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Allison Begalman

CEO of YEA! Impact

Co-Founder of Young Entertainment Activists

Allison Begalman is the co-founder and CEO of YEA! Impact, the co-founder of Young Entertainment Activists (YEA!), and an EP of the annual Hollywood Climate Summit. Allison developed and teaches USC School of Cinematic Arts’ first ever social impact writing lecture: “Call to Action: Stories of Relevance and Social Impact.” She is the recipient of a Roddenberry Impact Award and has spoken at numerous social impact summits. Her work has been featured in outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, and Variety. Outside of the social impact, Allison writes for television and film. Her comedy series, FIRST LADY PROBLEMS, is currently streaming on Revry. 

 Ann Kaneko

Producer/Director of Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

Ann Kaneko is known for personal films that weave her intimate aesthetic with the complex intricacies of political reality. An Emmy winner, her credits include MANZANAR, DIVERTED: WHEN WATER BECOMES DUST; A FLICKER IN ETERNITY; AGAINST THE GRAIN: AN ARTIST’S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO PERU and OVERSTAY. She was a Fulbright, Japan Foundation, Film Independent Doc Lab and Jackson Wild Multicultural Alliance fellow. Funders include JustFilms/Ford, Redford Center, CAAM, VMM, Firelight Media, Chicken and Egg and Doc Society. She was Visual Communication’s Armed with a Camera artist mentor and teaches at Pitzer College. 

 Sanjana Sekhar

Co-Director of Expedition Reclamation

Sanjana Sekhar is an Indian-American filmmaker, climate activist, & outdoor wanderer. Her work seeks to amplify character-driven stories that heal our human relationships to ourselves, each other, and our planet, with a specific interest in socioecological justice, ancestral knowledge, and systems of re-nourishment. As part of the multiracial, women-powered creative team at Brave Space Media, her latest documentary Expedition Reclamation weaves a tapestry of stories from 12 Black, Indigenous, and women of color who are reclaiming belonging in outdoor culture. This film World Premiered at the 7th Annual No Man's Land Film Festival, where it was awarded Best in Festival. 

 Leah Thomas

Eco-Communicator. Author, Founder of Intersectional Environmentalist

Leah Thomas is a celebrated environmentalist. Coining the term ‘eco-communicator’ to describe her style of environmental activism, Leah uses her passion for writing and creativity to explore and advocate for the critical yet often overlooked relationship between social justice and environmentalism. With this intersection in mind, she launched Intersectional Environmentalist in 2020, a resource hub and platform that aims to advocate for environmental justice, provide educational resources surrounding intersectional environmentalism, and promote inclusivity and accessibility within environmental movements. 

Sierra Santana

Actor & Writer

Sierra graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in Drama and a Minor in Political Science. She has been a plus size model for 8 years and an actress, poet, and storyteller since birth. With a personal dedication to see women and girls of all colors and sizes represented in the media, Santana sought out and achieved modeling jobs with some of the top brands in the country, including Target, Ford Motors, Torrid, Jim Beam, and Savage X Fenty. After becoming a Buzzfeed favorite with her viral videos that addressed Latinidad, body image and feminism, Sierra created content and brand strategy in the digital space for Joey Soloway (Emmy Award Winner), Topple Productions, the Disruptors Fellowship, and LALIFF.

Tory Stephens

Climate Fiction Creative Manager and Network Weaver at Fix, Grist’s Solutions Lab

Tory Stephens lives in a small railroad town in Massachusetts. From there he creates opportunities that transform organizations and shift culture. He is a resource generator and community builder for social justice issues, people, and movements. Tory worked in individual giving campaigns and major donor relationship management for 13 years before joining Fix, Grist’s solutions lab, as their network weaver and climate fiction creative manager. Tory has used storytelling in the past to raise awareness around HIV/AIDS, to defend medicaid and medicare, and to protect the Affordable Care Act. Now, as the creative manager of Imagine 2200, Fix’s climate-fiction initiative, he uses storytelling to champion climate justice, and imagine green, clean and just futures.

VIRTUAL STAGE

VIRTUAL SESSION

Friday, June 24

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PST

Friday, June 24

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM PST

Start at the Intersections: Equitable and Ethical Climate Storytelling

A workshop for creators and executives who want to practice integrating intersectional climate narratives into TV and film scripts, books/ short stories, and other forms of fictional storytelling.

Presented by:
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In Partnership With:
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Dispelling Character Tropes

Exploring tropes of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQIA+ characters and how to avoid. Highlight some of the best intersectional storytelling and authentic characters.

