Rhiana Gunn-Wright

Director of Climate Policy | Roosevelt Institute

Rhiana Gunn-Wright is the Director of Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. Before joining Roosevelt, Gunn-Wright was the policy director for New Consensus, charged with developing and promoting the Green New Deal, among other projects. Previously she served as the policy director for Abdul El-Sayed’s 2018 Michigan gubernatorial campaign. A 2013 Rhodes Scholar, Gunn-Wright has also worked as the policy analyst for the Detroit Health Department, was a Mariam K. Chamberlain Fellow of Women and Public Policy at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and served on the policy team for former First Lady Michelle Obama. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 2011 with majors in African American studies and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

Climate Justice Now! Winning a Just and Equitable Green New Deal

This year, climate chaos of hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and heatwaves have rolled throughout the country, compounding with overlapping crises of COVID-19 pandemic, economic collapse, and chronic racial inequality. These crises have cast a light on deep inequality -- low-income communities and communities of color are most impacted by these crises because of historic discrimination and disinvestment. Solutions to the acute crises of our moment, and the long-term climate crisis must center racial and economic justice. The Green New Deal proposes a roadmap to address these intersecting crises. A bold, equitable economic recovery could pave the way by creating millions of good green jobs. But equity in our policy solutions is not guaranteed – we must fight for it.

Communities of color have been organizing for environmental justice against the twin threats of pollution and racism for decades. Today allies across environmental, labor, racial justice, and youth movements are banding together to advance a vision for what is needed for communities to thrive in the face of catastrophe. From local and regional policy victories won by powerful coalitions, to a plan for a national economic recovery, the climate justice movement is embedding racial equity into climate solutions. In this workshop learn how multi-sectoral coalitions at the state and national level are designing equitable climate policy, building power, and winning. Bring your experience and challenges you face in organizing for climate justice policy, to contribute to shared learning and visioning on how a Green New Deal can repair historic inequities and uplift all communities.

Speakers: Adrien Salazar, Rhiana Gunn-Wright