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Say hello to our summer interns: Hey, Amanda!

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Ever wonder who’s helping to keep the drumbeat of our social media going? Who’s the magic behind our SEO? Who’s got her finger on the pulse of our analytics and insights? Please help us welcome Amanda Mier to the team this summer!

Amanda is our social media maven and comms extraordinaire (though her resume will probably say Social Media + Communications Intern). She’s a Junior at UC Berkeley, with a passion for purpose-driven content creation and outreach, and we love working with her. We can’t wait to see all that’s possible through her thoughtful and creative support this summer!

Do us a favor? Head over to one of our social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) and say hey to Amanda!

Name: Amanda Mier
Role at WEA: Social Media + Communications Intern
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Fun Fact: I taught myself Hebrew in six months before my Bat Mitzvah (and immediately forgot it all).

Why did you want to intern with WEA? I love writing and knew I wanted to gain experience with content creation, but I also wanted to be engaged with and passionate about the work I’m doing. WEA presented an intersection of two things I care deeply about, and two of the most pressing issues facing our world right now: climate change and women’s rights. I feel like a lot of people only consider the deteriorating ecological situation as a problem hurting the physical earth, but that can compartmentalize and ignore the communities of already vulnerable women who are negatively impacted by climate change. WEA focuses on this intersection, and that’s what drew me in!

What’s your go-to strategy for lessening your environmental/climate footprint? It’s really small, but I am working on being more cognizant of how many pre-packaged or disposable products I am buying and consuming. When I was younger my grandparents (who lived on a self-sufficient farm) would always talk about the dangers of conspicuous consumption, and now that I’m older I am recognizing the sheer quantity I use and throw away in a week, so I am making an effort to minimize the amount of plastic I buy and reuse whenever possible.

Tell us about a woman who inspires you. Agh. I hate being cliche, but I am really inspired by my mom. She grew up on a farm in the foothills of Northern California without running water or electricity and ended up getting her Master’s in Public Policy from Berkeley (Go Bears!) before having kids. She returned to work for a non-profit to de-stigmatize depression in children and teens, and now she is in law school to become a public defender. I think she emblematizes how you can accomplish anything you work for, and how you can find your passion at any age.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bay Area? I love walking around the neighborhoods in Berkeley and looking through used book stores! Another of my favorite things to do is BART into San Francisco with my friends and spend the day picnicking and window-shopping in the Haight-Ashbury. I do not hike, because I cannot walk upstairs without getting out of breath, but I’ve found that the views are amazing when my friends force me to exercise.

Any community events coming up you’re excited about (bonus points if it’s women-led/organized!) I’m really excited to volunteer for Kamala Harris’ campaign here in the Bay Area!

What are you currently reading / watching / listening to? I just consumed all of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ masterpiece of a TV show, in one sitting and was left heart-wrenched by the combination of quick humor and one of the most accurate portrayals of grief I’ve ever seen. It’s only two seasons and twelve episodes total, so if anyone has six hours to spare I highly recommend. I also loved the second season of the podcast In the Dark, which focused unflinchingly on the flaws and racial biases in the criminal justice system. It was really eye-opening.

Meet the Interns: Hi, Ashley!

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“Women are the backbones of their communities, and yet they face marginalization on multiple fronts. If we are able to cultivate spaces where women’s rights and needs are prioritized rather than treated as an afterthought, entire communities will benefit.” – Ashley Vu, WEA Intern

To say we are incredibly fortunate and honored to be able to work with young women leaders like Ashley is an understatement. Ashley has been supporting the development of our recently launched grassroots accelerators, our donor stewardship program, and our organizational outreach with such care, dedication and attention to detail. Read on to get to her know more!

Name: Ashley Vu
Hometown: Santa Ana, CA

If you had a superpower, what would it would be (and why):
I would want to be able to teleport. I’ve always wanted to travel the world and being able to teleport would mean that I can do just that without breaking the bank (at least in terms of transportation).

Why did you want to intern with WEA?
I was taking an Environmental Health and Development class this past summer and my professor had mentioned a local non-profit organization called WEA, who was not only helping the environment but also doing so through uplifting and working directly with women leaders in the communities they were hoping to impact. I found WEA’s mission statement incredibly inspiring and began to follow them since.

Tell us about a woman who inspires you.
I would have to say my grandma. She practically raised me and as I’ve gotten older I realize how much she’s done for my family. She emigrated from Viet Nam in hopes of providing a better life for her seven children, raised those seven children as a single mother in a foreign country, and reminds all of her grandchildren to keep in touch with our Vietnamese culture. Even at 79 years old, she holds a light within her that shows no signs of dulling anytime soon. She is truly one of the most resilient and independent women I know and I hope to be at least half of the woman she is.

Why women and why the environment?
Women are the backbones of their communities, and yet they face marginalization on multiple fronts. If we are able to cultivate spaces where women’s rights and needs are prioritized rather than treated as an afterthought, entire communities will benefit.

