Preservation Week is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of the Brooklyn-based Latinx community organization UPROSE, will serve as the 2022 Preservation Week Honorary Chair. Yeampierre, an internationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental and climate justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry, is a fierce advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice, and community-led climate adaptation. Prior to assuming the role as UPROSE Executive Director, she worked as the Director of Legal Education and Training at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Director of Legal Services for the American Indian Law Alliance and was the Dean of Puerto Rican Student Affairs at Yale University. She currently serves as the Co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance Board of Directors.
As a community leader and Executive Director at UPROSE, Yeampierre has led a multitude of successful urban sustainability and environmental justice initiatives. She founded the NYC Climate Justice Youth Summit, a space for young BIPOC New Yorkers to learn how to engage their local communities in addressing the intersection of racial justice and climate change. In response to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Yeampierre founded New York City’s first grassroots-led, climate adaptation and community resiliency planning project the Climate Justice Center. Yeampierre has been a speaker at local, national and international forums including Sage Paris 2015, 2016 GRI Amsterdam, Oxford, the Hague and the White House Forum on Environmental Justice. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications and media outlets.
“Preserving the legacy of our history of engaging in collective care and resiliency in the face of generational threats to our existence is a tribute to our ancestors and important lessons that must be preserved for future generations that are additionally threatened by climate change,” Yeampierre says. “We need to be aware of which climate stories get preserved—not just the mainstream stories of despair told by the elite, but also the resiliency and community solutions from the frontlines. It is an honor to be part of this year’s Preservation Week and shed light on the history of strength and the solutions shared by those in our community most susceptible to the impacts of climate change.”
The 2022 Preservation Week theme is “Preservation in the Face of Climate Change.” Celebrating the concept of climate resiliency, Preservation Week 2022 will highlight the effects of climate change on our shared cultural heritage materials. The papers, photographs, ephemera and other materials held by both institutions and individuals can be integral to telling the story of the human impact on the environment. During Preservation Week, we urge libraries, museums, institutions and communities to examine the effects on collections and their keepers, as well as resiliency strategies.
Preservation Week 2022 will be held April 24-30, 2022. As honorary chair, Yeampierre will appear in Preservation Week artwork and will promote preservation activities through a range of platforms, including social media, public service announcements (PSAs) and media outlets. Follow her on Twitter with @yeampierre for the latest conversations focusing on racial and climate justice.
Preservation Week is supported by Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures.