Four Bay Area Women Discuss How Their Organizations Have Responded to the Racism Protests of 2020 in this new ESTUARY VOICES Podcast.
It might be a stretch for many of us to see the relationship between keeping the Estuary healthy and racism in our communities. But leaders and staffers in organizations and agencies across the San Francisco Bay Area have been steadily working to make this connection, and recent events – with the death of George Floyd and erupting protests – have made them ask themselves what more do they need to do? In this first segment of Estuary Voices, the San Francisco Estuary Partnership’s Liz Juvera asks four women working at the equity forefront to share their observations, struggles, and insights. Their observations reflect the different stages of their careers, and the different types of organizations they work in, including a small NGO, a city planning department, a state regulator, and a regional collaborative of local governments.
This podcast, Equity with Intention, shares a selection from four different interviews. It is worth listening to with time and attention, and with an awareness that these conversations are sometimes difficult to have. That’s why hearing their voices is so powerful.
For bios on all five women, scroll down. Podcast art: Amy Tam
Liz Juvera is an Environmental Planner with the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, a collaborative working with regional entities to protect and restore the San Francisco Estuary. Her projects focus on environmental resiliency and stewardship including the Clean Vessel Act Program, Transforming Urban Water Initiative, and bi-annual State of the Estuary Conference. Liz has an M.S. in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco and a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Sejal Choksi-Chugh serves as the Executive Director of San Francisco Baykeeper, an on-the-water watchdog organization that’s been using law and science to defend the Bay from the biggest threats since 1989. Sejal holds a J.D. with a specialization in Environmental Law from the University of California at Berkeley. Courtesy of an Equal Justice Works legal fellowship in 2002, she joined the Baykeeper team straight out of law school with a determination to hold polluters accountable — and she’s grateful that’s exactly what she gets to do every day.
Nahal Ghoghaie has over a decade of experience advancing environmental justice and ecosystem protection efforts throughout the United States. Nahal joined the San Francisco Bay Conservation & Development Commission in December 2019 as their first-ever Environmental Justice Manager. She is also founder of EcoEquity Consulting, which helps clients develop strategies for equitable inclusion of low-income, communities of color, tribal, and other marginalized or underrepresented groups in climate and environmental planning, policy and public funding processes. Nahal also has extensive experience working with water utilities, flood management districts and forest industry professionals. Nahal earned her Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies, with an emphasis on Tribal Leadership of Watershed Adaptation Planning at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.
BCDC Environmental Justice and Social Equity Bay Plan Amendment
Shayna Hirshfield-Gold oversees the City of Oakland’s climate action planning and implementation. She has been part of the City’s Sustainability team since 2014, and most recently led the creation of Oakland’s new Equitable Climate Action Plan (ECAP), which puts the city on a trajectory to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Shayna’s other projects have included city-wide plug-in electric vehicle policies and infrastructure, regional energy policy coordination, urban forest master planning, and working with cross-sector teams to build a more equitable approach to City-community engagement. Prior to joining Oakland’s team, Shayna managed the Silicon Valley Energy Watch program and coordinated the nonprofit Southwest Detroit Joint Leadership Council. A Bay Area native, Oakland resident, and mom, Shayna holds Masters Degrees in Public Policy and Social Work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; and a BA from UC Santa Cruz.
2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan for Oakland
Yeshe Salz is a coalition-builder, facilitator and climate justice advocate working at the nexus of climate resilience, community-driven planning and racial justice. Yeshe has organized with environmental justice organizations across the Bay Area such as PODER and Citizens for a Better Environment (CBE). She holds a degree from UC Berkeley in Interdisciplinary Studies, for which she completed research in the fields of environmental justice, social movement theory and narrative analysis. Yeshe currently serves as both Program Manager for the Bay Area Climate Adaptation Network as well as Program Coordinator for the grassroots coalition, NorCal Resilience Network. By serving in this dual role, Yeshe works to bridge between local government and community in order to help shift power towards community leadership for a more just and resilient future.
Estuary Voices is a pilot podcast project of Estuary News magazine.
The podcast airs the personal opinions of the interviewees, not the official views or policies of their organizations, employers or funders, or of Estuary News or the San Francisco Estuary Partnership.
This segment was edited by Ariel Rubissow Okamoto and produced by Adriana Pera. Music by Joel Kreisberg and Art Swisklocki.
Estuary News also has another new podcast – Science in Short with David Ayers.
Read about changes at the Bay Area Restoration Authority to create small grants to local communities.