The environment, as well, has been treated as an afterthought by many people, but the ways that it affects us are plentiful. Specifically, marginalized communities are the most impacted when they are the ones who are often the least responsible for the state of our planet. It’s about time we start treating climate change and environmental issues as urgent problems that need prompt addressing.

What does your life outside WEA look like?
I’m currently a senior at UC Berkeley studying Applied Mathematics, so this past semester (outside of WEA) has consisted of me trying to study my best while also trying to take in as much of Berkeley/the Bay Area as I can. I’m usually either studying, hanging out with friends, going thrift shopping, or trying new food places. My friends and I have a “bucket list” of restaurants and hiking spots we’ve been wanting to visit before we all graduate.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bay Area?
I love the food scene in the Bay Area, specifically Berkeley; there’s so many different cuisines but also small Mom-and-Pop shops, which I love. My hometown is pretty diverse in food options, but oversaturated with a lot of food chain restaurants. Here, I’m able to get small glimpses of other cultures through their food and I’m also able to support small businesses whose establishments hold so much history and sentiment for the communities they reside in.

What are you currently reading / watching / listening to?
I’m currently reading Jung’s Map of the Soul by Murray Stein and Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming. As for what I’m listening to, I’m always listening to the K-Pop group BTS (a lot of people don’t realize how thoughtful their lyrics are!) and have also been listening to a lot of H.E.R.

Meet our newest board member, Charity Tooze

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WEA’s newest Leadership Board member, Charity Tooze, is a longtime champion of women’s rights, and currently serves as Director of Gender, Partnerships, and Communications with Equal Access International. She’s a creative social impact leader with a fierce commitment to uplifting girl and women-led organizations, and we are honored to have her experience and voice on our board.

Join us for the Women’s Assembly for Climate Justice

Project: Accelerating Women's Climate Solutions in the U.S.

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WEA is honored to participate in the Women’s Assembly for Climate Justice: Women Leading Solutions on the Frontlines of Climate Change on September 11th in San Francisco (and livestreamed). Organized by our friends at WECAN, this dynamic public forum will be a gathering of women leaders from across the United States and around the world, joined in solidarity to speak out against environmental and social injustice, draw attention to root causes of the climate crisis, and present a diverse array of strategies. This event will be held the day before the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in California.

Find additional details and RSVP here.

Meet the Interns: Hey there, Tegan!

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We have such an amazing team of young leaders working behind the scenes to support our global programs and home-base operations as part of WEA’s Internship Program this spring!
 
Meet Tegan, the passionate and multi-gifted force who has jumped right in to support our growth with her artistry, professionalism and skill in this exciting time for WEA. We are so lucky to have her on our team this semester before she heads off to grad school (congratulations, Tegan!) to deeper her impact for communities and the earth.
 

Name: Tegan Stuart
Hometown: Portland, OR

If you had a superpower, what would it would be (and why):
I would either want the ability to make plants grow or manipulate natural materials, kind of like an Earthbender from Avatar. I think I could make the world a better place with this gift and maybe keep some of my houseplants alive for more than a few months.

Why did you want to intern with WEA?
I hope to enter a career in the nonprofit sector someday and I want to have experience with an organization whose values I align with. WEA’s mission and the way it is implemented is appealing in terms of capacity building, empowerment, and responsiveness. I admire how socially responsible WEA is and I would like to take these values and experiences into my long term career.

Tell us about a woman who inspires you.
I know it sounds cliche, but my mother inspires me so much. She owns a small business and she works harder than anyone I’ve ever met. She taught me to be compassionate, but also firm when necessary.

Why women and why the environment?
Much of my background has been in interpersonal violence prevention, which disproportionately impacts female identifying individuals. The empowerment and support of women is key to preventing violence and to enriching a community to its brightest potential. I also strongly believe that the world needs many more female leaders and I can’t wait to see how all the amazing women around me change the world.

The environment it also important to me in terms of its direct implications for human health and the reality of environmental violence. Environmental neglect will always unfairly impact marginalized communities and in order to support social justice and health equity, environmental advocacy and consciousness are extremely important.

What does your life outside WEA look like?
I am currently in my last year of undergraduate studies at Saint Mary’s College of California. I am studying health science and creative writing so I divide most of my time between laboratories and coffee shops. I am on the executive team for Women in Science and Engineering Club (WiSE) and The Lounge, which is a diversity focused open mic night that takes place monthly in the intercultural center. I am also actively involved in the Student Coalition Against Abuse and Rape. When I’m not in class or organizing club events I love to draw, paint, listen to podcasts, write poetry and fiction, read novels and comics, and finally practice guitar.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bay Area?
Every couple of months I take BART to Embarcadero and I spend a Sunday afternoon in the ferry building. I usually spend a few hours browsing the farmers market and looking for a new read at Book Passage.

What are you currently reading / watching / listening to?
I’ve been reading a fantasy series called Throne of Glass, however I am thinking of taking a break to reread my favorite series: the Raven Cycle. I also have been itching to start Children of Blood and Bone.