Learn about the amazing speakers and workshops at the 2019 conference!

The 2019 Uplift Climate Conference starts at 3 pm on Friday, September 13th and ends at 4 pm on Sunday, September 15th.


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8:00 am: breakfast

9:00 AM: Panel - Queering the climate movement

10:15 am: Break

10:30 am: workshop Block

12:30 PM: Lunch

1:45 PM: panel - Voices from the borderlands

2:45 PM: break

3:00 PM: workshop block

5:00 pm: long break

Film Screenings and Q&A with Filmmakers: Resiliency through Running and A Scholar's Pace: A Running Narrative of Indigenous Feat

7:15 pm: Dinner

8:30 pm: open mic night


8:00 am: breakfast

9:00 am: Panel - after capitalism: building regenerative economies

10:00 am: Workshop block

11:30 am: closing keynote - talia boyd and edith hood

12:30 pm: lunch

1:30 pm: closing action

Option 1: Trinajo Soho Earthship Build Site

Option 2: Art Installation in Gallup

Closing Action

We will complete the conference by taking action together. This year, we have two options, both of which seek to deconstruct what the word “action” can mean. 

Option 1: Trinajo Soho Earthship 

Get your hands dirty and learn about sustainable housing, passive solar heating, building using reclaimed materials, glass prep and cutting, and earthen plasters with Gallup local Kern Collymore and members of Moab-based group, Community Rebuilds at a Trinidadian / Navajo Solar Hogan inspired Earthship twenty miles west of Gallup. 

Option 2: Art Installation in Gallup

Channel your creativity into activism while doing an art installation with local artist Rylin Becenti! We will wheat paste at three display cases donated to us from Art123 in downtown Gallup. The art will bring light to the toxic legacy of uranium mining in the area and the path forward for healing and justice.

Panel Descriptions

Queering the climate movement

This panel brings light to the experiences of LGBTQIA and two-spirited communities who fight racism, sexism, and hate in their work for social and environmental justice.This panel explores how gender and sexuality intersect with climate violence, and how the systemic oppression that perpetuates abuse, neglect, trauma, discrimination and other obstacles against LGBTQIA communities must be addressed in order to achieve climate justice.

panelists: alastair bitsoi, ella mendoza, lady shug, and braidan weeks

Voices from the borderlands 

This panel brings together Indigenous and non- Indigenous voices from the US- Mexico borderlands who are doing critical work in resisting neo- colonial violence in the form of borders and who are caring and showing up for those who have been displaced by U.S. foreign policy. As militarization in the borderlands continues it is critical to look at the ways in which communities of care and resistance have always existed along the border, and that the border continues to sit and occupy Indigenous land.


after capitalism: building regenerative economies

It’s no secret that we must drastically restructure our economies and transition away from extractive systems in order to mitigate the worst-case scenarios of climate change. But what are we transitioning to? This panel explores the concept of a “just transition,” and imagines a Colorado Plateau defined by decolonial, anti-capitalist, and resilient communities. Panelists will shift the narrative of what is politically possible and show how we can work together to build alternative, sustainable systems on the ground.


Workshop Descriptions

Workshop block 1

Deconstructing your social media profile

Facilitators: Kristy Drutman, Tianna Arredondo, and Isaias Hernandez

Social media has provided a space for climate activists, particularly climate activists of color, to explore and express their identity, healing, and resilience. Using these platforms, however, can lead to social media fatigue- a phenomenon that can cause great anxiety among social media users, especially those working on climate justice. In this workshop, we’ll explore how we can use our social media platforms to effectively communicate with communities while maintaining our own mental health. We’ll also reflect on our personal social media use, set measurable goals to reduce social media anxiety, and identify ways in which we can support ourselves and our colleagues in reducing burnout.

Cultivating Indigenous Resistance

Facilitators: Sheldon Tenorio, Julia Bernal, and Reyes DeVore

This is an indigenized Non-Violent Direct Action Training that addresses cycles of oppression, relates the connection between historical trauma and Indigenous resistance, and offers a walk through Indigenous Historical Timeline. To wrap up the workshop a Celebrating our Existence Peace Circle will be conducted that allows time for reflection and provides next steps to continue the work with us.

SEEDs: The Three Sisters

Facilitator: Nicole Martin

The objective of the workshop is to address the ways in which Indigenous sex, gender, and sexuality (SGS) have been discussed and how Indigenous SGS has internalized colonial structures. There is a need for sex education that discusses the intersections of Indigenous ceremonies and teachings that transpire current efforts of inclusivity.

