Join PGE, in partnership with the American Lung Association for the 2021 Climate Action Talks. A three-part discussion lead by some of the region's emerging voices around the topics of youth leadership and advocacy, the science of climate disruption and the environmental justice movement. 

Unprecedented heat and storms, rising sea levels to devastating droughts. Climate Change is here, and it is now. For low-income communities, Indigenous populations and communities of color, negative health and environmental impacts are already being felt. 

While this is an issue that transcends race and age, we are seeing an empowered younger generation step up to the plate with advocacy and innovation.

ACT with Brook Thompson and Rae Blackbird

Thursday, October 28 | Live stream

A dialogue about the differences between the environmental movement and environmental justice

Brook Thompson and Rae Blackbirds will be leading a fishbowl discussion around the difference between the environmental movement and environmental justice. We invite community comments and questions for this talk.


Brook Thompson is a Yurok and Karuk Native from Northern California. Growing up she lived and fished on the same land that her ancestors have been on for over 12,000 years. Brook fights for water and Native American rights through speaking to groups and frontline activism. She has been an intern for the City of Portland’s BES and the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in D.C. and the CA Water Resource Control Board. In 2017 Brook was awarded the American Indian Graduate Center’s Undergraduate student of the year and in 2020 she was won Unity’s 25 Under 25 award. Brook has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a minor in Political Science. Currently, she is in her master’s program in environmental engineering at Stanford University. Miss Thompson’s goal is to bring together water rights and Native American knowledge through engineering, public policy, and social action.

More information at or on Instagram: @brook_m_thompson.

LEARN with Vivek Shandas

Thursday, October 7 | Live stream

A panel discussion about the science of climate disruption, including discussion about urban heat islands and air quality in certain neighborhoods. McDaniel HS teacher in a fishbowl conversation.

Professor Shandas will be joined by Treothe Bullock, McDaniel High School Science Teacher to discuss the science of climate disruption, including discussion about urban heat islands and air quality.


Vivek Shandas is a Professor of Climate Adaptation and Director of the Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) Lab at Portland State University. Professor Shandas supports organizations in identifying and evaluating climate-induced stressors, and the co-creation of adaptation strategies that emphasize equity, resilience, and sustainability. With a focus on urban areas and broadly trained as a social and natural scientist, he has published over 100 publications, three books, and serves as a consult and technical advisor to public, private, and non-profit organizations. During his spare time, he revels in the mountains and waters of the Pacific Northwest, and pines for wood-fired pizza and picnic tables.

REFLECT with Serena Dressel

Thursday, September 16 | Live stream

Affirming the belief that the entire community, anytime can restore, clean and give back for all the gifts nature has given us.

Serena will explore the importance of reciprocity and community in grounding in hope as we work towards a connected, livable, and just future. Reflecting on her experience as a young Oregonian, she will consider the opportunity for frontline youth leadership in climate advocacy.


Serena Dressel (she/her) is a climate advocate and young professional working to support youth-led climate justice movements. As a 25 year old Oregonian, Serena grew up on the Oregon coast, in the Willamette Valley, and in East Portland. Serena supports youth sustainability engagement through her work at Portland State University (PSU)’s Student Sustainability Center and through the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network’s Portland Youth Climate Collective. She is currently a Master’s in Public Administration student with a focus in Global Leadership and Management at PSU, where she also obtained her B.S. in Environmental Studies and Management and a minor in Indigenous Nations Studies. Her work in sustainability aims to elevate and center an intersectional environmentalism approach.

Page last updated: November 21, 2022

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