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Climate of Hope 2021

Women, girls, + Climate Justice

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021, 3-5 pm PST
Networking Opportunity 5-6 pm

Join us for our third Climate of Hope Forum and learn how women are leading the way for just climate solutions.

The Climate of Hope forum will shed light on how the climate emergency disproportionately impacts girls and women and the essential work that they do. Speakers will explore the intersection of sexism, racism, classism, and other oppressions as they tell their stories of climate impacts, climate activism, building climate-resilient communities, and working for social and environmental justice.

The audience will interact through polls, chat, resource-sharing, and post-webinar discussions.

We will be presenting a Virtual Art Show from the Pajaro Valley Arts Gallery showcasing women artists that illustrate connections to the environment. Pajaro Valley youth will also be featured through video and art.


We welcome a diverse audience so that we can foster and cultivate women’s leadership in all sectors of society. Attendees will also be given the option to join a virtual networking meeting after the webinar for further discussion. 

Interpretation in Spanish and Mixteco will be available on Zoom and by phone conference line.


Please support open access to this event as you register by making a secure donation.

Suggested gift range - $15-100

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Major support provided by:

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Featured Speakers


Kanyon "Coyote Woman" Sayers-Roods

Cultural Representative and Native Monitor for Indian Canyon Mutsun

Kanyon Sayers-Roods is a Costanoan Ohlone-Mutsun and Chumash public speaker and consultant. Kanyon also goes by her given Native name, “Coyote Woman” (Hahashkani). With a background in web design and interactive media, Kanyon has been using her knowledge of indigenous insights and leadership to initiate and facilitate conversations that bridge the gap between indigenous pedagogies and corporate and state entities.


Kanyon has spoken, giving land acknowledgements, keynotes and talks at venues including the 2020 UN Youth Summit for the UN Ocean Decade, Bay Area Youth Climate Summit, SF Asian Art Museum, San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University, Oakland Museum of California, SF Moma, SF City College and the DeYoung Museum and was proud to open the SF Women’s March in November 2020. Kanyon has served on the Native Advisory Committee at CSUMB, as a consultant for EEOC (Environmental Educators of Color) and serves as a board member for NACRI (Native California Research Institute), California Oratory Resource Network and


Kanyon is a Cultural Representative and Native Monitor (MLD Most Likely Descendant) for Indian Canyon Mutsun Band of Costanoan|Ohlone People. She is OSHA10 certified and works alongside Archeologists in the field offering cultural perspective on today’s common practices and sacred site protections. Kanyon has worked as a teacher’s assistant for Earth Activist Training’s Permaculture Design Certification and uses her knowledge of indigenous pedagogies to inspire transformative climate conversations and strategize for sustainable futures. 

Leslie Aguayo

Environmental Equity Program Manager, The Greenlining Institute

Leslie Aguayo is an urban planner and advocate with experience in poverty alleviation, asset building, affordable housing, equitable transportation and community outreach strategies using both quantitative, qualitative and ethnographic methodology in an effort to increase upward mobility in urban, suburban and rural spaces. As Environmental Equity Program Manager Leslie works to further equitable electric vehicle policy and investments. She leads Greenlining’s transportation equity work, advocating to increase racial equity in transportation planning and investments, implementing the Charge Ahead California Initiative–a law that works to make electric vehicles accessible to low- and moderate-income Californians -- and advocating for equitable EV charging infrastructure investments at the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, and the California Air Resources Board. Leslie was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Master of City Planning and holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Anthropology and Urban Studies from the University of California, Irvine.

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Nayeli Gallardo

Sustainable Energy Specialist

Nayeli Gallardo grew up in Greenfield, in the Salinas Valley. Her family emigrated from Mexico when she was in the first grade to pursue their dream of a better life through education. In middle school and high school, she joined Girls Inc. of the Central Coast and eventually worked as a Girls Inc. Youth Leader for the high school ECHO program. She moved from her farmworking town to go to college at Stanford University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a focus on water and environment studies. Upon graduating, she worked with Girls Inc. programs again and then moved to Mexico City. There, she worked in the country’s electric power utility (CFE) for a few years and found a passion for the dynamic energy sector. To specialize in this, Nayeli moved to Europe with a scholarship to a dual master’s program on sustainable energy systems from InnoEnergy. She studied at UPC in Barcelona, Spain and KTH in Stockholm, Sweden and wrote a thesis on energy storage technologies. She recently returned to the U.S. and is seeking opportunities to contribute to energy sustainability on this side of the world with her international background in engineering and business. Nayeli believes firmly in the power of the individual, the family, and the community to enact change.

