2022-23 Community Climate Ambassadors: Making an Impact through Community Projects
Climate solutions can enhance the lives of every Austinite, but the effects of climate change are not felt equally across our community. As part of the Austin Climate Equity Plan, the Community Climate Ambassadors Program helps to empower community members to lead on climate action through community projects.
Join us as we dive into the inspiring stories of our dedicated ambassadors and discover how they are making a positive difference in their communities.
Meet the 2022-23 Community Climate Ambassadors:
Kecia is a community advocate and a founding member of her apartment complex’s tenant association. She is passionate about climate change because of the impact that extreme weather and the resulting property damage can have on renters.
For her project, Kecia worked with City of Austin staff to create a video highlighting the importance of tenants’ rights.
Kiounis is a personal trainer and wellness advocate who also participated in the 2020 Climate Ambassador cohort. He has experience working in his community as a health ministry leader, a youth ministry leader, and a community health worker specializing in African American health issues. He is particularly interested in affordability issues in Austin and community health outcomes.
For his project, Kiounis worked with the Black Men’s Health Clinic to raise awareness around the connection between climate change and health outcomes in the Black community.
Gaby is a graduate student at UT Austin working towards a Master’s in Community and Regional planning. She is also a research assistant for the Pride Health Lab at UT, bringing in experience with queer advocacy and youth education. Gaby is particularly interested in poetry, writing, and other art-based engagement that can be used to highlight the intersections of climate justice and gentrification.
For her project, Gaby hosted a youth-centered artist and performer showcase highlighting how the fight for climate justice impacts youth.
Noor has been a community organizer, activist, and artist since childhood and has over 15 years of experience advocating for the LGBTQIA+ community and communities of color. Noor is passionate about the inclusion of historically excluded voices in climate conversations.
For their project, Noor compiled submissions from BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ people, and sex workers on how climate change impacts their ability to access social services in Austin.
moni is an experienced grassroots organizer and community advocate who is passionate about expanding the accessibility of transportation and nature in Austin. They also participate in their community through grassroots organizations that work to empower transgender sex workers of color. moni is passionate about expanding the accessibility of transportation and nature in Austin to marginalized communities.
For their project, moni edited and designed the page spreads for a zine about climate resilience in Austin.
Stephanie is a writer, cyclist, and experienced community advocate that joined the Climate Ambassador program to highlight the impacts of transportation policy. Stephanie runs a blog about the intersections of race and infrastructure, and she has also led numerous environmental justice cycling tours with the Ghisallo Cycling Initiative.
For her project, Stephanie wrote and illustrated a zine about climate resilience in Austin. The zine, Not My Future: Beyond Climate The Lies We’re Sold, was written to instill hope in youth of color experiencing climate anxiety.
Andres is a creative director with experience in marketing who is trying to use his skills to become an advocate for his community in Montopolis. He is bilingual and joined the Climate Ambassador program to reach out to other Spanish speakers and increase their engagement around climate issues.
For his project, he assisted with translating the Neighborhood Preparedness Emergency Guide into Spanish and designed a shirt to help market the emergency preparedness resources in Central Texas.
Sahabel is a solar energy consultant who is passionate about clean energy and weatherization. Sahabel hopes to spread awareness about the different resources the City makes available to residents and businesses interested in weatherizing their homes, electrifying their transportation, or adding solar energy systems to their homes.
For his project, he assisted with translating the Neighborhood Preparedness Emergency Guide and volunteered at Emergency Preparedness Pop-Up events held over the summer.
Dylan is an undergraduate student at UT Austin studying sustainability. He has held leadership roles on numerous environmental organizations on campus and is currently the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the co-op he lives at.
For his project, he researched the impacts that development codes have on sustainable building infrastructure in Austin. Listen to Dylan’s findings in his interview with the Austin Common.
The work the ambassadors completed during the program was highlighted in the Climate Ambassador Spring Showcase on May 20, 2023, at the George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center. Watch a video from the event featuring Ambassadors Sahabel Porto, Kecia Prince, and Program Coordinator Sydnee Landry. Dylan Kazanova, Kecia Prince, Sahabel Porto, and Andres Pedraza were also featured on the Austin Common Radio Hour Podcast.
Through their combined efforts, the 2022-23 Climate Ambassadors connected Austinites to resources and education around climate action in Austin.