Cecilio Ortiz García

Hubert Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor of Energy and Governance, Environmental Studies, Macalester College

Photo of Cecilio Ortiz-GarciaCecilio Ortiz García is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. He received his PhD from the School of Public Affairs at the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. His current research concentrates on the governance of critical infrastructure transformations, particularly sustainable energy transitions and its relationship with community resilience. He also explores the role of higher education institutions in local and national Extreme Operating Environments. He is the co-founder of the RISE Network, an Inter-University Collaborative Convergence Platform that creates a new architecture of relationships towards just knowledge co-production for community resilience.


Marla Pérez Lugo

Hubert Humphrey Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Sociology, Environmental Studies, Macalester College

Photo of Marla Perez LugoMarla Pérez Lugo is a Professor of Social Science at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez and a co-founder of Puerto Rico’s National Institute for Energy and Island Sustainability and the RISE Network, an inter-university collaborative platform that redefines the role of universities in disasters. She is an environmental sociologist with an interest in energy governance, environmental justice, and disasters. Her current research revolves around energy transitions in Puerto Rico. She is also interested in the role of institutions of higher education in disaster response and recovery.


Duaba Unenra

Director of Neighborhood Engagement and Learning, Confluence Studio, Minneapolis

Logo of a blue half-moon and arc on an ivory backgroundDuaba Unenra is a survivor of the reconstruction process in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. He is an artist, community organizer, and scholar who looks at how forces of neoliberalism took advantage of openings created by environmental disasters in Haiti and New Orleans to reinforce anti-Black, anti-poor, anti-woman, and anti-queer living and ways of being. Unenra engages in mutual aid and building counter-sites as social tools for self-determination and healing in Black, Indigenous, Brown, and other communities, including in institutions of higher education.


Quito Ziegler

Professor of Humanities, School of Visual Arts, and Co-founder, Mutual Aid NYC

Photo of Quito ZieglerQuito Ziegler is a Macalester alum (‘98) who has spent 20 years organizing community projects in NYC and Minneapolis, including working on community safety and accountability projects this past summer in Minneapolis’s Powderhorn Park Neighborhood. For the last 7 years they’ve been working to understand what decolonization means in practice for non-indigenous people in NYC. Ziegler is a professor of social movements at the School of Visual Arts and has been a convener of Mutual Aid NYC since the onset of COVID.