FEATURING

Alison Begalman Headshot.jpg

Allison Begalman 

Allison Begalman is the co-founder and CEO of YEA! Impact, the co-founder of Young Entertainment Activists (YEA!), and an EP of the annual Hollywood Climate Summit. Allison developed and teaches USC School of Cinematic Arts’ first ever social impact writing lecture: “Call to Action: Stories of Relevance and Social Impact.” She is the recipient of a Roddenberry Impact Award and has spoken at numerous social impact summits. Her work has been featured in outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, and Variety. Outside of the social impact, Allison writes for television and film. Her comedy series, FIRST LADY PROBLEMS, is currently streaming on Revry. 

Allison Begalman

CEO of YEA! Impact

Co-Founder of Young Entertainment Activists

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Ann Kaneko

Ann Kaneko is known for personal films that weave her intimate aesthetic with the complex intricacies of political reality. An Emmy winner, her credits include MANZANAR, DIVERTED: WHEN WATER BECOMES DUST; A FLICKER IN ETERNITY; AGAINST THE GRAIN: AN ARTIST’S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO PERU and OVERSTAY. She was a Fulbright, Japan Foundation, Film Independent Doc Lab and Jackson Wild Multicultural Alliance fellow. Funders include JustFilms/Ford, Redford Center, CAAM, VMM, Firelight Media, Chicken and Egg and Doc Society. She was Visual Communication’s Armed with a Camera artist mentor and teaches at Pitzer College. 

 Ann Kaneko

Producer/Director of Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust

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Mrittika Sarin

Mrittika ‘Mou’ Sarin is a queer Indian screenwriter, who has lived in Mumbai, Baltimore, the midwest and many places in between. This outside-in perspective makes her a keen observer of people, identity, and culture. She has a recent writing credit on CHICAGO MED and has also written on CRIMINAL JUSTICE (official Indian remake of HBO's THE NIGHT OF). She won Honorable Mention at the Sloan Grand Jury Prize from the Tribeca Film Institute for her climate feature SCARCE. Her other accolades include the Athena Film Festival Writer's Lab, Alfred P. Sloan Award in Screenwriting and multiple scholarships for TV writing. Before getting her MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, she produced the official Indian remake of THE OFFICE.

 Mrittika Sarin

TV Writer & Producer

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Laurel Tamayo

Laurel Tamayo was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now resides in Los Angeles. She is passionate about environmental issues and educating people about them through the impact campaigns of films. She started as a fellow on the Can You Hear Us? campaign for Hulu’s I Am Greta documentary, co-produced the Pathways to Action workshop in the 2021 Hollywood Climate Summit, worked on the Good Energy Playbook, and is the Virtual Programming Coordinator for the Hollywood Climate Summit 2022. She graduated from Chapman University with a B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy and minor in Documentary Film. 

 Laurel Tamayo

Climate Impact Producer

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Tonatiuh Elizarraraz

With more than a decade of experience on stage, screen, and in the VO booth, Tonatiuh is an actor, and screenwriter. Television and streaming credits include a series regular role in the ABC Show PROMISED LAND as well as a major recurring guest star role in the Peacock limited series ANGELYNE, starring Emmy Rossum in the titular role. He also appeared in JANE THE VIRGIN, CHICAGO MED, FAMOUS IN LOVE and STARGATE: ORIGINS. On the features side, Tonatiuh was a lead in the 2020 SxSW selected film DRUNK BUS, sharing the screen with Kara Hayward and Charlie Tahan, and a supporting lead in the indie dramedy SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD alongside Ellar Coltrane and Joe Manganiello.

Tonatiuh

Actor & Writer

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Jin Yoo-Kim

Jin Yoo-Kim is a Korean Bolivian American filmmaker currently producing MANZANAR, DIVERTED: WHEN WATER BECOMES DUST (dir. Ann Kaneko). She recently directed a docuseries episode for TAKE OUT WITH LISA LING on HBO MAX. Additionally, Jin is currently developing her first food docuseries as a series creator and Executive Producer. She is co-writing a narrative comedy feature. Prior to this, Jin co-produced A WOMAN’S WORK: THE NFL’S CHEERLEADER PROBLEM (dir. Yu Gu), and K-TOWN ’92 (dir. Grace Lee). She is a 2020-21 Sundance Creative Producers Fellow, among others.

 Jin Yoo-Kim

Producer/Impact Producer

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 Sanjana Sekhar

Sanjana Sekhar is an Indian-American filmmaker, climate activist, & outdoor wanderer. Her work seeks to amplify character-driven stories that heal our human relationships to ourselves, each other, and our planet, with a specific interest in socioecological justice, ancestral knowledge, and systems of re-nourishment. As part of the multiracial, women-powered creative team at Brave Space Media, her latest documentary Expedition Reclamation weaves a tapestry of stories from 12 Black, Indigenous, and women of color who are reclaiming belonging in outdoor culture. This film World Premiered at the 7th Annual No Man's Land Film Festival, where it was awarded Best in Festival. 

