Hope recently joined the Climate XChange team as our newest Maryland Organizer, get to know her and some of her goals in joining CXC!
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi! I grew up in Washington DC, went to Quaker school in Pennsylvania and attended undergraduate and graduate school in Vermont. I worked in NY as the Associate Artistic Director of STREB, an athletic and acrobatic dance company where I designed and directed a children’s program that made original dances with students across the U.S. and Internationally. I interned with the Western Shoshone Defense Project to support a coalition of US Indigenous groups’ that were compiling a report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. I joined Alternate ROOTS, an organization of social justice artists in the US South and worked as a facilitator for their Resources for Social Change Program. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and have worked as the Director of the Kent County Local Management Board for Children and Family Services, a Lead Navigator for the Affordable Care Act, a Census Supervisor and a Contact Tracer for the Baltimore County Department of Health.
How did you first get involved in and interested in climate work?
In graduate school I studied social justice, conflict transformation and sustainable development. It was then that I became more concerned about human activities’ impact on the environment. After being a Navigator for the Affordable Care Act, I founded the non-profit organization Wheelbarrow Productions to partner with communities to create social change and economic opportunities through the arts. I produced the Make a Movement Project in Kent County, Maryland, leading workshops with local schools and organizations on the effects of heat-trapping gases. The final event took place outdoors where a 100 ft. parachute was used to represent the earth and community members were able to reflect on how their activities impact our planet. I joined Citizens’ Climate Lobby in 2018 and have been a volunteer Group Leader and Liaison to my Federal House Representative Andy Harris.
What are some driving forces/values in your life?
I am a dancer, so I value experiences, health, meaningful interactions with people, the living world and the invisible. I practice Yoga, take daily walks, ride my bike, canoe and kayak. I value deep connections and learning.
What are you looking forward to right now, in terms of joining Climate XChange, but also in terms of the moment of opportunity as you see it currently, what makes you the most excited?
I’m looking forward to getting to know the Climate XChange team. I’m excited to communicate the value of pricing carbon legislation to our state representatives. I think we have an opportunity to bring all parties together to understand how to mitigate green-house gas emissions in a way that benefits all. I’m looking forward to reading, writing and making connections with a diverse group of people and organizations in my State and around the country.
What are you hoping to achieve at Climate XChange, why were you excited to join the team?
I look forward to reaching out to organizations and constituents to discuss how Maryland’s carbon pricing legislation applies to their mission and will support their members. I’m hoping to log this potential coalition-building information for easy access. I am excited to offer my skills and learn from the team.
What do you hope to see in Maryland in terms of climate policy in the coming years, and why?
I would like to see the passage of state carbon pricing legislation, because I think putting a price on carbon is the most effective way to mitigate greenhouse gases.
What does the future look like if we are successful in this work? What is the future you are working for?
If we are successful in this work we will be able to minimize the impact of climate change on our environment while maintaining a healthy economy that will benefit all people. Clean energy will be the most affordable energy. Our air will be cleaner to breathe. I’m working for a sustainable future.