Natasha Burr

Landscape Designer

Natasha is an emerging landscape designer at VITA Planning and Landscape Architecture in the Bay Area. She is motivated to combat climate change through policy, planning and physical design. Natasha received her Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia with a Certificate in Environmental Ethics. She got her start in the field working for Park Pride - a nonprofit that designs, advocates, and fundraises for parks and greenspaces in under-served communities in Atlanta. Her experience spans from barrier island sustainable development plans to large-scale green infrastructure park designs and site specific solutions. She is an Associate Advisory Committee Member for the American Society of Landscape Architects and in her spare time, she makes pottery, bread, and friends with stranger's dogs. 


Mireya Gomez Contreras

Co-Director, Esperanza Community Farms

My name is Mireya Gomez-Contreras and I stand for dignity, courage and interconnection for myself and all others. I'm a daughter of farmworkers who came to the US to work in the 70's. My parents taught my sister's and I a deep love for family, our Mexican roots and education. I am a graduate of UC Santa Cruz but the most insightful education is the one I've gained as a community organizer. I've established roots in Watsonville and it's an honor to work with Esperanza Community Farms as Co-Leader alongside our Lead Farmer. At Esperanza we practice and are constantly learning about the power of local community-driven processes for social change.  Join us! 

Hermelinda Vasquez

Esperanza Community Farms

My name is Hermelinda Vasquez. I'm originally from San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca, Mexico. I came to the US in 2006. I have three grown children, 2 sons and a daughter. My daughter lives in Oaxaca and has three children. I live in Live Oak with my sons and my beautiful grandson, Isaac. I enjoy participating in the Esperanza Community Farms community because as a little girl in Oaxaca I grew up cultivating the soil. It's an important memory with my father.


Ashley Gauer

Program Manager, Special Projects

Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

Raised to embody concepts of ohana, laulima and ha'aha'a, Ashley learned the value of community, collaboration and humility early on. She was born into a multi-racial, multi-ethnic family in one of the most multicultural, geographically isolated population hubs on earth, the former Kingdom of Hawai'i. She deepened her sense of community in San Francisco, where she earned a BA in Bio-Psychology, Minors in Public Service and Philosophy, and broadened her worldview having studied and volunteered abroad for several years post graduation. After earning her Masters degrees in international education and public administration in Monterey, Ashley began her journey with the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), where she is the Program Manager for Special Projects. She leads MBEP's Climate Change and Student Ambassador (Internship) Initiatives including special projects on the intersectionalities of diverse industries, and innovations in public/private partnerships in the green economy. As a member of CA Forward, MBEP works with state and local policy, business and community leaders across diverse regions and interests to increase capacity for creating inclusive, sustainable growth for everyone. A former international educator and business owner, Ashley continues to build schools and programs in under-served communities around the world with a focus on girls education, sustainable closed-loop systems, community-led, owned and operated development, and inclusive economic mobility. Ashley values conversations and experiences that deepen our connection to ourselves, one another and our planet; and is looking forward to a rich panel discussion with such fearless and compassionate women leaders. 


Monica Urias

CSUMB Student & UROC Researcher

My name is Monica Urias and I go by the pronouns she/her/hers. I am currently in my second year at CSU Monterey Bay majoring in Environmental Science, Technology, & Policy. I enjoy the great outdoors and find great pleasure learning about the interactions between animal species, climate change, and people. I am almost 20 years old now and have been thinking about having children in the near future. I developed a curiosity around what women think in regards to this and was surprised to find that there is a lack of coverage on the challenges they face when deciding whether to have children or remain childless. This led me to form a research project of my own which aims to explore women's thoughts, feelings, and concerns about having/raising a child, while taking into consideration the widespread effects of climate change and concerns for global sustainability. I am honored to announce that with the support of UROC and the Koret Scholars Program, I am partnering with Regeneración throughout the development of my research project. 

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