Giving Our Best, Ready For The Worst: Community Organizing as Disaster Preparedness

Facilitator: Tyler Norman

This workshop will share basic principles of Mutual Aid Disaster Relief (MADR), then engage participants in discussions about effective response, "solidarity not charity," and how we can collaborate to protect our communities from "disaster capitalism" and increasing violence

Building Solidarity: From Self Care to Community Wellness

Facilitator: Christina Castro

This interactive workshop will discuss the concept of solidarity building as it applies to environmental & social justice work. Starting from assessing our own level of health & wellness and how we are in effect, "walking the walk," to moving into a larger discussion of how we can work together in our various arenas to support one another's efforts. This workshop will include collaborative group work as well as an artistic component. Be ready to talk and create!

workshop block 2

Bears Ears Heals - Reclaiming Our Narrative Through Media and Cultural Sensitivity Among Indigenous Peoples of the Bears Ears Region

Facilitators: Alastair Bitsoi and Denyce White

We will help attendees understand our Bears Ears narrative through media and cultural sensitivity training among the Indigenous Peoples of the Bears Ears region. We will cover pros and cons of news reporting on public lands issues of the region, but also offer tips or protocols on how to get a better story by spending more time with sources through the principle of reciprocity.

Solidarity Means Attack: Anti-Fascist Action, Security, and Community Preservation

Facilitators: Maps and Francisco

The old world is dying, but in what ways can we remain resilient as new worlds struggle to be born? While the window of acceptable protest and dissent in the so-called US quickly closes, fierce and strategic solidarity with frontline communities reveals the path to peoples' resistance. Together we will examine approaches to defend what we love and overcome that which threatens our existence in an increasingly repressive fascist state. Specifically, this participatory workshop will discuss how to engage in the action necessary for survival and collective liberation under 2020's corporate colonialism, as well as methods to protect each other and our connected struggles.

Mafia: To Nizhoni Ani Edition

Facilitators: Jessica Keetso and Raeana Johnson

Learn about the history of Navajo Generating Station, Navajo Nation, Peabody, Black Mesa and overall have fun!

Seeds of Healing and Protection: Indigenous Youth and the Continuance of Protecting Mother Earth

Facilitators: Autumn Gomez, Danielle Denipah, and A’Gin Youth

This workshop aims to holistically educate young people on the movements to heal and protect sacred lands and ancestral sites from military and extractive industries in and around indigenous communities. The session will end with a reflective conversation and clay seed ball/bomb making, producing bombs that create to counter bombs that destroy.

White Accountability, Learning, and Healing Space

Facilitators: Eliza Van Dyk and Danielle Austin

In this shared space, we will acknowledge how white supremacy shows up in our groups and in our movements. We will define and discuss topics of white fragility, cultural appropriation, cooptation, and racism to reach common understanding. We will facilitate a discussion about what it means to practice being an accomplice and deconstruct white “allyship” as an unchanging identity. Then, drawing from the revolutionary works of adrienne marie brown, we will aim to imagine how the dismantling of white supremacy can be a pleasurable and healing act. We hope that people will leave the space with a deeper understanding of their role in their work. We will close the space by coming up with clear next steps, on the collective and individual level, to deepen our healing, organizing, and accountability as white people and European-ancestored people. All are welcome.

Workshop block 3

Tradition and Memes: Bridging The Gap

Facilitator: Jennifer Himel

This workshop will inspire, motivate, and teach others about the long journey to mental health with trauma lingering close behind. Participants should be able to successfully use a journal and find tools locally, outside of a relationship, that are good for mental health without isolation or reckless endangerment.

Uplifting Our Voices: An Indigenous Approach to Creating Holistic Environmental Change

Facilitators: Cassaundra Pino and Charissa Wahwasuck-Jessepe

The objective of this workshop is to:

1. Assist attendees in developing a deeper understanding of their own abilities to create change and invoke climate reform through sharing personal stories and experiences.

2. Provide a space for people to be heard and acknowledged, while engaging in a greater discussion about overcoming exclusivity in conservation spaces.

3. Discuss strategies for introducing innovative ideas within the Climate Justice movement and encourage participants to collaborate with each other.

4. Provide knowledge and tools about visiting the Bears Ears cultural landscape with Respect.

5. Distribute handouts and materials which further discuss the goals of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and its mission to develop an Indigenous Land Management Plan to protect a cultural landscape.

Cherokee Relationship to Land and Water

Facilitator: Sky Wildcat

Current practices in resource extraction not only violate treaty obligations, but also threaten the health and well-being of individuals, communities, ecosystems, and women. Cherokee conceptions are contrary to these dominant resource extraction practices. This exploratory study seeks to examine Cherokee conceptions of our relationship to land and water. Utilizing cases related to pipelines such as DAPL, the Diamond pipeline, amongst others we seek to convey the sanctity of that relationship for the betterment of our environment and to brainstorm how can effectively change them in relationship to tribal values.

Bring Solar to the Rez

Facilitator: Blaine Nez

Gallup Solar envisions a flourishing and healthy environment that enables all communities to live in harmony with creation. In this workshop, partcipatns will learn how to install solar on Navajo Rez for Elders.

View the program and highlights from Past conferences here