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Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network would again like to thank everyone who participated in the year-long 2021 Climate Action Pursuit! Thank you to our planning design committee, sponsors, host institutions, organizational partners, Second Nature & IEN staff and interns, and all of you who "attended"!  

If you are looking for the December session recordings, please note that session recordings from ALL milestone events will be made publicly available after the First of the Year. Stay tuned!

If you need to get a hold of us with any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at: communications@secondnature.org.

We also would like to encourage you to sign-up on our "Be in the Know" email list for the virtual Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit taking place April 5-8, 2022! More information forthcoming about the Summit, including registration discounts available to Pursuit participants.

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 - Your Second Nature & IEN Teams
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Wednesday, February 24 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Pursue Student Leadership - A New Social Contract between Students and Higher Ed Institutions

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In this session participants will hear from Elsa Mengistu, a strategist and visionary within the environmental movement, as she shares stories highlighting youth and college activism and empowerment, how and where to get engaged, and the need for intersectionality and multifaceted solutions in the sustainability and higher education sectors. Mengistu is the Cultural Development and Outreach Specialist and Founding Member at Generation Green, a student pursuing a degree in Political Science at Howard University, and the former Director of Operations at This is Zero Hour, a global grassroots climate organization intent on gaining support for the Youth Climate Movement.

Some key takeaways from this session:
In this session, through narrative storytelling based on her lived experience, Elsa Mengistu shares:
  • What led her to learn about white fragility and the importance of educators that care about their students and uplifting marginalized voices;
  • Through her organizing work, how she has worked to address systems of oppression including colonialism, capitalism, patriarchy, racism, and mass incarceration, and how layers of experience within these systems give individuals a unique perspective that should be highly valued and listened to;
  • As a student at Howard University, ways she has seen environmental racism play out inside and outside of the classroom, what higher education is doing right, and how to get engaged and make higher education institutions more intersectional, equitable, and inclusive.

avatar for Elsa Mengistu

Elsa Mengistu

Cultural Development and Outreach Specialist, Student, Generation Green, Howard University

Wednesday February 24, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm EST