Category Archives: Essay Dialogues

Global Efforts to Combat Climate Change

During the last month, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made waves by calling for a Green New Deal to combat climate change, a call that has been branded impossible and unrealistic despite climatologists’ urgent calls for wide-scale change. However, human impact on the Earth’s environment has been so devastating that geological scientists have indicated that we are in a new planetary epoch called the Anthropocene. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA point out that the five warmest years on global record have come in the 2010s. Frequent wildfires, extended droughts, and increased duration and intensity of tropical storms characterize this new climate. Unfortunately, the IPCC predicts that these conditions will worsen, as they expect the Earth’s temperature will rise 1.5 Celsius by 2030.

In spite of this existential threat to human existence, climate change has received little attention in recent presidential elections, and the Trump administration is undermining, rather than aiding efforts to slow global warming.

This month, we are joined by a policy scholar and an activist.  Many thanks for their contributions on this topic:

Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo

 

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Sunrise Movement and the road to the Green New Deal

By Garrett Blad

 

On a rainy Sunday the weekend after the 2018 midterm elections, some two hundred young people filled the pews of St. Stephen & the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. The young faces chanting and singing in the pews belonged to the Sunrise Movement, a new movement of young people fueled with anger at four decades of political inaction on climate change. Politicians on both sides call them naive for demanding change. The next day, they planned to protest and lobby the new Democratic majority, notably the soon-to-be leader Nancy Pelosi, to back what they called a Green New Deal. The plan calls for a nothing less than WW-II-scale mobilization to transform the American economy to 100% renewable energy in just 10 years. Continue reading

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Three Trends to Watch in Global Climate Change Activism (Video)

By Jennifer Hadden PhD

Scholarly works referenced in this post include my book on global climate change activism Networks in Contention (2015), an important book by Doug McAdam and Hilary Boudet on activism and siting politics for risky energy facilities, Putting Social Movements in their Place (2012), and a recent article I wrote with Jennifer Iris Alan on the NGO campaign around the issue of loss and damage.Screenshot 2019-02-01 09.33.12.png

 

 

 

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Immigrant Organizing in the Face of Threat

By Dina G. Okamoto

Immigrants in the U.S. are currently facing a challenging environment, as Trump has continued to espouse anti-immigrant sentiments and implement restrictive policies at an unrelenting pace.  These policy efforts include the lowest ceiling for refugee admits in U.S. history, expanded deportation of undocumented immigrants in the interior and along the border, the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border, attempts to dismantle DACA and eliminate Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, and most recently, the deportations of Cambodian and Vietnamese Americans who legally arrived in the U.S. as refugee children.

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Immigrants Rights Activism

The place of immigrants in the U.S. has always been fraught, with immigrants simultaneously serving as inspiring affirmations of the American dream and as scapegoats for an endless list of social ills. But since Trump’s election in 2016, hostility toward immigrants has reached a level unseen in recent years. From families being separated at the border to the “Muslim ban” to proposals to eliminate the constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship, immigrants are facing increased hostility in their everyday interactions and heightened threats due to anti-immigrant government policies. Along with these developments, immigrants and their allies are mobilizing and responding to threats in innovative ways. This dialogue brings together scholars and activists to ask what immigrant rights activism looks like in this moment, how it is changing, and what it can teach us about activism in times of increasing threats.

This month, we have a great assortment of essays from scholars, activists, and scholar-activists. Thanks to our wonderful group of contributors on this topic:

Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo

 

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The Evolution of Undocustudent Resistance, Activism, & Empowerment

By Joanna Perez

Although most undocumented immigrants do not have access to a pathway to citizenship, access to education has been granted to eligible undocumented students (undocustudents). In 1982, the Plyer v Doe Supreme Court case ruling prevented the K-12 public education system from denying any student access from enrolling in school, regardless of their immigration status (Olivas, 2012). As such, undocustudents who partake in the K-12 public education system are able to gain a sense of belonging and are momentarily shielded from the daily consequences of an ascribed “illegal” identity (Gonzales, 2016). Yet, upon graduating from high school and transitioning to adulthood, undocustudents begin to experience various forms of exclusion (Abrego, 2006).

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Still Undocumented, and Still Unafraid: Undocumented Immigrant Activism in Hostile Times

By Edelina M. Burciaga

On May 17, 2010, four undocumented students and one ally walked into the Arizona office of Senator John McCain demanding that he co-sponsor the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would have provided a pathway to citizenship for eligible undocumented youth. Wearing graduation caps and gowns and with a crowd of supporters gathered outside, these activists staged a sit-in (Galindo 2012). Three of the four undocumented activists were arrested marking the first act of civil disobedience in the undocumented youth movement. This protest followed the first Coming out of the Shadows event held in Chicago, Illinois in March, 2010 and preceded DREAM Act Summer, a period of intense mobilization to pass the DREAM Act. During the summer of 2010, undocumented activists held hunger strikes, staged sit-ins in Washington D.C., shutdown intersections in major cities, and held rallies where undocumented youth came out of the shadows as “Undocumented and Unafraid.”

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