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Guest Lectures, Keynotes, and Workshops

Book Vanessa to speak in your class or event!

Hi! My name is Vanessa!

I am an educator, facilitator, and organizer available for public speaking at the intersections of ecological justice, LGBTQ rights, arts & media, and community health. I have six years experience teaching in higher education, in addition to a full year teaching Transition-Age-Youth in a homeless services organization, and many more volunteer and contract education roles in community gardens, health centers, and citizen science projects. I am eager to work with organizations empowering and supporting community movements for healing, ecology, and justice!

Reach out to [email protected] with information about your course or event, and we can set-up the lecture, keynote, or workshop that fits what your group needs. You can read more about me, below.

Looking forward to connecting!
In community,

Vanessa is a queer biocultural geographer, educator, and storyteller, dedicated to community healing, opening access to land and resources, and fostering a thriving local economy based on ecological resilience. Vanessa is a chronic academic: They are currently a PhD student at University of Georgia after completing a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences from University of California, Berkeley. Along with Desi, Vanessa was a founding member of the Queer Ecojustice Project in Spring 2016, educating and organizing at the intersection of ecological justice and queer liberation. In 2018, they co-organized the Queers4ClimateJustice contingent to the RISE March for Climate, Jobs, and Justice and continue to engage communities through the Instagram #Queers4ClimateJustice.  In 2021, they joined the board for Out 4 Sustainability to support the Qready initiative promote resilience preparedness for LGBTQ+ communities. They love gardening, singing songs, growing interspecies community, and making magic.
Vanessa is now the director of “Fire & Flood: Queer Resilience in the era of Climate Change” a documentary about queer resilience to climate change rooted in their lived experience of the 2017 Tubbs Fire and in collaboration with other queer and trans organizers in Northern California and Puerto Rico.

Teaching Philosophy:
As an educator, I am committed to creating accessible, affirming, and anti-oppressive spaces that allow for critical and transformative discussion and reflection. I prioritize engaged scholarship connecting students to community knowledge, and encourage active participation in movements for justice and liberation.

Research Interests:
My research explores the cultural geographies of queer ecojustice movements. Using collaborative documentary film and other critical visual methodologies, I address the contextual vulnerability of multiply-marginalized queer, trans, and two-spirit communities to climate change disasters, as well as the lessons for the climate justice movement that come from our communities' resilience and histories of struggle for liberation.

I am inspired by decolonial and abolitionist theories that center the healing and reweaving of mind, body, spirit, land, community, place, and home in the collective liberation of people and the planet. Using queer as both verb and noun, I seek to understand the ontology, epistemology and praxis of the queer ecojustice movement: what are the worldviews, ways of knowing, theories, and strategies for the transformation of the world that emerge from queer ecojustice organizers whose embodiments and actions disrupt normative status-quo ways of knowing and being?

I believe this work must be done in collaboration and accompaniment with other queer, trans, and two-spirit people on the frontline of disaster and the forefronts of change. I prioritize questions that emerge from my relationships in community and I seek collaborative methods that engage a climate justice praxis through the research. 

  • Human Geography (University of Georgia)
  • World Geography (University of Georgia)
  • Environment, Health, and Development (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Environmental Ethics and Philosophy (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Environmental Justice (University of California, Berkeley)