 Sanjana Sekhar

Co-Director of Expedition Reclamation

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Leah Thomas

Leah Thomas is a celebrated environmentalist. Coining the term ‘eco-communicator’ to describe her style of environmental activism, Leah uses her passion for writing and creativity to explore and advocate for the critical yet often overlooked relationship between social justice and environmentalism. With this intersection in mind, she launched Intersectional Environmentalist in 2020, a resource hub and platform that aims to advocate for environmental justice, provide educational resources surrounding intersectional environmentalism, and promote inclusivity and accessibility within environmental movements. 
 

 Leah Thomas

Eco-communicator

Author

Founder of Intersectional Environmentalist

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Kat Evasco

Kat Evasco is an award-winning playwright, director and producer committed to honoring and celebrating the experiences of immigrants, women and LGBTQ communities. In 2020, Kat was awarded the Kenneth Rainin New & Experimental Works (NEW) Program Grant towards the premiere of her new play Be Like Water produced by Brava Theater in San Francisco. Kat’s current solo theater projects include directing Prieto by Yosimar Reyes and Not My First Pandemic by Cesar Cadabes, which received Best One Man Show and All About Solo Critics Award at United Solo Festival 2021. She is a 2018 Lambda Literary Fellow in Playwriting and her works have been featured on Deadline, IndieWire, Vice, Shondaland, Bustle, The Advocate, Out Magazine, and NBC News Asian America.

 Kat Evasco

Director of Artist Leadership at Center for Cultural Power

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Sierra Santana

Sierra graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BA in Drama and a Minor in Political Science. She has been a plus size model for 8 years and an actress, poet, and storyteller since birth. With a personal dedication to see women and girls of all colors and sizes represented in the media, Santana sought out and achieved modeling jobs with some of the top brands in the country, including Target, Ford Motors, Torrid, Jim Beam, and Savage X Fenty. After becoming a Buzzfeed favorite with her viral videos that addressed Latinidad, body image and feminism, Sierra created content and brand strategy in the digital space for Joey Soloway (Emmy Award Winner), Topple Productions, the Disruptors Fellowship, and LALIFF.

Sierra Santana

Actor & Writer

Tory Stephens.jpg

Tory Stephens

Tory Stephens lives in a small railroad town in Massachusetts. From there he creates opportunities that transform organizations and shift culture. He is a resource generator and community builder for social justice issues, people, and movements. Tory worked in individual giving campaigns and major donor relationship management for 13 years before joining Fix, Grist’s solutions lab, as their network weaver and climate fiction creative manager. Tory has used storytelling in the past to raise awareness around HIV/AIDS, to defend medicaid and medicare, and to protect the Affordable Care Act. Now, as the creative manager of Imagine 2200, Fix’s climate-fiction initiative, he uses storytelling to champion climate justice, and imagine green, clean and just futures.

Tory Stephens

Climate Fiction Creative Manager and Network Weaver at Fix, Grist’s Solutions Lab

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Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston is an Emmy®-nominated host, author, and cultural activist. He’s the executive producer and host of How to Citizen with Baratunde, which Apple named one of its favorite podcasts of 2020. Thurston’s ability to hold space for hard and nuanced conversations juxtaposed with his sense of humor, inquisitive nature, and his ability to synthesize themes of race, culture, politics, and technology earned him a Social Impact Award from iHeartRadio. Thurston has worked for The Onion, produced for THE DAILY SHOW, advised the Obama White House, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How to Be Black. 
 

 Baratunde Thurston

Host of

America Outdoors PBS // How To Citizen

 Kat Evasco

Director of Artist Leadership at Center for Cultural Power
 

Ellis Watamanuk is a media impact producer and strategist working at the intersection of storytelling and climate action. He’s worked on campaigns for Blackfish, Paris to Pittsburgh, Other Side of the Hill, and more. In addition to his work in climate, he has led impact campaigns for films like Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, We the Animals, and A Thousand Cuts, and distributed films including The Miseducation of Cameron Post. As the Sr. Director of Entertainment at Rare, he brings the organization’s behavioral science expertise to the entertainment industry, leveraging the power of storytelling to create new cultural norms around climate.

 Jin Yoo-Kim

Producer/Impact Producer

Jin Yoo-Kim is a Korean Bolivian American filmmaker currently producing MANZANAR, DIVERTED: WHEN WATER BECOMES DUST (dir. Ann Kaneko). She recently directed a docuseries episode for TAKE OUT WITH LISA LING on HBO MAX. Additionally, Jin is currently developing her first food docuseries as a series creator and Executive Producer. She is co-writing a narrative comedy feature. Prior to this, Jin co-produced A WOMAN’S WORK: THE NFL’S CHEERLEADER PROBLEM (dir. Yu Gu), and K-TOWN ’92 (dir. Grace Lee). She is a 2020-21 Sundance Creative Producers Fellow, among others.

