Headlines like With TikTok and Lawsuits, Gen Z Takes on Climate Change (New York Times) and Young climate activists warn their elders: Stop destroying the planet (Los Angeles Times), youth are making their voices heard, whether or not grown-ups want to listen. Given the broad set of environmental challenges that Southern California faces, many of which we explored at recent convenings including Extreme Heat, Building Decarbonization, Beyond Fossil Fuels and Making Justice 40 a Reality, youth play a pivotable role in the movement for change.
With historic amounts of public funding now in available to support climate resilient physical and social infrastructure in California, a just transition towards climate resilient communities is possible, with youth in the forefront given their impatience with the carbon-guzzling, status quo in the United States of America.
At this upcoming convening, we’ll discuss equitable, youth-driven solutions that are growing in momentum, each with its own unique set of strategies and tactics. We’ll learn from a set of local stakeholders working across sectors on issues related to navigating the disproportionate impacts on low-income, communities of color.
This program is part of SCG's 2023 recurring programs. To register for all upcoming dates, please click the "Register for Recurring Dates" button. This feature is only open to members; please contact us if you are a non-member and wish to register for the series at email@example.com or (213) 680-8866.
The SCG Environmental Funders Group meets quarterly to educate prospective and current environmental funders about environmental challenges and opportunities in Southern California and foster collaboration, and share successes and challenges. Please contact Katy Pelissier at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit the group's page on the Southern California Grantmakers' website.
Indigenous Youth Environmental Justice Program Director, Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples
Gabriella Lassos (she/her) is Gabrielino Tongva and the Program Director for Sacred Places Institute's Indigenous Youth Environmental Justice Program. In addition to this role, she works with SPI on various topics including indigenous waters, sacred ecologies, just transitions, and marine protection. Gabriella graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in Political Science.
Member Leader, Resource Generation Los Angeles
Spencer Neiman (he/him) is an organizer based in Los Angeles (Tovangaar). He has been a member leader of Resource Generation since 2019. Through this work, he has facilitated political education, coached peers though giving plan creation, and fundraised for a number of organizations, especially the Tongva Taraxat Paxaavxa Conservancy, the first land-back to Tongva people in Los Angeles. Spencer has worked extensively in electoral organizing including including the Warren and Biden presidential campaigns, and the ACLU.
Founder & ED of OneUpAction, Chair of LA County Youth Climate Commission, OneUpAction International
Kevin J. Patel is a distinguished climate justice activist based in Los Angeles with over a decade of experience advocating for a sustainable and equitable world. He envisions a future where young people can access the resources they need to implement climate solutions and combat environmental injustice. Patel is widely recognized for his pioneering work in establishing the Youth Climate Commission, which passed in 2019. As the architect of this initiative, Patel has enabled youth voices to be heard more effectively in addressing the climate crisis. In 2022, Patel was appointed to the Youth Climate Commission as a commissioner. As of 2023, he had been appointed Chair of the YCC. He is also the founder of OneUpAction International, a non-profit that supports and empowers young people to implement and accelerate climate solutions in their communities. Patel's commitment to sustainability has earned him numerous accolades and ambassadorships. He serves as a UN Togetherband Ambassador for Goals 7, 13, and 14 and was named a 2020 National Geographic Young Explorer. He is also a member of several influential organizations, including the Environmental Media Association (EMA) Activist Board, the World Economic Forum's 1t.org US Stakeholder Council, the Ingka Young Leaders Forum, Youthtopia World: Circle of Youth, the Climate Power Council, and many more. Patel's exceptional achievements have been widely recognized, and he has been awarded the Men's Health 20 Under 20 in 2020 and the 2021 NowThis News Sustainability Honoree. Kevin recently received his undergraduate degree in political science at Loyola Marymount University.
SELA Youth Organizer, Communities for a Better Environment
“It is not uncommon to wake up to the sound of loud machinery, to close your windows because of disgusting odors, or to have to choose between where you work and your health. Every day it is something. I decided to organize out of concern for the wellbeing of my twelve siblings, single mother, and neighbors.”
Rossmery, who identifies as a young Central American woman from SELA, has been organizing since the age of 14. She became involved with CBE because her older sisters introduced her to Youth for Environmental Justice (Youth EJ) and the community work young people were leading. As a Youth EJ member, Rossmery has advocated for CBE’s organization’s local, regional, and statewide campaigns out of Southern California. She has worked on several campaigns to push out toxic facilities and practices that go on in her community including the shutdown of Exide Technologies (one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of batteries) and challenging the expansion of the 1-710 freeway, an 18-mile freeway expansion project from the Pomona Freeway to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
As a youth leader, Rossmery was inspired by the power of voice and decided to major in Communication Studies, which allowed her to translate scholarship and local research into narratives and storytelling. Rossmery attended Humboldt State University, East Los Angeles College, and Cal State LA, where she recently earned her third degree. She continues the legacy of grassroots activism in her family as the current South East Los Angeles Youth Organizer.