TEDC & Parsons Paris Talk Justice and COP21 Right From Paris

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.30.56 PMParsons Paris hosted its first ever Livestreamed event Thursday on December 4 in collaboration with the Tishman Environment & Design Center. The event: Justice After COP21, was extremely timely for the Parsons Paris students who, on Monday, November 30, opened a student-curated gallery exhibit called You Are Here in response to the COP21 UN Climate Conference. Justice After COP21 was a panel discussion focused on how civil society will play a role in addressing climate justice issues and the post-COP21 efforts necessary to ensure just and sustainable outcomes for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. Dean Susan Taylor-Leduc of Parsons Paris welcomed students and special guests including Tim Marshall, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at The New School. Ana Baptista, Ph.D, Associate Director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center and Interim Chair of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management at The New School, moderated an engaging discussion with Monique Verdin and Ananda Lee Tan.Monique Verdin, Documentarian (My Louisiana Love, 2012) and member of the Indigenous Environmental Network delegation from Southeast Louisiana, documents her community's' reaction and response to Hurricane Katrina in her documentary My Louisiana Love. Monique discussed that while many people think of New Orleans and Mardi Gras when they think of Louisiana, many people forget that LA, as well as the Mississippi Delta in particular, as a crossing point for the planet. She came to Paris and COP21 to learn from similar communities around that world that have successfully pushed out the oil and gas industry and have created a thriving local green economy. Ananda Lee Tan, Delegate for The Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, summarized how individuals can engage with the important decisions being made at COP21. "It's about resistance and then resilience. We must mobilize our communities to resist major polluters, while also creating resilient alternatives and pathways to a just transition," he said at Justice After COP21. Ananda Lee Tan has spent many years on the front line of communities and cities using the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing as an important tool to use in organizing communities in this cause. When asked by an audience member of what the artist's role is in the climate movement, Tan responded that the artist must "make the [climate movement] resistance irresistible."Parsons Paris students are already taking this message to heart with their new gallery exhibit, You Are Here, which captures the students' response to the COP21 climate change conference in Paris. This exhibit will be a place for dialog. From exhibitions to workshops, our students will occupy the gallery, proposing a conversation with the other activities that will happen throughout the city of Paris in the next couple of weeks.If you missed Justice Beyond COP21, you can watch the whole discussion here!