ONTACT: Eva Welchman
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Brooklyn, New York, August 19, 2019 — 350Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza will host Climate Wednesdays: Solutions for a Cooler Brooklyn. Starting September 18th, the monthly series will feature discussions with experts on the energy, economic, policy, agricultural, social and psychological dimensions of climate change, bringing them together with the community to explore the challenges of the global climate crisis and to discuss local solutions.

350Brooklyn is a local affiliate of the international climate change organization, which works to end the use of fossil fuels and support a just transition to a sustainable world. The Climate Wednesdays series is part of 350Brooklyn’s mission to deepen public understanding of climate change and engage more citizens in the effort to confront the global climate crisis head-on.

The fall series begins in September and continues through December with a break in January, returning February 12, 2020 for a spring series of four additional panels. All events will take place from 7–8:30pm in the Info Commons Lab at Brooklyn’s Central Library. Images are available here

September 18: The Big Green Picture: Local Strategies for a Livable Planet
The climate crisis may be the biggest challenge New Yorkers have ever faced. Our city and state are setting the pace with new laws aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, cars, and industry. But the fossil fuel industry keeps rolling out new pipelines. And some communities bear a much heavier burden than others. What’s been achieved, and where do we go from here?

Moderator Sara Stidstone Gronim, currently one of 350Brooklyn’s co-leaders, is a 40-year resident of Brooklyn and retired from her work as an historian of people’s relationships with the natural world. She credits her grandmother, who worked with others to save a tidal river in her hometown from development, with her commitment to civic engagement and social justice.




Dr. Lisa DiCaprio is a professor of Social Sciences at NYU where she teaches courses on sustainability. Lisa is the Conservation Chair of the Sierra Club NYC Group. She has published on a variety of historical, international human rights, and sustainability topics and is the recipient of the March 2018 NY City Council Herstory Award for her environmental advocacy.


Yessenia Funes is an environmental journalist who focuses on issues around race and justice. One of her stories may cover indigenous land rights issues while another may examine how a disenfranchised community built their own solar farm. She writes for Gizmodo’s environmental news vertical Earther, part of G/O Media Group.


Kim Fraczek is the director of Sane Energy Project, based in New York City. She works statewide with a network of grassroots community organizations to end the buildout of fossil fuels through campaigning and direct action, and she concurrently works to develop community-owned renewable policy, rethinking our economy from the bottom-up. Much of the outreach work from Sane Energy includes the use of art, music, film. She is also a big believer in circle meetings around shared food.

October 16: Climate Smart Energy: Heating, Cooling and Turning the Lights On

Whether for heating, cooking, or generating electricity, the so-called ‘natural gas’ New Yorkers use is essentially methane, a fossil fuel and an extremely potent greenhouse gas. On top of that, it’s produced by fracking—a process banned in our own state for health reasons. It’s time for a transition to renewable electricity sources and the adoption of heat pumps and other modern, clean and efficient technologies for heating and cooling. What state and city policies can accelerate this switch on a large scale, and what benefits could we see?


Moderator Charlotte Binns is director of community outreach at Joule Community Power, which helps municipalities reduce residential energy costs while advancing clean energy goals. She is an environmental activist and entrepreneur who leads Joule’s grassroots community outreach across New York state, building educational resources and organizing stakeholders. She also creates Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Toolkit resources for NYSERDA and supports the New York City Council in their exploration of CCA. As an activist, Charlotte has fought for environmentally-related projects in her community, including for the development of an eco hub called Go Green Brooklyn ( Charlotte is currently on the board of the environmental justice nonprofit: North Brooklyn Neighbors.
Donnel Baird is the founder and CEO of BlocPower, a technology platform that markets, finances, and develops clean energy projects for financially underserved American cities. BlocPower helps disadvantaged populations slash energy costs and reduce carbon emissions while providing community members the opportunity to earn a living wage.


