At UCI, we understand that transformations in physical infrastructure alone will not suffice to achieve the University of California’s climate and sustainability goals. How we build the human infrastructure to get us there is also key. “Community resilience” describes our efforts to create human infrastructure through which climate and sustainability solutions foster and reflect social cohesion and inclusion of diverse voices in our university community and beyond. Through Community Resilience Projects, we seek to understand, engage, and lift up the interests, contributions, and leadership of underrepresented communities on our campus and in communities in our region that are more vulnerable to the impacts of the changing climate–typically low-income communities, people of color, indigenous communities, immigrants, and elderly populations.
The Climate Ambassador will work with the UCI Community Resilience Project to integrate and align UCI’s sustainability and climate activities with UCI’s wide ranging activities that forward understanding and progress on racial and social justice. The fellow will also work more generally with UCI’s Office of Sustainability and Office of Environmental Planning and Sustainability to communicate about campus and UC system-wide sustainability goals and programs, to assess existing programs, and to empower students to engage in and shape those efforts. In addition, the fellow is expected to help shape and participate in a UC system-wide dialogue and mobilization among fellows regarding cliamte action, a process facilitated and overseen by the student representatives to the UC President’s Global Climate Leadership Council, who convene regular meetings with fellows from all campuses.
Tope is a fourth year Criminology Law & Society major and International studies minor at UC Irvine. She is an avid reader, self-proclaimed photographer and adventurer. Throughout her life she has had the opportunity to live in countries where certain resources are scarce to the majority of the people who inhabit the area. She is aware of the value of resources and how easily we take certain things for granted. She has had the opportunity to live in places like Nigeria, where the water system is not entirely clean and there is not electricity throughout the day. It is priamrily because of this experience that she has a strong interest in sustainability, which for her simply means to empower people and value nature. Her vision for UC students is to realize the interconnectedness of nature and society as well as its relevance to human rights. She is excited to work alongside professors, faculty, and students in learning and facilitating dialogue about how to be an effective advocate in addressing environmental wrongs and racial injustice.