Sunrise Cleveland and the InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF) will facilitate a discussion with Cleveland, Ohio organizers on how we will build a cross-class, multiracial movement. They will delve into what a Green New Deal means to us in our everyday lives, as well as how we face the climate crisis in the frontline communities bearing the brunt of climate change’s effects.
Panelists include Pearl Chen (Sunrise Cleveland), Destinee Henton (American Rivers), Selina Pagan (Young Latino Network-YLN), and Tessa Xuan (Ohio Progressive Asian Women’s Leadership-OPAWL).
Pearl Chen (she/her/hers) is an organizer for Sunrise Cleveland, a youth-led movement dedicated to tackling the sister crises of climate change and racial/economic injustice through the creation of a Green New Deal. Pearl’s passions for environmental protection and problem-solving led her towards a career an environmental engineering. In this path, she observed that it is primarily an issue of policy, rather than technological capacity, that limits our society’s ability to tackle the problem of climate change. This observation, as well as that of the injustice that emerges alongside the climate crisis, has pushed her towards grassroots activism with Sunrise Cleveland.
Selina Marie Pagán is a Puerto Rican organizer born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the Economic Development and Marketing Coordinator at Metro West Community Development Organization and serves as the President of the Young Latino Network. Selina began organizing in the diaspora after Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico in September of 2017. Since then she has helped coordinate rallies including #1yearaftermaria, Ricky Renuncia rallies, and most recently organized supply distributions during the earthquakes in January 2020.
Tessa Xuan (she/they/them) is a connector, facilitator, organizer and leader of OPAWL, a grassroots community of Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and nonbinary people working to build collective power in Ohio. Early experiences that moved Tessa into organizing included the death of Emilie Olsen in 2014 and the resurgence of white nationalism and anti-Muslim bigotry in 2016. Inspired by transnational feminist thought, they are motivated to reduce and prevent trauma caused by systemic oppression. She believes in the power of storytelling in social movements.
Presented by the InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Sunrise Cleveland