Climate Equity Series Part 1: Exposed & Closest - Climate Change, Poverty & Homelessness

Webinar Date: 
March 20, 2019

This webinar focuses on the intersection of climate change, poverty, and homelessness, led by a "poverty Skola" from POOR Magazine, a poor people led/indigenous people led, grassroots non-profit, arts organization dedicated to providing revolutionary media access, art, education and advocacy to silenced youth, adults and elders in poverty. The poorest among us know that climate change exacerbates the challenge of the day to day. When people are already struggling to get by without shelter, clothing, or food in places hit by gentrification, displacement, and poverty, emergencies like wildfire or hurricanes will cause another crisis in impossible situations. Some may also be driven to poverty due to climate change and forced migration or become unhoused during climate crises. Access to scant resources for recovery is often complicated by immigration status, age, race, gender, disability, mental health, and other factors that impede the ability to get one’s paperwork in order. While these stories reveal the struggles faced by those living in poverty, they also demonstrate the community resilience and real solutions, beginning with redefining who is centered closest to the crisis of Mama Earth change aka Climate change and the concept of Poverty Scholarship itself, a poor people-led theory to redefine the voices of poor peoples in crisis as experts, rather than "subjects" of research to be talked about us without us. These are seen in the programs run by POOR Magazine called Homefulness. The Camp Fire in Paradise, CA will be used as a case study to discuss crisis points and homelessness, as well as solutions like Unselling Mama Earth, Radical Redistribution & land liberation projects like Homefulness.

Side by Side 
chair frames and baby toys, 
jackets, toothbrushes coffee cans and pillows
wrapped up in paper made of memories

nylon homes buried under lives made of storms
these aren’t the storms of rain and thunder 
sleet or hail- these rain drops include sheriff’s boots
and eviction notices,
this thunder is made of the sound of your home bouncing on the pavement
the lightening is a po”lice flashlight shining car windows
and hail filled slices of

dreams of what was replaces your leases 
humans walking softly on mama earth
permanently outside..... 

Excerpt of Exposed & Closest to Mama Earth- by Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia 


Tiny (aka Lisa Gray-Garcia) is a formerly unhoused, incarcerated poverty scholar, revolutionary journalist, lecturer, poet, visionary, teacher and single mama of Tiburcio, daughter of a houseless, disabled mama Dee, and the co–founder of POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE/PoorNewsNetwork. With her Mama Dee- she co-founded Escuela de la gente/PeopleSkool- a poor and indigenous people-led skool, as well as several cultural projects such as the Po Poets Project/Poetas POBREs Proyecto (co-founded with Leroy Moore), welfareQUEENs, the Theatre of the POOR/Teatro de los pobres, Hotel Voices( to name a few. She is also the author of Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America, co-editor of A Decolonizers Guide to A Humble Revolution, Born & Raised in Frisco and her second book- Poverty ScholarShip -Poor People Theory, Arts, words and Tears Across Mama Earth A PeoplesTeXt will be released in 2018-19. In 2011 she co-launched The Homefulness Project - a landless peoples, self-determined land liberation movement in the Ohlone/Lisjan/Huchuin territory known as Deep East Oakland, ,and co-founded a liberation school for children, Deecolonize Academy. In 2016 tiny launched the Stolen Land/Hoarded Resources Tours Through Turtle Island with 1st Nations leaders and fellow poverty scholars where poor people tour "rich" neighborhoods across the US and knock on doors humbly asking that wealth hoarders redistribute their hoarded money and assets, The tour is loosely based on the Bhoodan Movement of India launched by Vinoba Bhave who walked through India asking wealthy "land-owners" to gift their land to landless peoples. 

Dr. Hoi-Fei Mok is the climate equity lead at ICLEI USA, bringing 9+ years of social justice and community organizing experience to manage partnerships with local environmental justice organizations in California and provide technical assistance to local governments. They co-lead the 2017 community delegation to COP23 and served on the equity advisory committee and track lead for the 2018 California Adaptation Forum. Fei’s environmental science background grounds their technical support and training curriculum development around climate action planning, adaptation, greenhouse gas inventorying, and renewable energy. Fei manages the California Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC) climate action planning technical assistance and is an adviser for the SolSmart Program. Before joining ICLEI, Fei worked with the City of Emeryville in CA on developing their climate action plan 2.0. Fei’s interdisciplinary background includes climate and food justice research; substantial ecological field research in Costa Rica, Tibet, and Australia; and community organizing and art with various anti-racist and anti-imperialist queer trans people of color organizations in Australia and the Bay Area. Fei holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia with a dissertation on the feasibility of wastewater reuse for agricultural irrigation and a BA in Biochemistry with Honors from Wellesley College, MA.