Harrington School of Communication and Media to host Rhode Island panel discussion as part of ‘Solve Climate by 2030’

April 7 event part of global dialogue

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 29, 2021 – The University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media is working with a global network of institutions– universities, nonprofits and K-12 schools around the world to solve climate change challenges by 2030. Solve Climate by 2030 is a global initiative that seeks local, state-level and global action and fosters research to solve major climate change issues over the next nine years.

Solve Climate by 2030 is coordinating multiple webinars and panels around the country and world, which are scheduled for April 7. The Rhode Island panel hosted by URI’s Harrington School will feature Rhode Island experts who will speak on the following topics: “Just Transition,” “Climate Solutions” and “Green Recovery,” the three focus areas for this year. The URI panel discussion will be from noon to 1 p.m. on April 7 and will be followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by Emily Diamond, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Marine Affairs at URI.

The link to register for the virtual seminar, which is free and open to the public, can be found here.

The panelists:

Yasmin Yacoby will discuss “Just Transition. She is a Govern for America fellow and graduated with honors from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy. Yacoby is the Energy Justice Program Manager at the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, Rhode Island’s lead state agency on energy policy and programming. Her role focuses on the equitability and accessibility of Rhode Island’s energy systems, programs and policies. She works to ensure that all people have access to clean, affordable and dependable energy. She works with members of her department, other state agencies and community members to strengthen support for frontline communities and communities of color.

Rachel Calabro will discuss “Climate Solutions.” She is the climate change and health program manager at the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Center for Healthy Homes and Environment, who helps Rhode Islanders prepare for the health effects of climate change through education and research. She supports policy changes that help communities become more resilient. She has a master’s degree in geology from the University of Rhode Island, and a bachelor’s degree from William Smith College. Calabro has been studying climate change and its effects for many years, working in both state government and the nonprofit sector as an environmental scientist.

Priscilla De La Cruz will discuss “Green Recovery.” She is director of Green Energy Consumers Alliance where she has worked since 2009. The organization enables people and communities to access green energy choices in cost effective and seamless ways. She is a trusted advocate for clean energy and leads a small team based in Rhode Island. De La Cruz performs strategic management and marketing as well as coalition organizing in the local energy and environmental communities. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business and marketing at Rhode Island College and a master’s degree in liberal arts, with concentrations in management and sustainability, from the Harvard University Extension School. Because of her work, she was elected president of the Environment Council of Rhode Island in 2019.

The moderator of the panel discussion is Emily Diamond, assistant professor of Communication Studies and Marine Affairs at URI. Her expertise is in environmental communication. Her research focuses on how communication strategies interact with partisan and non-partisan identities to influence public support for environmental policies, especially on the topic of climate change. Diamond investigates how the values and identities related to who we are, where we live, and what we do, shape how we think about environmental issues. Diamond received her ​​Ph.D. in environmental policy from Duke University in 2019, where she studied the role of communication and identities in shaping climate change attitudes. Prior to graduate school, she worked in strategic communication consulting and public relations.

Gianna Cardarelli, a University of Rhode Island Public Relations major and intern in its Department of Marketing and Communications, wrote this press release.