Greetings! We have an incredibly dedicated, talented and hardworking team of climate leaders working in Arizona this fall. Our campus ambassadors and Arizona campaign manager share below why they are in this fight to solve the climate crisis, protect Arizona communities and defend our future!
Richard Gallon, Arizona Campaign Manager
Richard is a California native who moved to Arizona to attend the University of Arizona in 2012. He studied sociology and communications and was active in campus life, from working in the Woman’s and Gender Resource Center as the Intern Director of The Men’s Project to End Violence, to being one of the founding members of The Marginalized Students of the University of Arizona (MSUA) that fought for more resources and support for marginalized students at the U of A. Richards experience organizing expands beyond the campus setting as he has worked for organizations like Environment Arizona and NextGen. One of his main objectives when organizing is mentoring and training new organizers so they can take the skills they’ve learned back to their communities and organizer around issues that are important to them and their communities.
Jesse Rodriguez, Flagstaff Organizer
Jesse is the Flagstaff Organizer in Arizona. He recently graduated from Northern Arizona University with a double major in Criminology and Political Science with a Spanish minor. Beyond academics, he devoted time in his disciplinary art of breakdancing eventually leading his dance crew to the national renowned dance competition, Red Bull Bracket Reel. Moreover, Jesse was involved with the Northern Arizona Interfaith Council (NAIC) and Community University Public Inquiry (CUPI). Here, he organized to research the challenges faced by immigrant students in Flagstaff in accessing higher education, the barriers their families experience in engaging with Flagstaff
schools, and the resources that schools need to better support immigrant students and families in our threatening and rapidly changing political and legal environment. He is now with Defend Our Future to involve citizens into bringing political change to protect our environment from irreversible effects of climate change.
Favorite Quote: “You can’t change the world alone. You will need some help and to truly get from your starting point to your destination takes friends, colleagues, the good will of strangers, and a strong coxswain to guide them.” — General William H. McRaven (Ret.)
Marissa Ruiz, Arizona State University Campus Ambassador
Marissa is a Campus Ambassador at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. She is a young activist and in her second year at Barrett, the Honors College at ASU. With an earnest interest in
animals and our shared environment prevalent from a young age, she is currently pursuing a major in sustainability and a minor in political science.
Zamara Fabela, Arizona State University Campus Ambassador
My name is Zamara Fabela and I’m currently a sophomore at Arizona State University and I am majoring in Global Studies! I am passionate about environmental rights because I believe that nature has more value than the value we as humans give it. This is my second year working with Defend Our Future, and I am excited to keep being a part of the movement for environmental justice.
Karlyn Bradley, University of Arizona Campus Ambassador
Karlyn Bradley is a Radical, Queer, Black, Femme, Feminist. They have worn many hats during their time as an organizer which have included Student Assistant in African American Student Affairs (AASA), Intern with the Women’s Resource Center’s The Men’s Project, Safezone Facilitator and Co-Director of Diversity and Inclusion for The Associated Students of the University of Arizona. Through these various groups and others, they have been able to use and expand their knowledge of Feminist Theory to create programming that educates and empowers folks around topics of Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation and Power Dynamics. Their studies in Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies at The University of Arizona, have also shaped and influenced their ability to understand, critique and analyze policy through a critical race feminist lens. Karlyn hopes to obtain a Graduate Level Degree in Gender and Women’s Studies and Law and continue doing community organizing work. When they are not doing Community work Karlyn likes to hang out with their friends, eating a good meal, watching movies. Writing poetry, drawing and watching Scandal. Karlyn is Southern California native currently residing in Tucson, Arizona.
Emily Wright, University of Arizona Campus Ambassador
Emily Wright is a University of Arizona Campus Ambassador. She is a freshman this year, majoring in Deaf Studies. In high school, she began working with March For Our Lives Arizona, working toward gun violence prevention reform and advocating for mental health support in schools, where she ran voter registration with Next Gen. She actively volunteers with Planned Parenthood, March For Our Lives AZ, and Next Gen. She is now with Defend Our Future to advocate for environmental education and uplift the young voices of the climate justice movement.
Jack Cahill, Northern Arizona University Campus Ambassador
Hello! I’m Jack Cahill, a Junior at Northern Arizona University. Currently majoring in Secondary Education with a double minor in English and Political Science. I’m an avid lover of hiking, swimming and running, and my overall love for the outdoors was a catalyst in my passion for fighting climate change. As a young person, I think it’s crucial we mitigate this climate crisis as fast as possible, in order to preserve this earth for our generation, and for future generations.
Taylor Redman, Northern Arizona University Campus Ambassador
My name is Taylor Redman. I’m at Northern Arizona University Flagstaff Campus. I’m a Biology major with a Spanish minor. I organize around climate change so I can become a more conscious consumer and encourage others to do the same.