Inclusion Conference

Building Community Beyond Barriers

CCL's Inclusion Conference

Sept. 15-16, 2023


illustration of people around a globe

Conference Overview

A people-centered conference focused on building leaders, encouraging dialogue, promoting understanding, and building bridges of collaboration to address needed climate solutions. Our world is changing in dramatic and consequential ways and the climate emergency requires everyone’s participation to ensure the creation of a collective future that benefits all.

Our virtual event will kick off with a reception on Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT for a chance to get to know each other. The one day online conference is Saturday, Sept. 16, 1 – 6:30 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. PT.

This conference is organized and led by CCL’s Affinity Action Teams including: Asian Pacific, Climate and Culture, Differently ABLED, Environmental Justice, Higher Education, Latinos, LGBTQIA+ and Allies OUTreach, Listening to Indigenous Voices, Peace Corps, People of the Global Majority, and Youth. Learn more about the Action Teams on CCL Community.

Featured Speakers


Time Zone displayed: EDT/Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Friday, Sept. 15, 2023

Join the virtual gathering for a chance to connect and socialize with fellow attendees before the conference kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 16th.

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023

Karina Ramirez

Diversity and Inclusion Director, CCL/CCE

Professional headshot of Mark Reynolds.

Mark Reynolds

Executive Director, CCL/CCE

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner will be sharing her work as a nonprofit manager, poet, and Climate Envoy for the Marshall Islands Government. She will speak on their current work on their National Adaptation Plan, and how she incorporates aspects of her national and international work into her poetry. Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner will be introduced by Sara Eyassu, CCL Higher Education Action Team member.

photo of Kathy_Jetn̄il-Kijiner

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

Marshall Islander poet, performance artist, and educator

The island of Banaba (Ocean Island) is located in the Pacific Ocean near the equator. A small, raised coral atoll, now part of the Republic of Kiribati, Banaba was one of the world’s most important phosphate-rich islands. After being sustainably inhabited for over two thousand years, the British annexed Banaba in 1900 for the benefit of Australian and New Zealand farmers. A rushed agreement under the direction of the Pacific Islands Company did not make clear the long-term environmental impacts of phosphate mining, or that a major aim was to remove the people altogether. As a result of resource extraction for global agriculture, the Banabans were forcibly relocated to Rabi in Fiji while their ancestral island was made unsuitable for human life. The Banaban experience, and their struggle to maintain identity and dignity, is a cautionary tale for humanity as we face similar economic and environmental challenges on a global scale. Banaba and its neighboring islands in the Republic of Kiribati will be some of the first lands to be lost to rising sea levels. Inspired by the life and work of Dr. Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa, we formed a nonprofit organization, the Fiery Canoe Foundation (FCF), to support Banaban culture and heritage, and help share this story. Learn more. 

Kea Rutherford will be introduced by Minerve Jean, CCL Climate & Culture Action Team Leader.

photo of Kea Rutherford

Kea Rutherford

President of the Fiery Canoe Foundation, Columbia College '27

In order to create just and equitable solutions to climate change, we need more BIPOC leaders on the Boards of organizations working on climate change. Board members act as fiduciaries and lead the strategic direction of their organizations. Green Leadership Trust builds justice and equity in the environmental movement by supporting BIPOC who serve on the boards of environmental organizations. We match organizations looking for BIPOC board members with our members, provide professional development and networking for members and future leaders, and offer a fellowship program for those interested in learning more about board service. In this workshop, we will present the importance of board service for building justice and equity in the environmental movement, and resources for emerging BIPOC leaders who currently serve or hope to serve on the boards of environmental organizations. Clara Fang and Tykee James will be introduced by Callum Cintron, CCL LGBTQIA+OUTReach and Allies Action Team Leader. 

photo of clara fang

Clara Fang

DEI Consultant and scholar-in-residence at Antioch University New England

Tykee James

Sr. Government Relations Rep, The Wilderness Society and Steering Committee Member, Green Leadership Trust

Drawing from his immersive experience living with and visiting indigenous communities in rural Paraguay, Jeff will share his experience with the profound value of bio-cultural diversity and indigenous cultures. From rowing a wooden boat down the Paraguay River carrying out climate research for WWF to documenting the Ayoreo community stories, Jeff’s journey encapsulates the essence of cultural preservation and environmental harmony, offering insights into a more connected and sustainable future. Jeff Wong will be introduced by Manolo Matos, CCL Kentucky leader and CCL Latinos Action Team member.

