Climate Woke: Art, Organizing and Ecological Justice

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 1:00pm to 2:15pm

Faviana Rodriguez 

Favianna is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and social justice activist based in Oakland, California. Her art and praxis address migration, gender justice, climate change, racial equity, and sexual freedom. Her practice boldly reshapes the myths, stories, and cultural practices of the present, while healing from the wounds of the past. Favianna's projects include Ben & Jerry's Pecan Resist, two large scale public art commissions with the City of San Francisco, a partnership with Jill Solloway to create, and an upcoming storytelling initiative at the US Mexico border. Her work serves as a record of her human experiences as a woman of color embracing joy, sexual pleasure and personal transformation through psychedelics as an antidote to the life-long impacts of systemic racism. Her signature mark-making embodies the perspective of a first-generation American Latinx artist with Afro-Latinx roots who grew up in Oakland, California during the birth of hip hop and the crack cocaine epidemic.

Favianna's practice includes visual art, public art, writing, cultural organizing and power building. She leads meaningful collaborations with social movements that lead to resilient and transformative cultural strategies. In addition to her expansive studio practice, she is the co-founder and president of The Center for Cultural Power, a national organization igniting change at the intersection of art, culture and social justice. In 2016, Favianna received the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship for her work around immigrant detention and mass incarceration. In 2017, she was awarded an Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity for her work around racial justice and climate change. In 2018, she received the SOROS Equality Fellowship for organizing artists activists. An artist entrepreneur, she has co-founded various institutions, including the EastSide Arts Alliance, a cultural center and affordable housing complex in Oakland, CA, and, the largest Latino online organizing community in the US. She is currently working on a short form, web-based series about sex and consent.

Jessa Calderon 

Jessa Calderon is the Coordinator of Indigenous Oceans and Waters Protector Program for Sacred Places Institute. Jessa is a Tongva and Chumash songwriter, poet, hip hop artist, performer, hypnotherapist, massage therapist, energy worker and offers guided meditations. Jessa encourages our community and youth to find their healing mentally, physically and spiritually through her words, music and practices. Jessa has had the privilege to work with community and youth from many Nations, helping them find themselves while helping them to feel good about themselves.



Gopal Dayaneni (facilitator) 

Gopal 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. Gopal did his undergraduate studies at UC Davis, graduate studies in education at UC Berkeley and was the first Climate Justice Fellow in the Urban Sustainability Masters of Arts program at Antioch University, Los Angeles, where he continues to teach in graduate and undergraduate programs. 

Link to Registration Here


We hope that the session with Favianna and Jessa inspired you to see the central role of culture, art and creativity in transformative change for Climate Justice. Create a piece of art (no constraint on medium: poster, painting, song, poem, collage, etc.) on a theme of Climate Justice. Your art can draw on themes raised in this past talk, the previous talks, your classes or your own experience. Your art can be designed to educate and/or inspire action and organizing. Please include a short description and explanation of your artwork.  

Faculty and Student Resources:

(1) Read: What is Cultural Organizing by Paul J. Kuttner

(2) Watch: Climate Woke!

(3) Check Out: The Center for Cultural Power Climate Art Gallery

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