Building Sustainable Bridges: Our Roles in Shaping Earth
April 9, 2021
President Joe Biden recently released his climate plan, which strives to address climate change and its disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. Biden’s plan provides solutions to these issues via three main approaches: communication, science, and policy. This event aims to discuss how we, as individuals, can influence and engage with these different aspects of this plan, and how these policies will ultimately impact us. Key themes discussed will include energy, biodiversity conservation, activism, and science-based approaches to combat environmental degradation.
NYU DC Dialogues and Untold HerStories hosted a conversation with NYU Liberal Studies Professors Dr. Leo Douglas, Dr. Gerceida Jones, Dr. Eugenia Naro-Maciel, and current NYU Student and Climate Justice Activist Jamie Margolin who discussed how all of us can come together from different backgrounds to influence future climate change policy.
This program was open to everyone. Registration was required in order to receive log-in details for the Zoom webinar.
Dr. Leo Douglas, Clinical Assistant Professor, NYU Liberal Studies
Leo Douglas is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Liberal Studies. He received his Ph.D., a Masters of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, and an Advanced Environmental Policy Certificate from Columbia University. He also holds a Masters of Philosophy degree in Zoology from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. He is the immediate past-president of BirdsCaribbean, the largest single international NGO focusing on the conservation flora and fauna within the greater Caribbean region. He is a former board member of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB). His previous professional experiences include work as the Executive Director of BirdLife Jamaica, and a manager for the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID-Jamaica) Ridge to Reef Sustainable Watersheds Project for four years. He describes his work as “Nature and Society Geography” as it lies with the complex nexus of human-environment relations within space, place, biodiversity conservation and social identities. His research has been funded by organizations such as Rufford Grants for Nature, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), National Science Foundation (NSF), Idea Wild, and Loro Parque Foundation. His research has been published in the journals Biodiversity and Conservation, Biotropica, Environment and Society, The Journal of Caribbean Ornithology, and Biological Conservation. His publications include “A Teacher’s Guide to the Birds of Jamaica.”
Dr. Gerceida Jones, Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Liberal Studies
Born in Denver, Colorado, I was raised in Caruthersville, Missouri in the 1960’s. I remember the significant influence of my parents and grandparents who molded my sense of moral and civic responsibility. My grandmother owned a local restaurant that also served as a meeting place for community members. There, issues affecting the community where discussed and strategies planned. My grandfather and uncles were Pullman Porters who worked side by side with A. Phillip Randolph in the formation of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. As far back as I can recall, my life has been filled with the understanding that in serving others, one may achieve a personal level of excellence and satisfaction.
In 1981 I received a B.S. degree in Physical Oceanography from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan as the first black woman to receive that degree in the country. My M.S. and Ph.D. degrees was received from NYU’s Department of Applied Science in 1986 and 1997, respectively; in each year graduating with honors. For the past fifteen years I have served on the science faculty in the Liberal Studies Department teaching both the History of the Universe and the Science of Technology. My life’s work has been in service to others. Besides teaching at NYU, St. Albans Under the Stars, a community outreach effort to bring underrepresented populations into STEM fields is a source of pride and joy!
Dr. Eugenia Naro-Maciel, Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Liberal Studies
Dr. Eugenia (Genia) Naro-Maciel, Clinical Associate Professor, Liberal Studies, New York University, is a graduate of Yale University (B.S., Cum Laude, Distinction in Biology). She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology from Columbia University, where she also earned a Certificate in Environmental Policy. Her research program focuses on genetic approaches for aquatic biodiversity and conservation. Population structure and history of threatened organisms such as sea turtles, with conservation and educational applications, represent her main interests. With the revolution in next-generation sequencing, she has expanded into environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis of genetic material collected from waters or soils, ranging from remote Pacific coral reefs to New York City oyster restoration sites. Genia is also a committed practitioner of evidence-based teaching and learning strategies in the classroom, and has co-authored numerous educational materials on protected areas and biodiversity conservation.
Jamie Margolin, Climate Justice Activist
Jamie Margolin is an 19-year-old Jewish Colombian-American organizer, activist, author, public speaker, and filmmaker. She is co-founder of the international youth climate justice movement called Zero Hour that led the official "Youth Climate Marches" in Washington, DC and 25+ cities around the world during the summer of 2018. Zero Hour has over 200+ chapters worldwide and has been a leading organization in the climate movement. Jamie’s the author of a book called "Youth To Power: Your Voice and How To Use It,” which has been translated in many languages and sold all over the world. The book serves as a guide to organizing and activism.
Jamie is also a plaintiff on the Our Children's Trust Youth v. Gov Washington state lawsuit, Aji P. vs. State of Washington, suing the state of Washington for denying her generation their constitutional rights to a livable environment by worsening the climate crisis.
Jamie served as a surrogate for the Bernie Sanders 2020 Presidential Campaign, speaking at several campaign rallies (including the 2020 Tacoma Dome rally to an audience of over 17 thousand people), filming campaign endorsement videos, and doing outreach to get out the vote for Bernie Sanders. She also was one of the youngest Delegates at the 2020 Democratic Convention.
Jamie is also the director, screenwriter, and lead actress in an upcoming web series called ART MAJORS, which is a show a friend group of LGBTQ+ art students struggling with queer love and breaking into the entertainment industry. She is also the host of “Lavender You”, a podcast and online community talking about queer arts and media representation.
Jamie is one of Teen Vogue’s “21 Under 21” girls changing the world in 2018, One of People Magazines 25 women changing the world in 2018, Fuse TV’s Latina Trailblazer of 2018, one of The Today Show’s 18 under 18 Groundbreakers of 2019, MTV EMA Generation Change winner of 2019, one of the BBC's 100 most influential women of 2019, and one of GLAAD’s 20 under 20 LGBTQ+ people changing the world. She is on the OUT 100 list of 2020.
About the Event Producers
Welcome to NYU Liberal Studies Untold Herstories! This is a student-led NYUWomxn100 initiative working towards shining a well-deserved spotlight on womxn with transgender, non-binary, and cisgender experiences that have been historically overlooked and under-represented as a result of their gender or identity. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted some, but not all, womxn the right to vote for the first time in the United States, Untold Herstories will be posting weekly profiles, interviews, and artwork to honor the contributions, pursuits, and achievements of the womxn who inspire us. We will also be providing resources and hosting events on this website and our social media platforms for those looking to contribute to their own communities, so that they can begin to create their own stories.
Leah Bahramipour is a junior from NYU in New York City majoring in Politics and Environmental Studies. She is from Moraga, California.
DC Dialogues is a student-led initiative created to engage the NYU DC community in key discussions on politics, culture, business, environment, education – and more. Through active participation from the student body, DC Dialogues will convene prominent experts of various perspectives to discuss matters most captivating to students.
Ambria Williams is a first year student in Liberal Studies with an intended major in Global Liberal Studies and Public Policy. She is from Memphis, Tennessee and loves reading, writing, singing, and watching films. Ambria also loves analyzing different legal topics and would like to study law. She is excited to be a part of DC Dialogues and is excited to help plan fun, intriguing, and meaningful events for the community.