Connecting/Not Connecting in Climate Justice Organizing

A panel co-hosted by Mason’s Center for Humanities Research and Institute for a Sustainable Earth

Friday, November 11, 2022 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM EST
Hybrid Event: Merten 1204 or via Zoom (registration required)


Co-sponsored by Mason’s School of Integrative Studies, Cultural Studies Program, and Center for Climate Change Communication

Panel Description

How do social and political groups organize for climate justice? What are the conditions that enable political solidarity in response to climate change? And how do these groups negotiate the conflicts that inevitably emerge in the process of political action?

As the social and ecological consequences of our changing climate accelerate, it is increasingly urgent to understand how communities organize and social movements emerge around climate justice. Notions of communal or collective responsibility often serve as a basis for political programs to address climate change, but a sense of community is not a given. Rather, it can only emerge under particular circumstances that clarify both potential antagonisms and potential solidarities. Making these potentials real is the work of climate organizing. At the same time, the climate is already unmaking and remaking existing communities, putting the most pressure on those rendered precarious or vulnerable by systems of exploitation, extraction, and domination.

In this panel discussion, climate organizers will dialogue with academics about the ways that the climate crisis is driving changes in how we organize, through the emergence of both affirmative senses of collectivity grounded in solidarity, as well as agonistic senses of collectivity grounded in antipathy. What conflicts emerge from these shifts? What kinds of collective projects respond to them?

Panelists will draw on their climate organizing experiences and scholarship to explore the terrain of solidarity and conflict, in which questions about how groups connect—and fail to connect—are crucial for efforts to create a just and sustainable future for all.

Picture of Tianna CobbThe panel will be moderated by Tianna Cobb


Headshot of Malin RanganathanMalini Ranganathan is an associate professor at American University's School of International Service. A geographer and political ecologist by training, her scholarship focuses on the political economy of land, water, and climate justice in urban contexts. She is the coauthor of the book "Corruption Plots: Stories, Ethics, and Publics of the Late Capitalist City" (Cornell University Press, 2023) and the journal article "From Urban Resilience to Abolitionist Climate Justice in Washington, DC" (Antipode, 2021).




Picture of Justin LiniJustin Lini is a professional facilitator and community activist whose work focuses on connecting policymakers with underserved communities on topics such as infrastructure, resilience, and climate change. He is a member of the DC Commission on Climate Change & Resiliency and served two terms as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for Ward 7’s Paradise and Parkside communities. He is also part of the Ward 7 Resilience Hub Community Committee which recently won a 2022 NOAA Environmental Literacy Grant to build out the steady state programming for the District of Columbia’s first Resilience Hub.



Picture of Kari FultonKari Fulton is an award-winning environmental and Climate Justice advocate, educator, and policy analyst. Fulton has worked with various domestic and global coalitions to coordinate campaigns, leadership development programs, and conferences. Fulton currently serves as an adjunct lecturer in Howard University’s Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program and supports grassroots-led community empowerment as a consultant and advisor for localized community organizations. She has traveled across the United States, Europe, Latin America and South Africa attending and reporting on international Environmental Conferences. Her work is featured in various media including Black Entertainment Television (BET), Glamour Magazine, Essence Magazine, and Chinese Global Television Network (CGTN). Fulton is an alum of Howard University (B.A. Communications and Culture) and Georgetown University (Master of Policy Management) and currently resides with her family in Baltimore, Maryland. You can find Fulton’s writings and commentary at 

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