David Clark- A Voice for all Alaskans

David is one of our newest volunteers. He was inspired to come on board after the Climate Justice Forum we held with Mayor Ethan BerkowitzDavid’s passion for the work and positive attitude are a delight. Now we can all get to know David a little better.

What inspires you?
My passions are doing policy work in the public interest, ALASKA and the environment, LGBT issues, Alaska Native issues, gender equality, the outdoors, hiking, dogs, traveling and experiencing new ways of life/overcoming and challenging previous assumptions, and the history/sociology of change. I did a WWOOF detail in rural Norway where I got to experience sustainable farming. That spiked my interest in learning to live a sustainable lifestyle, and raised my awareness of environmental issues. Across Scandinavia, there is more initiative to switching to green energy, preserving the environment, and leaving the land as you found it due to their phenomenal cultural focus on the outdoors. As much as I love traveling and experiencing urban cities as well as the countryside, my heart is in joining the fight to ensure a sustainable Alaska, not only for future generations of Alaska Native tribes but for future generations of ALL who call Alaska home. 
What does the future hold?

I currently work as the Legislative Affairs Coordinator for the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, and am graduating from UAA in May 2018 with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, with minors in Alaska Native Policy, Japanese Language, and Political Science. I hope to become a lawyer some day because I have an interest in politics, policy, and using those interests to give back, but the road there will be a long and winding one, so I’m open to changes. There’s a lot that is spiking my current interest in the law – namely, the work my non-profit is doing surrounding contaminated lands that often surround Alaska Native villages. This affects public health and subsistence resources and has an intense impact on the environment in Alaska.

Why do you give your time to The Alaska Center?

I get to meet like-minded people who enjoy working on behalf of the environment, Alaska Native people, and the future generations of people who will call Alaska home one day. I especially like the way The Alaska Center aims to be inclusive of Alaska Native people and other people of color – too often I’ve heard the sentiment that shopping at REI and environmental activism is only for white people. This simply isn’t true. I don’t look Alaska Native, but I have roots from Prince William Sound and distant relatives from the village that live there today, one of whom recently told me stories of family member after family member who had gotten cancer because of local environmental contamination and poor infrastructure. The truth is, environmental issues disproportionately affect POC, so they have an equal if not bigger motivation to engage in these battles. The Alaska Center makes a pronounced and concerted effort to ensure that EVERYONE has a voice, not only in terms of the environment but also civic engagement.

Thanks for your time David. So great to have such inspiring volunteers!

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