Communication & Youth Mobilization

Marquee Theater
10:15 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Breakout Session 1A

Youth activists, journalists, scientists, and other communicators are playing a major role in bringing the climate crisis to the forefront of policy discussions. This panel discussed climate communication strategies and their role in tackling the climate crisis.

Watch recording

Key Takeaways

  • Government and policymakers can gate-keep information. Direct communication is necessary between decision-makers and impacted communities. These communities need to feel represented and their climate-related struggles addressed. 
  • Climate change is a complex and global problem that impacts communities in different ways — accessible  information and storytelling are key for effective communication with all communities and with youth. This is especially important when addressing equity issues. 
  • While conferences can lead to large pledges and proposed action on climate change, oftentimes, there is no follow-up action or concrete policy and little tangible progress — effective communication and credible action must ensue. 
  • Grassroots activists, BIPOC, and impacted community members need an official seat at the table. Their experiences and ideas are needed for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive fight against climate change.

Speakers

Benji Backer

Credentials: Panelist, Climate Communication & Youth Mobilization

Position title: President & Founder, American Conservation Coalition

Benji Backer launched the American Conservation Coalition (ACC) in July 2017. ACC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to market-based environmental reforms. Through ACC, Backer helps unite Americans on pro-environmental reforms and change the narrative when it comes to the environment. He has been…

Nada Elmikashfi

Credentials: Panelist, Climate Communication & Youth Mobilization

Position title: Chief of Staff, Wisconsin State Representative Francesca Hong

Nada Elmikashfi joined Rep. Hong’s staff in November 2020. She previously ran as a candidate for Wisconsin Senate and served on the Sustainable Madison Commission. She serves as chair of the Young Democrats of Wisconsin, 2nd Congressional District. She is writing…

James Mills

Credentials: Moderator, Climate Communication & Youth Mobilization

Position title: Course Instructor, University of Wisconsin/Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

James Edward Mills has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer, and photographer. He is the author of the book The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors and the…

Stephanie Salgado

Credentials: Panelist, Climate Communication & Youth Mobilization

Position title: Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Stephanie Janeth Salgado Altamirano, who five years ago moved to Madison from Honduras with her family, is a junior majoring in political science and environmental studies. In 2019, she was appointed to the state’s Climate Change Task Force, which advises Gov. Tony Evers…