George Mason University
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George Mason University

What is Virginia's Climate Future? Honors College student moderates a panel of experts and activists

September 18, 2020   /   by Sophia Chapin

Honors College student Dasha Maslyukova invites you to attend Virginia's Climate Future event on September 24 

Six million cases of the novel coronavirus. California hit a record number of wildfires before peak season.  Nationwide protests for social justice. November brings a historical election. 

Much is happening, but how are these events related? 

Honors College student Dasha Maslyukova is co-moderating a live-streamed event discussing the path forward amid crisis and inequity that will discuss how you can get involved in positive change. The event, Virginia’s Climate Future, will be held on September 24, 5-7 pm ET on GMU-TV's live stream.

“It’s all part of the same movement, which is making sure that we all have a livable and just planet.”

Dasha Maslyukova

“I think there's a really big opportunity to [take the] climate crisis and pair it with a lot of other things that we're seeing right now, especially the justice movement that's been happening,” explains Maslyukova, “because it's all part of the same movement, which is making sure that we all have a livable and just planet.” 

Maslyukova, a junior Environmental and Sustainability Studies major, has been immersed in these topics since arriving at university. She now serves as a board member for Mason Environmental Justice Alliance (MEJA) and on the Patriot Green Fund Committee. As a co-moderator, she will be voicing questions posed in advance by by the audience.

Virginia’s Climate Future hopes to engage all demographics across Virginia, from university students to other community members. “I think anybody who is interested in living in Virginia in the next 20 years [should attend],” says Maslyukova, “everybody’s welcome.” Attendees will hail from James Madison University, Christopher Newport University, and Hollins University, among others. 

Students are especially encouraged to attend, as they have a unique opportunity to engage directly with their supervisors and state delegates on the Green New Deal. Panelists include Delegate Rip Sullivan, co-director of Green New Deal Virginia Karen Campblin, Supervisor James Walkinshaw, and Colin Nackerman, founder of Sunrise Movement Fairfax County Hub. 

“They'll get [to listen to] Sullivan, who is the lead sponsor for the Virginia Clean Economy Act, as well as supervisor James Walkinshaw who is from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors," elaborates Maslyukova. Fairfax County is currently developing a county wide energy and climate action plan and are actively soliciting public participation.

Maslyukova says that this event is timely in relevance, and that “in terms of economics and equity,  the climate crisis encourages the fact that there is no stability in the [policy] solutions that are being provided [right now]." The panel will not only explore Virginia climate policy in-depth but also provide action items for attendees to get involved.  

Learn about the guests:

Flyer for event with details from article. Features four political signs at a protest, each focused on climate change

#VAClimateFuture is organized by Green New Deal VirginiaGeorge Mason University’s Chapter of the NAACPGeorge Mason University's Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere StudiesGeorge Mason University’s Office of SustainabilityGeorge Mason University's Institute for a Sustainable Earth, and George Mason University’s Dept. of Environmental Science & Policy.