Diverse climate advocates to attend CCL Inclusion Conference this weekend

Speaker photos for CCL Inclusion Conference


Diverse climate advocates to attend CCL Inclusion Conference this weekend

SEPT. 15, 2022 — Citizens’ Climate Lobby is set to host its first ever Inclusion Conference this weekend. Titled “Elevate, Empower, and Rise Up Together,” this event will take place virtually on Friday, Sept. 16, and Saturday, Sept. 17.

“The idea for this conference came about three years ago from then-staff member Princella Talley, who now sits on CCL’s board. The idea has always been to center the voices of the BIPOC community across CCL,” said Karina Ramirez, CCL Diversity and Inclusion Director.

With that concept in mind, this conference has been crafted to provide a safe space for people who have been historically excluded and should be heard in climate conversations, such as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), people with disabilities, and people of the LGBTQIA+ community. The event will include American Sign Language (ASL) and Spanish interpretation throughout.

Allies are welcome to attend the conference to listen, observe, respect, and reflect on the experiences of others, with the hope of bringing back ideas for the next steps on how to make CCL chapters more inclusive. 

CCL supporters have responded enthusiastically to this conference and jumped right in to help make it happen. Ramirez said, “Everything that we do in our department has always been collaborative,” and this event was no different. Volunteers brought ideas and requests for speakers, art, music, poetry, yoga, and other elements they wanted to see included in the event. “I’m like the orchestra conductor,” Ramirez said, coordinating each element for a smooth, successful event.

The conference agenda includes: 

  • A virtual reception on Friday night that will celebrate the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Kickoff remarks from Ramirez and CCL’s Executive Director, Madeleine Para, on Saturday morning
  • A keynote address from pastor and theologian Dr. Harold Dorrell Briscoe
  • Presentations on the barriers BIPOC face to engaging in the climate movement; climate communication; and climate optimism
  • A yoga break

Patricia Rubio, Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator, said, “The conference is very ‘power to the people.’ It’s volunteer-led. It’s volunteer-envisioned. We put them first, and we said, ‘How can we serve you?’” 

Thanks to that approach, the event is led by people with diverse backgrounds and identities, which Rubio notes is a first for our organization. Rubio adds, “This is really beautiful growth for CCL.”

Follow along with the conference on social media by watching the hashtag #CCLInclusionConf.

CONTACT: Flannery Winchester, CCL Senior Director of Communications, 615-337-3642,