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Jihan Gearon

Jihan Gearon

Executive Director, Blackwater Mesa Coalition

Jihan Gearon is Diné (Navajo) and Black. She is Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, and her maternal grandfather is Tł’ashchí’í (Red Bottom People) clan. Jihan’s family is from the community of Old Sawmill and she grew up and went to high school close by in Fort Defiance, located on the eastern part of the Navajo reservation in Arizona. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelors of Science in Earth Systems and a focus in Energy Science and Technology. Throughout her career Jihan has worked to build the capacity and collective strength of Indigenous communities throughout North America who are impacted by energy development and climate change first in her position as Coordinator of the Native Energy & Climate Campaign at the Indigenous Environmental Network, and now as Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition. She is currently on the board of Sustainable Nations Development Project. She has also recently served on the board of the Center for Story-based Strategy, the Steering Committee of the Climate Justice Alliance, the Coordinating Committee of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Steering Committee of the Environmental Justice & Climate Change Initiative, and various other climate justice alliances. In these roles, Jihan has led broad coalitions of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organizations in connecting the issues of energy development in Indigenous communities to larger social justice movements and common strategies. Her experience and expertise includes work on Indigenous Peoples rights, environmental justice, climate justice, just transition, Indigenous feminism, decolonization, and the impacts of energy development and climate change on Indigenous Peoples and people of color particularly in North America, but also around the world. Jihan is an aggressive advocate, active organizer, speaker, and writer on these issues. She was named one of the “Grist 50! The 50 People You’ll Be Talking About in 2016”. Jihan writes a blog at www.navigatingcontradictions.comJihan is currently based out of Flagstaff, Arizona.