 Laurel Tamayo

Climate Impact Producer

Laurel Tamayo was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now resides in Los Angeles. She is passionate about environmental issues and educating people about them through the impact campaigns of films. She started as a fellow on the Can You Hear Us? campaign for Hulu’s I Am Greta documentary, co-produced the Pathways to Action workshop in the 2021 Hollywood Climate Summit, worked on the Good Energy Playbook, and is the Virtual Programming Coordinator for the Hollywood Climate Summit 2022. She graduated from Chapman University with a B.S. in Environmental Science & Policy and minor in Documentary Film. 

 Jin Yoo-Kim

Producer/Impact Producer

Jin Yoo-Kim is a Korean Bolivian American filmmaker currently producing MANZANAR, DIVERTED: WHEN WATER BECOMES DUST (dir. Ann Kaneko). She recently directed a docuseries episode for TAKE OUT WITH LISA LING on HBO MAX. Additionally, Jin is currently developing her first food docuseries as a series creator and Executive Producer. She is co-writing a narrative comedy feature. Prior to this, Jin co-produced A WOMAN’S WORK: THE NFL’S CHEERLEADER PROBLEM (dir. Yu Gu), and K-TOWN ’92 (dir. Grace Lee). She is a 2020-21 Sundance Creative Producers Fellow, among others.

 Jin Yoo-Kim

Producer/Impact Producer

Jin Yoo-Kim is a Korean Bolivian American filmmaker currently producing MANZANAR, DIVERTED: WHEN WATER BECOMES DUST (dir. Ann Kaneko). She recently directed a docuseries episode for TAKE OUT WITH LISA LING on HBO MAX. Additionally, Jin is currently developing her first food docuseries as a series creator and Executive Producer. She is co-writing a narrative comedy feature. Prior to this, Jin co-produced A WOMAN’S WORK: THE NFL’S CHEERLEADER PROBLEM (dir. Yu Gu), and K-TOWN ’92 (dir. Grace Lee). She is a 2020-21 Sundance Creative Producers Fellow, among others.

 Baratunde Thurston

Host of America Outdoors PBS // How To Citizen

Baratunde Thurston is an Emmy®-nominated host, author, and cultural activist. He’s the executive producer and host of How to Citizen with Baratunde, which Apple named one of its favorite podcasts of 2020. Thurston’s ability to hold space for hard and nuanced conversations juxtaposed with his sense of humor, inquisitive nature, and his ability to synthesize themes of race, culture, politics, and technology earned him a Social Impact Award from iHeartRadio. Thurston has worked for The Onion, produced for THE DAILY SHOW, advised the Obama White House, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How to Be Black. 

Tonatiuh

Actor & Writer


With more than a decade of experience on stage, screen, and in the VO booth, Tonatiuh is an actor, and screenwriter. Television and streaming credits include a series regular role in the ABC Show PROMISED LAND as well as a major recurring guest star role in the Peacock limited series ANGELYNE, starring Emmy Rossum in the titular role. He also appeared in JANE THE VIRGIN, CHICAGO MED, FAMOUS IN LOVE and STARGATE: ORIGINS. On the features side, Tonatiuh was a lead in the 2020 SxSW selected film DRUNK BUS, sharing the screen with Kara Hayward and Charlie Tahan, and a supporting lead in the indie dramedy SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD alongside Ellar Coltrane and Joe Manganiello.

Mrittika Sarin

TV Writer & Producer

Mrittika ‘Mou’ Sarin is a queer Indian screenwriter, who has lived in Mumbai, Baltimore, the midwest and many places in between. This outside-in perspective makes her a keen observer of people, identity, and culture. She has a recent writing credit on CHICAGO MED and has also written on CRIMINAL JUSTICE (official Indian remake of HBO's THE NIGHT OF). She won Honorable Mention at the Sloan Grand Jury Prize from the Tribeca Film Institute for her climate feature SCARCE. Her other accolades include the Athena Film Festival Writer's Lab, Alfred P. Sloan Award in Screenwriting and multiple scholarships for TV writing. Before getting her MFA in screenwriting from UCLA, she produced the official Indian remake of THE OFFICE.

take action!

collaborate

Collaborate with Working Films if you have projects your working on that surround social justice.

learn

Attend an Our Climate Voice Workshop centered around ethical storytelling and creating space for BIPOC climate activists to come together.

read

Check out the Center for Cultural Power's Guides on topics from climate justice to cultural organizing.

read

Read The Intersectional Environmentalist by Leah Thomas, a comprehensive guide for instigating change for all.