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Nina Sadowsky

NYU Los Angeles Program Director and published writer Nina Sadowsky speaks on partnering with YEA! on the 2020 Hollywood Digital Climate Summit, and emphasizes the significant topics of storytelling and environmental sustainability during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Nina also participated in the Documenting the Climate Crisis Workshop 

The #CreatorsForJustice Initiative pairs artists & creatives with nonprofits who need help in graphic design, editing, social media & digital art.

IT IS PRIORITIZING black led and racial justice coalitions.

Due to COVID-19, many nonprofits are overwhelmed and understaffed. Their content and graphics budgets have been slashed so that they can stay afloat. Yet, the need for digital content and social presence has only increased during this time. 

To support these organizations, Young Entertainment Activists (YEA!) founded #CreatorsForJustice. This volunteer-led initiative serves as an opportunity for creatives to serve nonprofits.  

We believe in the power of culture, art, and communication to build a more just, healthy world. Our goal is to bridge the gap between art and activism in social justice movements.

Creators for Justice



As we cope with the coronavirus pandemic and the many dimensions of its impact, I am not the only one struck by the indelible ways our lives have changed: from our understanding of medicine and global supply chains to the way we interact with friends and colleagues and care for our families, or adjust to abrupt changes in our routine. Indeed, some of the most arresting images that have emerged are the altered landscapes—deserted streets, parks, and landmarks, absent of people save for essential workers.

It may be early to contemplate what we can take from this challenging time, but one aspect that has made an impression on me is the way in which our reduced footprint has affected the environment on a scale we couldn't have imagined several months ago. In New York City alone, the decrease in traffic, air pollution, and morning energy usage is dramatic. These are artificial changes, to be sure, and one should not look to disasters to help us clean up our planet. But the evidence that our human actions can have a significant effect should reinforce our commitment to the environment and our pledge to contribute to a sustainable—and enduring—future.

It's the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this month, and NYU remains as dedicated as ever to reaching our goals as an institution—in our research, class work, and student engagement.

One development I'm particularly proud of is the International Universities Climate Alliance, a partnership we helped launch this month with 40 institutions around the world whose mission is to support climate research and communicate it to the public. NYU also recently received an updated STARS ranking, which is the leading environmental ratings system among higher education institutions. We earned a Gold rating—one of its highest tiers—and are a leader among the top private research universities that participated. We also remain on track with our commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 50 percent from our baseline by 2025 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

I was heartened to see that after months of social distancing in Shanghai, as seniors return to resume in-person classes, construction of NYU Shanghai's new campus—which is being built to achieve LEED certification—has started again. NYU School of Global Public Health's new home at 708 Broadway, which is scheduled to open in 2021, will have thicker window glass to minimize the need for artificial heating and cooling, and carpeting made from recycled materials removed from the Pacific Ocean. At our Brooklyn campus, work also continues on 370 Jay, which attained a LEED Platinum ranking. And much research about sustainability carries on. An NYU Abu Dhabi scholar is developing a process to make cement that results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions. At NYU Tandon, a team of researchers is studying the impact of flooding on urban communities and how to mitigate them.

While the images that have saturated the media during this time of paused activity—of clearer water in the Venice canals, bluer skies at the Taj Mahal, or less smog in Los Angeles—may be temporary, our commitments as a University persist. Our altered daily habits may just pay long-term dividends to the earth as we all collectively grow more comfortable with conducting some of our work virtually and forgoing unnecessary carbon-intensive travel. This month in particular, as we celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day, wherever you are in the world, I hope we can all take some inspiration to remain dedicated to sustainable practices that can serve the environment for our lifetimes—and generations to come.


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