Jeff Wong

Jeff Wong

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Coach

Take a break to grab a snack, or stick around for a yoga session with Fernanda Lugo.

photo of fernanda lugo

Fernanda Lugo

Eco-activist, artist, yoga instructor, outreach director with the nonprofit, Alliance for Just Money

Kiribati is a Pacific Island Nation located where the international dateline crosses the equator. It is the only country to have territory in all four hemispheres of the world and is the first nation to see the light of day, month, year, and millennium. The threat of climate-induced displacement in the Pacific is real. The presentation will highlight the impacts of climate change and possible future plans for a nation on the frontlines from a citizen of Kiribati, and legendary advocate.

Akka Rimon will be introduced by Mike Roman, CCL Peace Corps Action Team member.

photo of akka rimon

Akka Rimon

I-Kiribati Banaba Researcher and PhD Scholar, Australian National University (ANU)

When discussing BIPOC communities in the environmental movement, we often focus on the harm communities are facing, the destruction the have to live through and their disproportionate representation at the frontlines of the worst effects of the climate crisis. Whilst this education is essential, we must also give space for joy, and celebration, to focus not only on BIPOC pain but also BIPOC joy and to celebrate and amplify BIPOC environmentalists creating better futures for their communities in the world at large. Joycelyn Longdon will be introduced by Suki Tamura, member of the CCL Asian Pacific Action Team.

photo of Joycelyn Longdon

Joycelyn Longdon

Environmental Justice Activist, Academic, Founder, ClimateInColour

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is invited to attend the Inclusion Conference?

Everyone is invited to participate. There are many ways to contribute to the success of CCL’s mission, and we encourage those who are able to join us virtually for our Inclusion Conference to please register.

How do I register?

You can register above, or go to our Eventbrite registration page. Registration will remain open through the conference hours.

Is there a registration fee?

No, this is a free event. If you would like to support CCL’s work, including our virtual conferences, you can make a donation on our website or make a suggested donation of $25.00 (or any amount of your choosing) when you complete your registration. Thank you for your donation!

What should I do if I need to cancel?

Although this is a free virtual event and we plan to have space for all, we would like to have an accurate count of attendees. If you need to cancel, contact us as soon as possible by email.

Program & Agenda

Where can I find the conference schedule?

We’ll be making updates to the program as we get closer to the virtual conference, so be sure to check back for the most up-to-date agenda. You do not have to sign up for specific sessions, you can log in to whichever session you choose the day of the conference.

What is the Friday Night Reception?

Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT we will hold a reception to give attendees a chance to connect and socialize before the conference kicks off on Saturday, Sept 16. This also serves to give attendees practice on logging in to the conference video platform and troubleshoot any issues. 


How do I connect to the virtual conference?

We’ll be using Zoom for this conference. For the best experience on Zoom, be sure to update your Zoom app to the latest version. We’ll be sending reminder emails in the week leading up to the conference with more details on how to access each session.

If you have any issues connecting to Zoom or experience audio or video problems, visit the Zoom Support Help Center. 

Video conference etiquette & tips:

  1. We suggest you use earbuds or headphones rather than your computer speakers & mic for better sound quality and reduced feedback.
  2. Please mute your mic when you are not speaking. All conference sessions will mute participants upon entry. 
  3. If you have unstable internet, try to turn your video off and close all internet browsers and windows on your computer.
  4. Plan to restart your computer before the event begins.

The conference agenda can be found on the conference website (in the “Program” section). You can see the session titles, times, descriptions, and speaker names. On the day of the conference, Zoom connection information will be available. Click the “Join via Zoom” button next to the session you’d like to join. Zoom will open in your web browser, and give you the option to open the meeting in your Zoom Application if you have it downloaded.

If you are joining by phone, find your local number to dial:, or, U.S. Toll-free 1-877-369-0926 or 1-855-880-1246. Each session’s Zoom Meeting ID will be available in the Program section which you can enter when prompted on the phone.

What if I have technical issues participating virtually?

To improve audio/video quality, close all applications and other browser windows. You can read this support topic to learn how to turn on closed captions. If you have problems connecting, please visit Zoom’s support site.

How do I find the video conference login information for each session?

You can check back on this conference website (scroll up on this page) the morning of the conference to find the video conference access information for each session. You can see the session titles, times, descriptions, and speaker names. On the day of the conference, Zoom connection information will be available. 

Click the “Join via Zoom” button next to the session you’d like to join. Zoom will open in your web browser, and give you the option to open the meeting in your Zoom Application if you have it downloaded.