Migration is a Climate Change Issue

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International Organization for Migration (IOM) Panel. Paris, France.

How and to what extent do our leaders and decision-makers need to address migration as a climate change issue? This issue was at the forefront of our minds recently when we had the unique opportunity to attend the 21st annual climate talks, known as the Conference of the Partners (COP21), in Paris, France in November and December of last year.

We participated in COP21 as part of a wider delegation from Minnesota that included past and current Minnesota state representatives, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, and several other representatives from government and non-governmental organizations. Like previous meetings, the goal of COP21 was to convene a meeting of world leaders and to negotiate a global climate treaty, laying the groundwork for preventing global average temperatures from rising no further than a maximum of two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.

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Diversified Assets: Expanding the Reach of the MPC

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When Human Resources Associate Mia Riza and Research Associate David Haynes took on the task of creating a diversity program for the MPC in 2015, they looked to their pasts. “I thought of experiences that would have helped me as a student,” says Haynes.

As an undergraduate student, Riza had participated in a diversity program with the Minnesota Historical Society run by Chris Taylor. That program provided a model for fostering professional growth within an academic environment. Haynes and Riza then designed a program that suited the needs of the projects at the MPC. “We thought that a summer opportunity would work best for the Center and also matched students’ needs as they looked for summer internships,” explains Riza, “We want to develop a talent pipeline so that when we have openings later, we have qualified diverse applicants to fill those roles.”

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