Portland, Oregon, USA – March 11, 2020: 8pm (350.org): The Pacific Islander Student Alliance (PISA) concluded their revitalised PISA Conference (PISACON) on high notes with the formation of a Council to support the work of the Pacific Climate Warriors (PCWs).
Over the 2-day conference, the annual gathering of Indigenous Pacific Islander students, staff and community leaders, the Portland Community reaffirmed its commitment as a pillar of support for the Oceania Community in higher education.
This year, the Pacific Climate Warriors (PCWs) and 350 Pacific were invited to be one of the main contributors at PISACON. The outcome of this was the formation of the PISA Student Council, which will be the governing body, to better coordinate efforts to address issues that Pacific Island students face, one of the main issues being impacts of the climate crisis.
The PISA Council will provide leadership opportunities for PCWs and professional staff in the regions to develop their capacity and facilitate knowledge exchanges on Climate Justice Training and Leadership Development.
â€œThe fight for climate justice requires support from everyone, not just those on the frontlines of climate impacts. By strengthening support systems for volunteers, like the PISA Council and the PCWs, we lay solid foundations for meaningful climate action. Through these gatherings, we are able to pass on critical knowledge and skills that are essential in maneuvering the complexities of the climate crisis,â€ Joseph-Zane Sikulu, Pacific Campaign Specialist, said.
â€œWe are committed to creating spaces for collaboration between our students, staff and the wider community – despite most Pacific Island students being far from places they call home. Frontline voices need to be uplifted, which is why a network of support both within the education system and in the community is so crucial,â€ Makerusa Porotesano, PISA founder, shared.
The conference is student-led and founded. Over the last 10 years, PISACON has brought together about 100 students and have had over 18 colleges and universities support the conference.& universities throughout Oregon and Washington. In the next two years, California and Hawaii will be new additions to the conference.