A global network for women's leadership
Project Director Tracy Mann is supported by an Advisory Board of outstanding women.
Tracy Mann leads Climate Wise Women on program implementation, fundraising and communications strategies. Tracy has thirty-five years' experience in communications in the international entertainment business and emerging technologies. In 2009, she worked with the Global Campaign for Climate Action on a communications campaign for women's leadership on climate change. Tracy has consulted to the Austin, Texas-based conference company SXSW LLC on international engagement for the past 19 years. She represents SXSW to Brazil and was a co-founder of the SXSW Eco event which was inaugurated in 2011. Tracy was a Rotary Scholar to Brazil in 1973.
Chairperson, OWN (osukuru united women's network) / founding member- climate wise women
Constance Okollet lives in the Tororo district of Eastern Uganda, and is a self-described peasant farmer and mother of seven. As the chairperson for OWN, a consortium of approximately 1200 small women’s groups working on education, community health and nutrition, Constance was selected by Oxfam to attend a meeting in Kampala in which she learned about climate change. Deeply shocked, Constance began speaking and organizing the women in her network to explain climate change and the need for adaptation, particularly in their agricultural practices, to ensure community resilience. Constance has spoken internationally at public events and high-level forums in company of Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Connie Hedegaard and other high-ranking leaders with a mesmerizing storytelling ability that galvanized her listeners. Most recently, Sierra Magazine wrote that “…Constance Okollet exemplifies the Sierra Club’s ideal of citizen advocacy.”
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TULELE PEISA / FOUNDING MEMBER, CLIMATE WISE WOMEN
Since 2006, Ursula Rakova has led Tulele Peisa, a non-profit formed by the Elders of the Carteret Islands, to prepare for the islanders’ relocation to Bougainville Province, Papua New Guinea. Rakova and Tulele Peisa are dedicated to an ecologically and culturally sustainable relocation process, one that includes a pathway to self-sufficiency for the relocated islanders. Ursula’s innovative leadership has been acclaimed by the UNPFA and by numerous academic and institutional experts searching for solutions for climate change displaced people. In 2014 she received the UNDP Equator Prize in recognition of her work. The Weather Channel has hailed her as “one of the smartest voices on climate change.” Ursula holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work as well as a post-graduate degree in Social Administration from the University of PNG. Prior to founding Tulele Peisa, she worked as a community development specialist for Oxfam New Zealand.
Director, IWRP(International Women’s Rights Project)
Susan Bazilli, is a Canadian feminist lawyer, researcher, educator who has worked globally on women’s human rights advocacy and access to justice for over 30 years. She is the Director of the International Women’s Rights Project, founded in Canada in 1998 and registered as a non-profit in Canada and South Africa. IWRP’s mission is to provide support, capacity building, training in strategic partnerships with women’s NGOs around the world. IWRP has worked for over a decade on women’s rights issues on water, climate change, biodiversity and environment. Susan has an expertise in ensuring that women’s voices and decision making are included in Global Environment Facility and UN projects. She attended the Rio+20 conference in 2012, where she happily began her working relationship with Climate Wise Women.
FRANCESCA DE GASPARIS
Co-Executive Director, SAFCEI (Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute)
Francesca is a long-time consultant focused on organizational development, advocacy, policy and climate change strategies. She was the Director of the European office of Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement (GBMI) for eight years from its inception in 2005. Francesca has worked in the environmental sector for over fifteen years, after a previous career in IT, and has a master’s degree in Environment and Community from Antioch University. No stranger to the challenges and opportunities in the NGO sector, Francesca has worked with numerous African organizations on sustainable development and a holistic environmental approach, helping to ensure NGOs have the support they need to deliver on their aims.
Director, Friends of Earth Brisbane
Trained as a secondary school teacher, Wendy began her working life as a staff member at All Hallows’, in Brisbane, Australia in 1969, she left to teach in Papua New Guinea. With an appointment in 1978 to the Melanesian Institute, an ecumenical research and teaching institute in PNG, Wendy began an enduring relationship with the peoples and countries of the Pacific. From 1999 to 2002 she represented the Mercy International Association in its capacity as an NGO to the United Nations in New York. Since her return to Brisbane at the end of 2002, Wendy has continued her peace building work, focusing particularly on empowering women, promoting interfaith dialogue and raising awareness on environmental issues such as climate change and sustainability.
Founder and Filmmaker, EnMedia
Claudia Medina is a noted Powell River, British Columbia filmmaker, visual artist and educator known for her social activism and advocacy. Medina’s inspiration for making films originally came from her family’s Mexican and Italian cultural tradition and her connection to her heritage. She has been making films and mentoring students for over fifteen years. She holds a BA in sociology and Latin American studies from SFU and a Masters of Visual Culture from the University of Barcelona. In 2001 she established EnMedia Productions as the container for her diverse projects and work in film, video, performance, visuals, and visual storytelling workshops. All of EnMedia’s projects explore possibilities of reconnection – to nature, to community, to a sense of personal and collective agency as we navigate through times of crisis and renewal.