Elizabeth “Betta” Broad is the outreach director for the New Yorkers for Clean Power campaign, working to accelerate the transition to a renewable energy economy in New York State. She is a native New Yorker and longtime advocate for social justice, peace and sustainability. As the deputy director of Earth Day New York for five years, she organized the major Earth Day festivals in NYC and in 2011 she began working full-time on the campaign to ban fracking in New York State. She is a co-founder of the Energy Democracy Alliance and serves on the board of Citizens for Local Power. A resident of Kingston, she was appointed to the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council and the Kingston Climate Smart Commission.
Patrick Robbins is a coordinator for the New York Energy Democracy Alliance (NYEDA), a statewide coalition working toward an energy system that is renewable, equitable, accountable and local. Patrick also works with the Democratic Socialists of NYC to strategize their fight against Con Edison’s proposed rate hike. Both NYEDA and the Democratic Socialists call for public or community ownership or control of energy assets. Patrick worked as Co-Director of Sane Energy Project and co-led the fight to successfully stop the Port Ambrose liquefied natural gas project from being built in the New York Harbor. He also worked with 350BK to help organize over 5,000 climate activists for the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

November 20: Parenting in the Age of Climate Change

How do we talk to our children about climate change? How do we incorporate climate activism into the busy routine of parenting? How can we process our emotions in order to effectively respond to this threat? “Parenting in the Age of Climate Change” will bring together leaders in the climate movement who are tackling these sorts of questions for an important and engaging discussion. The evening will also provide concrete ideas and resources that parents can use immediately to help build a greener future.


Panelists: Moderator Tom Roderick is a longtime educator, activist, and writer, who recently retired after leading Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility for 35 years. He has two daughters who attended the NYC public schools and a young granddaughter. He is currently at work on a book to support educators in engaging their school communities with the climate crisis.
Liat Olenick is an elementary school science teacher, United Federation of Teachers chapter leader and an advocate for public schools and climate justice. She is also co-president of Indivisible Nation BK.
Nikki Crook is a mother of two young children, a public school teacher and a lead organizer of 350 Brooklyn Families.
Geraldine Anne Patrick Encina, scholar in residence at the Center for Earth Ethics and mother of Xiye Bastida, a leader of the youth climate movement Fridays for Future.


December 11: Green New Meal: The Food-Climate Connection

How does our current food system affect the climate, and how does climate change affect the quality and availability of food? What methods and policies can protect both the climate and the food supply? And who’s farming in Brooklyn?

Panelists: Moderator Bhavani Jaroff is a natural foods chef, educator, farm to school coordinator, radio host, and food activist with over thirty years experience cooking healthy, fresh, organic food. She founded Morningstar Catering, a full service natural foods catering company, and has designed multiple holistic, educational food service and community service programs, including at her own school, Cooking From the Heart.
Nancy Romer is professor emerita, Brooklyn College and co-founder and board member at Brooklyn Food Coalition. She is an active member of the PSC’s Environmental Justice Working Group and has served on the steering committees of Peoples Climate Movement-NY and Divest NY. Romer also served on the executive council of Professional Staff Congress of CUNY for nine years, is on the National Working Group on Climate Justice for Democratic Socialists of America, and works with Labor Network for Sustainability.
Elizabeth Henderson (panelist) is on the board of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, and co-chairs the policy committee. She produced organically grown vegetables for the fresh market for over 30 years. She represents the NOFA Interstate Council on the Board of the Agricultural Justice Project and serves as Honorary President of Urgenci, the International CSA Network. Her writings on organic agriculture appear in The Natural Farmer and other publications, and she is the lead author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture.
Onika Abraham is the director of Farm School NYC, which trains local residents in urban agriculture in order to build self-reliant communities and inspire positive local action around food access and social, economic, and racial justice issues. She is a grower and educator with more than 15 years of experience as a senior nonprofit manager, who completed a Farm & Garden Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS).

350 Brooklyn

350 Brooklyn works to counter climate change and achieve climate justice through local action. We promote sustainable energy, oppose the fossil fuel industry, and educate and activate our community. 350Brooklyn is a local affiliate of, a global grassroots organization. The Full Climate Wednesdays Press Release is Available at:

About Brooklyn Library

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is an independent library system for the 2.5 million residents of Brooklyn. It is the sixth largest library system in the United States with 60 neighborhood libraries located throughout the borough. BPL offers free programs and services for all ages and stages of life, including a large selection of books in more than 30 languages, author talks, literacy programs and public computers. BPL’s eResources, such as eBooks and eVideos, catalog information and free homework help, are available to customers of all ages 24 hours a day at our website.

More information about Climate Wednesdays available at: