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Ecological Crisis: False Solutions & Climate Justice Frameworks

May 2023


Speakers: Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation; Gopal Dayaneni, Antioch University; and Sara Mersha, Grassroots International
Date: May 25, 2:00- 3:15 PM ET

In this Solidarity Encounter, we will explore the false solutions to the ecological crisis that corporations have proposed in order to profiteer off of the ecological crisis they have created- such as blue carbon and other so called “nature-based solutions,” geo-engineering, and carbon capture. As an alternative to these false solutions, we will share a climate justice framework that social movements promote and that Grassroots International seeks to uplift, which offers real solutions rooted in connection to and respect for Mother Earth, Indigenous rights, food sovereignty, just transition, protection of biological and cultural diversity, and energy democracy.  

Watch the recording from the Solidarity Encounter here.

Nnimmo Bassey is director of the ecological think tank Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and a member of the steering committee of Oilwatch International. He was chair of Friends of the Earth International (2008-2012) and executive director of Nigeria’s Environmental Rights Action (1993-2013). He was a co-recipient of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award, also known as the “Alternative Noble Prize.” In 2012 he received the Rafto Human Rights Award. In 2014 he received Nigeria’s national honor as Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in recognition of his environmental activism. Bassey is a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects and has authored books on the environment, architecture, and poetry. His books include two volumes of poetry—“We Thought It Was Oil, But It was Blood” (Kraft Books, 2002), and “I Will Not Dance to Your Beat” (Kraft Books, 2011)—as well as “To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa” (Pambazuka Press, 2012) and “Oil Politics: Echoes of Ecological War” (Daraja Press, 2016).
Gopal Dayaneni has been involved in fighting for social, economic, environmental and racial justice through organizing & campaigning, teaching, writing, speaking and direct action since the late 1980’s. He currently serves on the Staff Collective of Movement Generation: Justice and Ecology Project, which brings a strategic understanding of ecological crisis and transition to racial and economic justice organizing. Gopal serves on the boards of The Ruckus Society and the Center for Story-based Strategy. He also serves on the advisory boards of The Working World and Catalyst Project. Gopal works at the intersection of ecology, economy and empire. 
Sara Mersha has been Director of Grantmaking and Advocacy at Grassroots International since 2010. She works to build and maintain long-term relationships with partner organizations and social movements led by peasants, Indigenous peoples, women, and youth in the Global South. Sara also coordinates Grassroots’ advocacy work, collaborating with other US allies as part of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and the Climate Justice Alliance. In 2014, Sara joined the Planning Committee of the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project. Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sara has spent the majority of her life in the United States and brings years of experience connecting local community organizing (such as with Direct Action for Rights & Equality in Providence, RI) with broader movement building efforts. Sara served as Visiting Faculty in the Ethnic Studies Department of Brown University, and entered a graduate program at Brown’s Center for Environmental Studies in 2009. Since then, she has focused her academic and movement-building work on climate justice and food sovereignty.
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