"In 2017, I went to Haiti and witnessed significant infrastructure challenges from the earthquake and from hurricanes. They're already a country that has experienced significant financial hardships, and that will be a continued way of life for countries like Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Cuba as we see the continued effects of climate change. There's drought, there's famine, and there are all sorts of increasing intimate weather. There are heavy concentrations of people of color, queer and trans people in these areas, and I think it's important that 1) we’re doing something about the climate and 2) as we start to invest in these infrastructures that folks who have most been impacted have opportunities to get resources to develop their own capacities, to offer renewable energy sources in these countries, and to participate in those economies.
Post-graduation, I want to be heavily involved in what is known as 'just transitions,' or ensuring that there's a justice focus on how we move from non-renewable energy to renewables."Bryson Rose
This is a huge career shift for me, and it’s been a learning curve. Before coming to SPIA, I was a sexual health educator for Hetrick Martin, a nonprofit in Manhattan. I worked with LGBTQ youth, mostly of color, mostly living at the intersections of poverty, racism, and transphobia. I got to be in a community with people who looked like me, had similar shared values, experiences, and interests, and were also able to be helped. I've been thinking a lot about what it means for people like me and others to be more involved in public service because often, the folks who are in those rooms don't have the same life experiences, and that colors the lens through which they champion things. I'd often be in the room with policy people who were really smart but were disconnected from the reality of the world. It was kind of jarring because they have all this ability to do amazing things but have no connection to how it would be implemented in a realistic way. I hope to be a part of the reparations."