Sandra Oxford is an activist, community organizer, educator, trainer and union representative, working on living wage issues and other problems affecting Mexican immigrants in upstate New York. She is currently the President of the Sullivan County Branch of the NAACP instated January 2015. Sandra’s appointment to various governmental boards and her volunteer service on numerous not-for-profit boards dedicated to health, legal representation for the indigent, youth services and immigrant advocacy spans two decades. She currently serves as a board member of the Hudson River Health Care-Health Centers, Worker Justice Center of New York, and is a member of WJFF Radio’s Community Advisory Board.
Some people work in harsh, brutal and unfair conditions. In their daily efforts to make a living, they face economic inequity and systemic racism supported by laws still on the records. Labor movements committed to empowering workers make a difference in their lives, but how do we bring about lasting safety, security, and livelihood? In this talk I discuss how we can empower workers to make a difference in their lives, their workplace, and organize for lasting power.
Carlos Pérez García-Pando is an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. His research interests range from understanding the physical and chemical processes controlling atmospheric particles, to evaluating their effects upon climate, ocean biogeochemistry, air quality and health. He is also a climate model developer with extensive experience in supercomputers. In recent years, Dr. Pérez has been involved in a cross-disciplinary research effort to unravel the links between dust particles, climate and meningitis epidemics in Africa.
Anthropogenic emissions have strongly increased since the pre-industrial era leading to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are unprecedented in the last 800,000 years. Together with other anthropogenic drivers, their effects have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. Limiting climate change and its impact upon people and ecosystems requires dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions together with adaptation measures. Key challenges towards solving the climate conflict include innovative communication, economic security and a just labor transition.
Diana Reiss is a professor in the Psychology Department at Hunter College and in Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is one of the world’s leading experts on dolphin intelligence and communication and has been repeatedly involved in their rescue. As author of the book The Dolphin in the Mirror: Exploring Dolphin Minds and Saving Dolphin Lives, she makes a powerful case for dolphin conservation and global protection.
Dolphins and other cetaceans are extraordinarily social and intelligent beings, but many face a terrible fate in the notorious drive hunts that continue today in countries such as Japan, and the seas in which they live are acidifying due to climate change. However, it’s still possible that stronger conservation and environmental efforts, along with other actions, can secure the welfare of these magnificent minds in the sea.
Susan Silver is a Public Defender attorney with the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender. While at the Public Defender's Office, Susan was the Director of the Office of Inmate Advocacy and oversaw class-action litigation to address unconstitutional conditions of confinement. She was also the Program Administrator for the Public Defender's Life Skills Advocate Program, which assisted prisoners with re-entry to society. She worked in the Prisoner's Rights Clinic at Washington Square Legal Services in New York and at the Louisiana Coalition on Jails and Prisons where she lobbied the Louisiana legislature to establish a statewide halfway house system. Her clients who face difficulties in obtaining employment once they leave incarceration often contact Silver for help.
We live in a mass incarceration society. America houses 2.2 million people in our jails and prisons. Each year, more than 725,000 men and women leave state and federal prisons to return home. Just about all of them need a job. Ex-offenders face a long list of hardships, but at the top of the list is their difficulty in getting a job. Nearly all employers conduct criminal background checks, and when they discover that a person has a criminal record, the ex-offender’s chance for employment plummets. But numerous studies show that having a legitimate job is the best way to reduce recidivism. There’s a growing recognition that it’s in everyone’s interest that when individuals come home from prison, they need a chance to succeed. My presentation will present twelve recommendations on how to create meaningful job opportunities for ex-offenders.
Rachel Sussman's decade-long transdisciplinary project The Oldest Living Things in the World combines art, science, and philosophy into a traveling exhibition and New York Times bestselling book. A member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Corp, Sussman is also a Guggenheim, NYFA, and MacDowell Colony Fellow, and TED speaker. She has exhibited at the MoCP, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden Baden, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Lianzhou Photo Festival, Berlin Botanical Museum, Kunstverein Hannover, NYU, the University of Pennsylvania, and the George Eastman House. In 2014, she began new work exploring deep time and deep space with the support of the LACMA Lab, working with SpaceX, NASA, and CERN. She is a 2016-17 SETI Artist in Residence and has new work in two upcoming exhibitions at MASS MoCA.
I have documented the resilience of life by identifying and photographing continuous-living organisms and want to convey the benefits of discussing ecology and climate change within the conceptual framework of deep time.
Maria Paola Sutto is a biologist and journalist. Her research interests focus on environmental impacts at different scales, from molecular markers to the organized urban systems that allow human species to develop. Since 2008, she has been a core member of the Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, contributing to innovative and interdisciplinary research on the urban environment.
We must engage in new interdisciplinary thinking and problem solving to adapt New York City to the challenges of climate change. There are many ways we can go about creating coastal resiliency, climate change adaptation, and sustainable infrastructure.