Victoria Matey Mendoza and Steven Simmons
Audience: Community, Educators, Human Rights / Social Justice Professionals, Young Adults (14+) Workshop capacity: 50
This workshop highlights a global, local, and national perspective of the impacts of climate change and migration. By 2050 over 200 million to a billion people will be displaced by climate catastrophes. As we view migration as a global issue we must look at climate change through the same lens, it is a global crisis with only a collective solution. We will look at the intersections of climate change, race, incarceration, migration, and the military to better understand the intersections between these.
I have spent years working on immigration topics and this is the first time I look at the intersections of climate change. I cannot continue my work without talking about this. We should all be preparing for massive migration in a just way. Creative Extremism would describe connecting the systemic parallels to a greater picture. So often we look at intersections as separate but I believe they are a network of mutuality–one impacted by the other. Dr. King used this language to talk about people but it can also be applied to the issues at hand. Looking at the layers and impact of these intersections is heavy but necessary to understand our role within these issues and movements.
We are revolutionary educators, creators, and fighters in the struggle of our collective liberation. Steven Simmons and I have created various presentations together to connect systemic parallels to immigration and incarceration. This topic is no different but rather an extension including the dynamics of race, climate change, and the military. We hope our presentation reflects and honors Dr. King’s ideals by envisioning a better world for humanity. We recognize the roles we have taken in our communities and in joint struggle with one another.
The presentation will inspire people to see themselves as part of a greater solution instead of part of the problem. We hope to engage people by asking critical questions including what they themselves are witnessing change in their environments and how they envision a world without cages and borders. We believe this will inspire people to look at these issues as global instead of only national. Only then can we fully see the situation, problem and solution.
Victoria Matey Mendoza [She/Her/Ella] is a 28-year-old creator that’s hoping to be a 70-year-old creator someday. She is a creator of ideas, thoughts, content. She daydreamed her early 20s through Business school trying to understand her role in the world as a first-generation queer undocumented woman. Currently, Victoria is the host of a Shot of Truth Podcast–a podcast created for undocumented people and those affected by border imperialism.
“I love working with people and learning in community. During my free time, I like cooking, dancing, and lifting weights. I’ve released two TEDx talks and have been speaking all over the country for several years. I want to have fun and invest in my well-being. I just want to be free. I want all of us to be. I hope my work speaks for itself–I love doing it.”
Steven Simmons [He/Him/His] is a formerly incarcerated MSW student at University of Washington Tacoma. He has worked to organize formerly incarcerated students on campuses and statewide for the last 6 years.