WE ACT has a long history of organizing and engaging Upper Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally and nationally.
Shepard discussed climate change’s disproportionate impacts on communities of color, Indigenous peoples, and low-income communities, and how the world cannot transition away from fossil fuels without also addressing inequity and systemic racism. (You can watch her speech here, which is introduced at 26:00 and begins at 27:40, as well as the rest of the graduation ceremony.)
“Climate change is arguably one of the most significant social and political challenges of this century,” Shepard said. “But you all know that. The question is: what will you do about it?"
Shepard continued: "Those of us who have been privileged to achieve education, skills, and experiences, and even power, we must be role models. We must be changemakers with the spirit of justice, collaboration, and ethical leadership. We can all be changemakers. That is our challenge for you today.”