Call for Applications: California Ocean & Climate Justice-Focused BIPOC Mini Fellowship

The Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) and Save Our Shores are offering an exciting opportunity for  emerging BIPOC environmental justice leaders to inspire California to harness its vast wealth, cultural influence, and startup mindset in time to regenerate our ocean and lands and create a just, sustainable global future.
Please share this email with community activists, academics, individuals involved in environmental/climate justice organizations, and others who might like to apply. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, April 9th. 

California Ocean & Climate Justice Mini Fellowship participants will:

  1. Learn from  Dr. Michael Mendez, author of Climate Change from the Streets: How Conflict and Collaboration Strengthen the Environmental Justice Movement and Dr. Paul Ortiz, author of An African American and LatinX History of the United States about the role California can and must play in healing our shared future in a virtual training from 1-2pm on Saturday, April 17 (details below). 
  2. Learn "What makes a compelling, memorable, and impactful story?" from Wilson Liévano, Managing Editor at The GroundTruth Project and speaker & presentation coach/event producer/TEDx Organizer Irene Tsouprake from 2:15-4pm on Saturday, April 17. 
  3. Receive one-on-one speaker coaching from Irene Tsouprake (by appointment) between April 17 and May 14 (details below). 
  4. Create a professionally recorded TED-style talk on Saturday, May 15. (We hope to host the recording session in person at the RCNV in Santa Cruz, CA. If COVID restrictions allow us to do so, we will provide travel stipends to those traveling from outside of the region.) 
  5. Participate in a TED-style virtual World Oceans Week event from 6-8pm on Thursday, June 10 including a Q&A aimed at connecting the dots between the speakers' various stories and the transformative thinking we are working to bring to life. 

Our mission is to form an ongoing community of practice to establish how we cultivate and nurture the transformation needed in our region and California as part of a global transition to a just, sustainable shared future.

Thank you for sharing this invitation with emerging BIPOC environmental justice leaders whose stories might help to catalyze the transformational systemic changes we need to bring a just and joyful shared future to life. 

Silvia Morales, Executive Director of the Resource Center for Nonviolence
Gail McNulty, Senior Manager for Communications & Climate Action at Save Our Shores

Thank you to our April 17 Trainers!

MICHAEL MÉNDEZAssistant Professor of Environmental Planning and policy at the University of California, Irvine who previously served in California as a senior consultant, lobbyist, and gubernatorial appointee during the passage of the state’s internationally acclaimed climate change legislation, will share why we must incorporate local knowledge, culture, and history into policymaking to fully address the global complexities of climate change and the real threats facing our local communities. His 2020 book, Climate Change From The Streets, illustrates the struggle of low-income and minority communities to have a voice in shaping environmental policy and, in particular, the conflicts that have shaped California’s climate policies. As a youth, Michael was surrounded by people resisting environmental racism. Whether protesting the siting of landfills or organizing to demand the cleanup of toxic properties, they sought to understand how these situations originated, to develop alternatives, and to imagine new environmental futures.

PAUL ORTIZ, longtime labor and social justice activist, author, and director of the award-winning Samuel Proctor Oral History Program and professor of history at the University of Florida, will offer a snapshot from the perspective of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in California, the U.S., and the world as it relates to movement building and change making. His most recent book, An African American and Latinx History of the United States (2018), is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history, arguing that the “Global South” was crucial to the development of America as we know it and why placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms US history into one of the working class organizing against imperialism. Dr. Ortiz will also draw from his personal experiences helping to organize powerful movements in California and elsewhere to show how all social progress stems from the hard work and dedication of everyday people. Paul is currently writing the book,"Settler Colonialism and the 'War on Terror': 1492 to the Present", which will be published by Beacon Press. 

WILSON LIÉVANO, a journalist, editor, and animator born in Bogotá Colombia who is Managing Editor at The GroundTruth Project, will share his story and answer questions during the "What makes a compelling, memorable, and impactful story?" segment of our April 17th training. Previously he ran Animated Press, his motion graphics studio, where he focused on the intersection between visual technologies and journalism creating animations to explain complex topics including the Syrian Conflict, the plight of migrants across Mexico, and the Greek Crisis. Before that, he coordinated the online editorial operations of Spanish-language edition of The Wall Street Journal. Wilson was a chosen speaker at the UN Alliance of Civilizations 2015 Hate Speech Symposium and has collaborated with Migrahack, an initiative that organizes hackathons focused on immigration for students, activists and journalists. He has a degree in communications from Universidad Externado de Colombia, a graduate degree in print journalism from Boston University and was selected as a John S. Knight Fellow in 2012.

IRENE TSOUPRAKE has graciously offered to share her skills as a writer, speaker coach, and corporate event producer—working one-on-one with each of our emerging BIPOC Environmental Justice speakers to help craft compelling, memorable, and impactful stories. Irene believes that in a world full of noise, narrative storytellers are essential to making the case for the urgency needed to confront the climate crisis and the injustices that have fueled it. She has been the licensee and curator for TEDXSantaCruz for nearly a decade and, in 2015, spent a month in Thimphu, Bhutan (birthplace of the Gross National Happiness Index) curating and coaching speakers for TEDxYouth@Thimphu and TEDxThimphu. After working with a number of climate scientists, Irene found they could use help creating more compelling narratives to articulate their work and inspire people to begin working together to cultivate and curate a just and joyful future. As a mother and grandmother, Irene is willing to do 'whatever it takes' to save all we can, deepen our sense of global community, and catalyze transformational change.


612 Ocean St | Santa Cruz, California 95060
831.423.1626 | 

Save Our Shores
345 Lake Avenue Suite A | Santa Cruz, California 95062
831.462.5660 |

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