“Resilience” Presentation at EPA

There was such wonderful energy in the room during my presentation “Resilience in the Face of Climate Change” last week at the US Environmental Protection Agency in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. There were over 100 people that attended either live or via webinar. Very exciting that so many people were online from all over the country and as far away as Guam!

I showed a condensed version of the Her Words film and then spoke about the project and the urgent crisis posed by climate change. The latest report from the IPCC projects that Katakhali village and indeed almost 20% of Bangladesh will be submerged under the sea in 35 years unless urgent measures are taken. Up to 30 million people will be displaced. Bangladesh is the country that faces the largest challenge as a result of climate change. Ironically, Bangladesh has almost negligible carbon emissions and is not responsible for the problem.

Unfortunately, there is no global climate change agreement. There is no national legislation either. But we each have individual responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint immediately. I believe there is still time and it is our duty to do our utmost. We in the US contribute 25% to the climate problem and have the responsibility to act.

My goal is to create a trans-border link between the people of Bangladesh and the United States. I plan to follow the 12 women of Storytelling with Saris indefinitely as their lives and climate conditions evolve. Through their personal stories I hope to make climate change real for people.

It was really touching to share my personal narrative with so many EPA employees, especially because I know that each of them has a deep commitment to the environment. Special thanks to Chrisna Tan for inviting me.

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