8th Annual Fighting for Life Celebration
East Yard would like to cordially invite you to our 8th Annual Fighting For Life Celebration, a special event honoring our allies, Melissa Lin Perrella and Jane Williams, in the movement. 2020 really forced us to reimagine what our work looked like and allowed us to create a variety of connectivity opportunities. We use our Fighting For Life Celebration to continue to uplift our communities’ resiliency and victories. When reports and research studies call our communities “disadvantaged,” we denounce them and instead fight to uplift our own narratives and shine. These moments of shining are not possible without our incredible base of members and supporters. They are also brought to us by generous donations and sponsorships from events like this. So we hope you consider sponsoring our event, purchasing an ad, or buying tix and donating some for our members.
Fighting For Life
A Virtual Celebration
Thursday, June 24th, 2021
6 – 8 pm General Event
8 – 9 pm VIP Reception with artists
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This Year’s Honorees
Melissa Lin Perrella is a Senior Attorney and the Senior Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Environmental Justice Team. Her work focuses on improving air quality in environmental justice communities affected by the freight transportation system. She is an expert on the health effects of diesel emissions, technologies for reducing air pollution from ships, trucks, and locomotives, enforcing the National Environmental Policy Act, and defending landmark state and local clean air programs against federal preemption claims. Melissa has also been a member of a number of coalitions and movement-building initiatives aimed at building power within environmental justice communities and moving philanthropic resources to such communities. Before joining NRDC in 2004, Melissa worked in private practice as a general litigation associate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and U.C. Berkeley. Melissa is a proud finisher of the Boston Marathon and a mother of two children.
Jane Williams serves as the Executive Director of California Communities Against Toxics (CCAT). A network of local environmental justice groups in California, CCAT works to protect communities from industrial pollutants. Jane carries on the tradition of her mother, environmentalist Stormy Williams, working to protect the health of people and the environment as a common cause. Her mother, Norma, had launched a campaign that sought to identify toxins causing a brain cancer cluster among children in her small town of Rosamond, California. Jane has organized dozens of communities to successfully fight the building of facilities that would pollute their environments, such as incinerators, landfills, nuclear waste dumps, and industrial plants. Jane has also served on a number of federal and state advisory committees that study the effects of toxic chemicals on children and public health. She has raised three children, has one granddaughter, and has a passion for rescuing, riding, and caring for horses.
Featured VIP Performer
Astrid is a Salvadoran-American poet and journalist based in Los Angeles. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Here, she was captain of the slam poetry team and president of the poetry club, FLOW. Astrid has since become a beacon in L.A.’s writing community, shining through with her annual showcase Talk That Sh!t while having highly esteemed featured performances at Take the Mic, Unplugd LA, Sela Arts Festival, and LitFest Pasadena just to name a few. She lives in Long Beach and continues to share her editorial voice at L.A. Taco, an independent press covering the native Los Angeles community. Her work has also been featured at Viva La Muxer and Cultural Weekly.
VIP Art By Cozcon
Cozcon is a black queer artist and writer creating work that aims to expand the visual language of black and brown life in America using the iconography of pop culture, high fashion, and prominent contemporary femme figures. You can find more of their work by following them on Instagram @Cozcon.