Tuesday, June 6th
6:00 p.m. (doors open at 5:30)
Williwaw, 601 F Street, Anchorage
No entry fee, open to the public
Join the Alaska Institute for Justice Research and Policy Institute in welcoming guest speakers Salote Soqo and Patricia Cochran as they address their experiences on the “front lines” of environmental justice and climate action in the South Pacific and Alaska.
Salote Soqo is Senior Program Leader of Environmental Justice & Climate Action with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) focused on advancing and protecting the rights of peoples displaced by climate change. Salote is a native of Fiji, an island in the South Pacific that is experiencing forced displacement of coastal and rural communities as a result of rising seas, natural disasters and increased temperatures. Her program focuses on lifting the voices of communities that are most at risk to this issue by providing them with resources and tools to empower and protect communities and to defend their inalienable human rights and human dignities. UUSC’s program targets to serve indigenous communities in the South Pacific and in Alaska. Salote emphasizes the urgency of this crisis, “These are indigenous communities and what they are experiencing is directly impinging on their basic human rights and their values as indigenous people. Governments must urgently respond to this crisis to protect the rights and dignities of their communities.”
Patricia Cochran is an Inupiat Eskimo born and raised in Nome, Alaska. She serves as Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission (ANSC), a public, not-for-profit corporation. The ANSC provides a linkage for creating partnerships and communication between science and research and Alaska Native communities. Ms. Cochran previously served as Administrator of the Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage; Executive Director of the Alaska Community Development Corporation; Local Government Program Director with the University of Alaska Fairbanks; and Director of Employment and Training for the North Pacific Rim Native Corporation (Chugachmiut). She also served as Chair of the 2009 Indigenous Peoples’ Global Network on Climate Change and former Chaire of the Inuit Circumpolar Council, an international organization representing 155,000 Inuit of Alaska, Canada, Russia, and Greenland.
Alaska is at the forefront of one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of the 21st century. As the Arctic disproportionately bears the consequences of a rapidly changing climate, Alaska Native communities are facing an urgent need to relocate. Join us to discuss this critical issue!