For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Sevilla, Network Manager
The Central Coast Climate Justice Network Announces Network Manager
Amid Climate Week, Organization Enters New Phase of Growth
September 24, 2021 SANTA BARBARA – As regions around the U.S. respond to the U.N. General Assembly’s focus this week on climate change and climate justice, the Central Coast Climate Justice Network (CCCJN) is proud to announce it has hired Michelle Sevilla as its first Network Manager.
CCCJN is a collaboration of organizations and community leaders committed to a climate movement that advances social, economic, racial, and environmental justice for Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Through forging a regional partnership between social justice, anti-racism, and environmental movements, the network expands the region’s collective power to advance restorative actions and systems change. Their work centers on communities who bear the greatest burden of climate change impacts.
The Community Environmental Council (CEC), the Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), and partnering social justice and environmental organizations launched the network in January 2018 amidst the backdrop of the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow. Relying on a collaboratively designed charter, the network maintains an intentionally horizontal leadership model that emphasizes leadership by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and consensus-based decision making.
Sevilla brings over a decade of non-profit environmental education and outreach experience, including several years of environmental and climate justice advocacy work. As a Filipinx immigrant raised in Santa Barbara and a recent transplant to rural Ventura County, Michelle is uniquely positioned to assume this role serving both counties. She also brings several years of experience engaging in a range of policy work and district-based issues in support of local legislators. She became a CCCJN Organization Representative in the Network’s early days and serves on several CCCJN committees.
Speaking to why she is so passionate about the mission of CCCJN, Sevilla commented, “Environmental and climate justice demand a truly holistic approach that uplifts underrepresented people like me. As a young, queer, immigrant, woman of color, I belong to several demographics especially vulnerable to the effects of environmental and climate degradation. I am deeply humbled to apply my unique perspective and extensive experience to elevating and expanding the work of CCCJN, its Network Members, and its Allies.”
The part-time Network Manager position marks a new stage of growth as the organization launches publicly across Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties and ramps up pursuit of key initiatives, including:
- Designing a Green New Deal: The Network is conducting grassroots surveys of communities to envision a locally designed, BIPOC-led Green New Deal for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. The aim is to represent local needs with special considerations to indigenous and BIPOC populations.
- Building climate resilience and climate leadership: The Network is collaborating with frontline communities most impacted by the climate crisis to build leadership and resilience from the ground up.
- Addressing and changing systemic racism: The Network continually engages in anti-racism work, breaking down barriers that stifle the voices of underrepresented communities whose leadership is critical for a healthy and strong climate justice movement.
Genevieve Flores-Haro, Associate Director of the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), stated, “The work of CCCJN has never been so needed or so urgent. CCCJN’s member and ally organizations are deeply committed to doing the on-the-ground work needed to build lasting, systemic change.”
Current CCCJN members include member organizations, who actively participate in regular meetings, committees and on-the-ground work, and ally organizations, who support the CCCJN mission and the Network’s activities. Current member organizations include: 350 Santa Barbara, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), Community Environmental Council, Food & Water Action, Healing Justice Santa Barbara, Future Leaders of America, Mixteco/Indigena Community, Organizing Project (MICOP), One Step a la Vez, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter, and UCSB Environmental and Climate Justice Hub. Current ally organizations include: City of Santa Barbara, County of Santa Barbara, Environmental Defense Center, Fund for Santa Barbara, and Standing Up for Racial Justice – Ventura County.
The Central Coast Climate Justice Network is made possible with generous support from the Bower Foundation, McCune Foundation, and The Fund for Santa Barbara. For more information, visit our temporary webpage, being hosted by Community Environmental Council until our own network website is built: https://cec.pub/cccjn. For inquiries or more details, contact Michelle Sevilla at email@example.com or 805-770-1857.
About the Central Coast Climate Justice Network
Founded in 2018, Central Coast Climate Justice Network (CCCJN) is a network of organizations and leaders committed to a climate movement that advances social, economic, racial, and environmental justice for Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Through forging a regional partnership between social justice, anti-racism, and environmental movements, our mission is to expand our region’s collective power to advance restorative actions and systems changes. Our work centers on communities who bear the greatest burden of climate change impacts. Learn more at https://cec.pub/cccjn or by contacting Michelle Sevilla at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-770-1857.