August 25, 2022

Congratulations to our 2022 CHHI Cohort!

After three amazing months coming together as a cohort, APANO is excited to celebrate the completion of the 2022 Climate, Health, and Housing Institute (CHHI) Fellowship! More than twelve of us came together to learn, discuss, and envision our shared futures in the reality of our changing climate. The CHHI cohort covered numerous topics key to understanding Environmental Justice and why it is so important to the wellbeing of our communities. We entered this cohort with four goals

  1. Gain a deeper understanding of the principles of Environmental Justice.
  2. Explore ways of empowering themselves and their communities to advocate for safer, more equitable environments.
  3. Engage in conversation about environmental justice issues their communities have identified.
  4. Explore how we decolonize our analysis and activism when it comes to Environmental Justice.

This cohort would not have been possible without the help of our guest speakers and their expertise in community organizing. This year fellows had the opportunity to learn from our different partners working on programs surrounding climate policy, housing access, health inequities, and climate healing and decolonization.

In our second session with Richa Poudyal, we used the Just Transition Model to create visions of the futures where our economy was not driven by extractive practices and policies.

Our third session, featuring guest speakers Laquida and Nubien of Afrovillage covered the history of housing inequalities and the importance of community ownership when developing successful organizing models.

In the fourth session, David de la Torre from Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, gave a comprehensive history of some of the most influential environmental/health justice movements of the past, as well as covering the health risk factors which communities here in Portland face today.

Our final presenters Des and Lukas brought the cohort together to discuss how we can decolonialize our relationships with the environment and what healing for our communities means.

CHHI Fellows

We want to highlight some of our wonderful fellows from CHHI 2022! We were privileged to share space with incredibly knowledgeable, compassionate, and passionate individuals who have come from many different backgrounds.

Jonas Hudnall

My name is Jonas Hudnall and I'm from Nashville, TN. I received my undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University in Wildlife Biology and currently getting my Masters in Communications at Portland State University. The focus of my grad degree is creating culturally relevant environmental education for Black students and I thought APANO could help with that!

April Ann Fong

My name is April Ann Fong, and I use she/they pronouns. I am a 3rd generation Chinese American with roots in San Francisco Chinatown. I am a Biology and Environmental Studies Instructor at Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus. My loves are insects, mosses, lichens, ferns, Camas lilies, and healthy mountain ecosystems. My main hobbies are volunteering with habitat restoration & sustainability issues, hiking, looking at flowers, and connecting with family, friends, and community.

Josh Laurente

Josh (he/him) is a CHamoru and Filipino son from the island of Guam, and currently a Master of Public Policy student at Portland State University studying decolonization and sustainable development. An advocate for the decolonization and demilitarization of Guam, Josh is engaged in the movement to restore sovereignty to the island's indigenous CHamoru people through self-determination. He is committed to working with communities across the Pacific to build a future that is just, sustainable, peaceful and prosperous.

Shahbaz Khan

Shahbaz graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BSc. in Integrative Biology, centered on plant biology, ecology and conservation. He is continuing his education at PCC Sylvania to receive a GIS and UAS Specialist certification while concurrently working for West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District as a GIS intern. He is a queer Pakistani-American and joined CHHI to cultivate awareness in himself and others through accountability, allyship, and collective action. He hopes to apply his lived and professional experience by helping to restore the environments and identities severed at their roots against all threats to our natural and cultural heritages.

Sherry Chiang

CHHI has been immensely helpful in bridging my understanding of inequities within my community and what the very real responses to those inequities look like. The conversations that have been held highlight learned experience, individual accountability, and the power behind collectivism. CHHI has been helpful in allowing me to compile the necessary language and strategies to approach worldmaking in a way that prioritizes justice for populations of various identities [specifically, disenfranchised populations of color]. The addressal of a colonial past is necessary to make strides towards a regenerative future.

This programming message brought to you by APANO Communities United Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.