November 17 Speaker Series: Justice, Equity and the Climate Crisis

At November’s Speaker Series, explore the connections between climate change, racism, and equity from three experienced climate justice leaders: Taylor Morton, Kevin Patel, and Sydney Asher. Get your facts straight on what some common buzzwords mean and hear examples of disproportionate impacts of climate change, from rural areas in upstate NY to communities struggling with air quality in LA. Most importantly, learn how you can advocate for climate solutions that work for everyone!

About the Speakers:

Taylor Morton has been working with WE ACT for Environmental Justice in Harlem since 2016, formerly as an intern, environmental health fellow, and educational consultant. Their work has included co-facilitating and creating curricula for the organization’s educational programs. Taylor also recognizes the importance of exposing minority, urban, and low-income youth to natural elements, and actively supports this mission. Taylor holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Spelman College, a M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from The New School, and a M.S. in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. (Pronouns: They/Them)

Kevin J. Patel has fought as an intersectional climate justice activist from Los Angeles, CA for the past eight years. Growing up with severe heart issues due to Los Angeles’s poor air quality, Kevin is one of the millions of people across the world who are already victims of the climate crisis. In 2019, he founded OneUpAction International — an organization that supports and empowers marginalized youth by providing them with the resources they need to be changemakers. Through his work with One Up Action, Patel collaborated with the community to create the first of its kind Youth Climate Commission in LA County to amplify youth voices on the climate crisis.

Sydney Asher is a high school student (junior) in Margaretville, NY. She studied the disproportionate impacts that climate change hazards bring to socioeconomically disadvantaged people for a year while she was involved in the University of Albany’s high school science research program. Sydney’s project focused on drawing comparisons between the rural communities in her local Catskill mountain area and other places especially affected by climate change in the U.S. and around the globe- New Orleans, LA in particular. Sydney is co-president of her school’s Climate/Science Club and is a student organizer for the annual Catskills Youth Climate Summit.



Miss any of the Youth Have Power Speaker Series? We’ve got your back.  Check out recordings of previous events below.

October 20 Speaker Series featuring Dr. Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux and Liza Goldberg

We can’t advocate for climate solutions without having the facts straight on climate change science. At October’s Youth Have Power Speaker Series, hear directly from renowned climate scientist Dr. Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, Vermont State Climatologist, and get your questions answered on the nuts and bolts of climate change. And if that isn’t enough, hear from Liza Goldberg, Student Research Assistant at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on how youth can be climate scientists at any age. You’ll leave with all the facts and inspiration you need to start working on solutions for climate action!

September 29 Speaker Series featuring Dr. Elizabeth Bagley and John Paul Mejia

This isn’t your typical virtual event … it’s time to kick-off Youth Have Power! Tune in to to meet some of the youth involved in planning Youth Have Power and hear what’s in store for the next few months. Most importantly, get inspired by two high-energy speakers on the Project Drawdown roadmap to reversing climate change and the role youth can play in making it happen.

John Paul, known amongst his peers as JP, is both a high school senior and an organizer with a coalition of local and national climate action groups. At the CLEO Institute, he co-hosts the House On Fire Podcast and leads the GenCLEO youth advocacy program. Apart from CLEO, JP serves as the founding hub coordinator for Sunrise Miami where he guides the overall work of the group and builds its political power. Through his efforts, JP seeks to educate and uplift the voices of his frontline community to ensure climate justice and a livable future for all.

As Director of Drawdown Learn at Project Drawdown, Dr. Elizabeth Bagley connects people with the most impactful climate change solutions. Through a diverse portfolio of programming, Bagley creates relevant, researched, and relatable sustainability content and initiatives that inspire audiences to take action to help people and the planet thrive together.