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Climate Change and Racial Justice

Climate change and racial justice are increasingly understood to be intimately linked, especially in the U.S. where white men have driven the narrative and controlled power for generations. A new book makes the case that the only way to address the climate crisis is to diversify leadership, and prioritize antiracist and feminist policy. 



On The Point, Heather Goldstone, Chief Communications Officer at the Woodwell Reasearch Center talks with Jennie Stevens about her new book Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy. Also with us Madhavi Venkatesan, founder and executive director of Sustainable Practices and Leslie Jonas, Vice-Chairwoman of the Native Land Conservancy.  

Jennie C. Stephens, PhD, is the Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.  She is also the Director for Strategic Research Collaborations at Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute, and is affiliated with the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, the department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and the department of Cultures, Societies & Global Studies. Her latest book is Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy (Island Press, 2020)

Madhavi Venkatesan is the founder and executive director of Sustainable Practices. She earned a PhD, MA, and BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University, and a Masters In Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School. A recipient of a Fulbright Distinguished Lectureship, she is an author and activist.  

Leslie Jonas, Vice-Chairwoman Native Land Conservancy, is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and has spent many years as an avid landscape designer and gardener; working with the natural flow of land instead of trying to alter it. Leslie has a BA in Mass Communications, is a CPA level certified federal Grants Manager, and holds a Master of Science degree in Community Economic Development. Leslie joined the Native Land Conservancy in 2012, and since has helped to build and run the organization; helping to create awareness and education on Climate issues from Indigenous perspectives. In our Wampanoag culture, our family clans are symbolized by animals from the 3 earth elements of: Land, Water and Air. A member of the Wampanoag Eel Clan, Leslie is heavily committed to conserving water and protecting the natural world by shrinking her family’s carbon footprint. Her lifestyle includes examining her commitment to various healthy environmental practices like reducing water waste, using “green” products that don’t hurt the environment, utilizing Solar as an alternative energy resource and always pursuing ways to live life without harming the planet. The Native Land Conservancy speaks to her passion as a “green” native of Cape Cod whose interests lie in the rescue, restoration and preservation of precious Lands and Water.