr. Shokry Eldaly
Dr. Shokry Eldaly is a leadership, learning-architecture, and organizational change consultant specializing in human capital development, sustainability, and social equity initiatives. Dr. Eldaly has taught education and executive leadership courses at Columbia, served as an instructional fellow at Harvard, and has been a contributor to numerous national media outlets on issues of social justice, carceral abolition, and education reform.
Lexi is an eco-communicator✨🌿who utilizes data and an intersectional environmental framework to conduct research and tell the stories and strategies of resistance in the environmental movement. She currently works as the Environmental Justice Research Coordinator at Intersectional Environmentalists and has led an Environmental Justice initiative at her University.
David Aviña is an Assistant Director at UHAB, where he coordinates energy services programs and other technical assistance work within the Member Services department, to provide cost-savings tools to the limited-equity Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) co-op community. He helps co-ops capture incentives for energy efficiency measures in addition to working with co-ops to install solar panels through the Co-ops Go Solar campaign. As a bilingual Spanish speaker, David fills an important role many times missing in the energy efficiency industry, especially for the affordable housing community in NYC.
Running-Grass is an educational and cultural theorist and environmental activist. His expertise spans several fields including multicultural education, critical pedagogy, and environmental and wilderness education. He is widely published and nationally recognized for his formative contribution to the field of multicultural environmental education and environmental justice. He was one of the 300 delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991, which launched the Environmental Justice movement onto the national stage. Since the late 1990s, in his position at the United States EPA, he has worked on Environmental Justice issues at various levels of government including federal, state, and local with a focus on identifying and addressing these issues at the community level. Running-Grass is a long-time student of Yoga, Buddhist philosophy and practice, and the Japanese martial art Aikido.
Kesi Augustine, Poetry
Kesi Augustine is a writer, teacher, and scholar based in Queens, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in English from New York University. Her work has recently been published in RESURRECTION, South Broadway Ghost Society, and Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality and the Arts. In 2020, Kesi was named a finalist for The Brannan Prize. Later that year, she showcased two poems for Breonna Taylor and the community fridge movement with the Diverse Streets Initiative in Astoria and Jackson Heights. Kesi’s picture book, Faith Takes the Train, is forthcoming (HarperCollins 2024).
Haley McDevitt, Live Illustrator
Haley McDevitt is an artist & graphic facilitator at Illustrating Progress dedicated to enhancing collaboration and planning experiences through visual support. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts (Painting), Minor in Art History, and Certificate in Arts Management from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2018. Haley was introduced to the world of graphic facilitation while working as an Events Coordinator at Easthampton City Arts in Easthampton, MA in 2019. While working on Easthampton City Arts & Dpict’s Easthampton Futures Project, she began to delve into the world of process design, visualization, and collaborative environments. Haley believes organizing thoughts and their relationships to one another to create a shared understanding and amplify the message in a structured visual outcome is important, exciting, and necessary work relevant to projects of all shapes and sizes.
Yaqui Rodriguez, Sound Meditation
Yaqui gives you the chance to slow down and listen to your divine voice. Through diverse healing modalities she empowers those on the journey of reclaiming their inner peace, personal power, reconnection to the earth and ancestral wisdom. Yaquí is deeply committed to the many aspects of healing justice, cultural and ancestral healing within the framework of decolonization.