Council set up to support Pacific Climate Warriors
The Pacific Islander Student Alliance (P.I.S.A.) concluded its annual conference with the formation of a Council to support the work of the Pacific Climate Warriors (P.C.W.s).
This was a highlighted in a press release by 350 Pacific which is an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.
The P.C.W.s and 350 Pacific were invited to be one of the main contributors at the conference.
The theme for the conference hosted in America is “Identity and Pacific Climate Justice.”
The release stated that over the two-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.
The outcome of this was the formation of the P.I.S.A. 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 P.I.S.A. Council will provide leadership opportunities for P.C.W.s and professional staff in the regions to develop their capacity and facilitate knowledge exchanges on Climate Justice Training and Leadership Development.
According to Joseph-Zane Sikulu, 350 Pacific Campaign Specialist, he said the 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 P.I.S.A. Council and the P.C.W.s, we lay solid foundations for meaningful climate action,” he said.
He added that through these gatherings, we are able to pass on critical knowledge and skills that are essential in maneuvering the complexities of the climate crisis.
One of the Samoans attending the conference is Makerusa Porotesano, who is the P.I.S.A. founder; he said they 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."
The conference is student-led and founded. Over the last 10 years, the conference has brought together about 100 students and has 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.
P.I.S.A. offers a critical, welcoming and engaging experience for Pacific Islander students.
Through leadership programs, campus organizing and community advocacy, PISA will create new student leaders.
P.I.S.A. looks to strengthen the cultural identity, protocol, and methodology of the Pacific Islander student in Higher Education.
Through our alliance, we will connect our communities ensuring Pacific Islanders have the means to successful navigation of their collegiate experience. P.I.S.A. is student-founded and centered, all are welcome