Amplifying Sanctuary Voices: Climate Migration and Environmental Justice

TGIF Grant: $30,000.00

Project Theme: Environmental Justice, Environmental Education

Project Sponsor: Inside the Living Room RSO

Project DescriptionAmplifying Sanctuary Voices (ASV) is a storytelling project centered around migrant communities in the Bay Area. ASV uses arts-based, trauma-informed methods to promote resiliency and healing for narrators and shares stories of migration to promote action for more fair immigration policies. ASV includes many Bay Area organizations; founding UC Berkeley partners include Inside the Living Room (ILR) and the Public Service Center. Through storytelling workshops, interviews with climate migrants, participatory action research, and historical migration research, UCB graduate and undergraduate Fellows will work alongside migrants to produce advocacy research, classroom curricula, and innovative exhibits for the UCB campus and larger Berkeley community. Moreover, students educated in ASV’s storytelling methodology will develop lasting relationships with narrators, generating empathy, trauma resilience, and solidarity with migrants across the UCB community. By collaborating with UCB students and faculty, ASV aims to inform our climate migration research with an interdisciplinary, solutions-based framing, creating space for innovative strategies to promote empathy and positive behavior change in an increasingly migratory world.

Project Goals: With the help of TGIF, ASV will develop a multimedia curriculum that communicates the multi-scaffolded nuances of climate-related displacement and engages UCB students, faculty, and the broader community in this issue. Graduate and undergraduate Fellows from UCB will be hired and trained to (i) interview, transcribe, and edit interviews with climate refugees; (ii) develop an interactive public exhibit using our previous experience creating an exhibit at the ASUC; and (iii) develop multimedia, educational guides for high school and college settings that incorporate multiple perspectives in sociology, history, environmental science, migration and diaspora studies, and storytelling methodology. Curricula may include podcasts, audio-visual material and the forthcoming oral history collection Mi María: The Hurricane and Its Aftermath in Puerto Rico, which explores the real effects that climate change is wreaking on low-income and BIPOC communities. In future iterations, the project may grow into a DeCal (Spring 2022) or more expansive exhibit and lecture series.

Project Leaders:

  • Augustina Ullman | Project Lead | B.A. Urban Studies ’21
  • Dewi Zarni* | Project Lead | B.A. American Studies ’21
  • Yessica Mox | Co-Director of Inside the Living Room (ILR) | B.A. Political Science ’22
  • Ashley Ayala Mendoza | Co-Director of Inside the Living Room (ILR) | B.A. Ethnic Studies ’22
  • Matt Matusiewicz* | Co-Director of ASV at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant | B.A. Public Health ’23
  • Rebecca Gerny | Co-Director of ASV at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant | B.A. Global Studies ’20

2021 TGIF Spring Application