The current Advisory Board of Peaceful Uprising is composed of an affinity group that found each other through a common passion for creating a livable future.
*Listed alphabetically by first name
Advisory Board Member since 2011
Campaigner, Rio Tinto Kennecott, Art Director
Until the age of eight, I lived in the shadow of the Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper Mine in Magna Utah. Some of my earliest memories are of the biblical dust storms that would come and leave a dull, white coat of dust on everything. The dust often killed our garden plants and it crunched under our feet if it got wet and then dried. I remember wondering if the people who were in charge of digging the mine cared about the people they were affecting. Most of my siblings and the children in my neighborhood got asthma including myself. It robbed us of the vigor and energy we should have had in our youth. I learned a lot about community from Magna. In those days Kennecott employed many more than the 2,000 people they employ now. The town survived on the booms and busts of the copper market. Neighbors stuck together to get through prolonged layoffs and strikes.
It is a privilege to grow up surrounded by the beauty Utah holds. High granite peaks are juxtaposed against vast, arid deserts and surreal red rock vistas. My immediate family was not active in the outdoors but I learned to connect with nature when I lived with my grandparents for long stretches in Southwest Colorado. I worked the family ranch and farm and explored the high Colorado peaks with my Grandfather. I learned the preciousness of drinking straight from a mountain stream and the wars that can be ignited over needed water for farming. It was in Colorado that I first witnessed the destruction of a clearcut. I still remember crying as we passed mile after mile of total obliteration and nothing planted in place of the trees.
In the early part of the last century my family in Utah were founders of the Wasatch Mountain Club. They were some of the first explorers of the Timpanogos caves and the first skiers and environmentalists in the state. I owe much of my environmental passion to them and the stories and photographs they shared with me in their advanced age.
I have a great interest in human rights and social justice. I have worked on immigrant rights, civil rights, anti-poverty advocacy, human rights policy, labor rights, voting rights, judicial reform and climate justice. I often work for groups associated with these issues in an advisory capacity. It is important to me to see others learn how getting organized and speaking out can affect change.
I also work in a variety of mediums as a professional fine artist. My work centers around social justice themes and is often about climate issues.
When I find a spare moment I love to escape to the mountains or the deserts to backpack, mountain climb, ski, and hike. I love getting lost in the woods just as much as I love being lost in a fine art museum. Our earth is a living, breathing thing with we have been entrusted with for the brief time we are here. We owe future generations their inheritance. I feel obligated to do climate justice work and I find joy in it. There is no more pressing concern than preserving the very planet that keeps us alive and there is no greater challenge that the present generations on this earth will face.
Advisory Board Member since 2011
Growing up in Northern Utah, I spent a good part of my early life in the mountains and wilderness.
From the time I was seven years old I learned a great appreciation and respect for nature and the
wonders of the Earth. As I grew older, I realized that this beautiful world was being severely threatened
by the greed of people and corporations who had little or no regard for the importance of wilderness, of
the necessity of balance in nature, or of the threat they were bringing to all of the people of the Earth.
Throughout my life I have tried to help people understand the problems that we all face, and ultimately
are a part of, even though in doing so I have had my job and my security threatened. Those threats just
make my resolve stronger. Working with Peaceful Uprising gives me a great opportunity to become
something larger than myself and to help move toward a peaceful and just world.
Advisory Board Member since 2011
I have always had a tremendous respect for nature. Most of my youth was spent outdoors in the mountains behind our house where I would hike, fish, camp, ski, and seek out adventure. I loved rain, sun, blizzards, streams, pine trees and aspens, salamanders, the changing seasons, and the overall power of nature. I always took for granted that everyone else felt the same way.
Unfortunately, many see nature as a place to buy, sell, or exploit for profit. They leave it altered, toxic, polluted, and think nothing of it. The worse part is that our governments and local leaders let them do it but, thankfully, there are many more than willing to step up and challenge this careless abuse. I am keenly aware of the multiple threats we stand to face due to climate change. Nature’s systems operate within parameters and balances and we have altered them significantly due to our massive use of fossil fuels and the atmospheric carbon they produce. I am dedicated to the responsible use of our resources and the defense of a healthy and livable future. Our humanity and sense of decency demand it. It is our privilege to consider future generations whenever we
make decisions regarding our environment and this amazing planet.
I am incredibly proud of everyone here at Peaceful Uprising. They are a dedicated, compassionate, and very capable group of amazing people representing nearly every walk of life.
For years, I have seen them work tirelessly and with little compensation, if any. We are firmly committed to optimism, learning, justice, and a future that is sustainable. We are a human family and we must learn to live that way. Our strength is in our unity.
…Did I mention that I love people? I love people.
Being born amidst two very distinct cultures, I became aware at an earlyage of racial and socioeconomic segregation – and with that came a deep sense of injustice and desire to confront it. After watching a production of Les Miserables, I turned to theatre as a means to awaken and challenge my community to take on relevant sociopolitical conflicts. Experimental theatre allowed me to play with different arts forms, while breaking from traditional conventions. But I found the process I had uncovered to be too cathartic – one that didn’t move participants from awareness into action.
For two years, I worked for Greenpeace in San Francisco, which was to be my introduction to the world of activism. Along that ride, I was introduced to Peaceful Uprising and was immediately moved by its uncompromising stance and rhetoric. It wasn’t long before I became enamoured with this welcoming and generous community — and decided to move to Utah.
Learning from past social movements, I’ve come to realize that the time is for taking action that is proportional to the climate catastrophe we face. As individuals, we should be empowered to become effective agents of change in our own communities. Armed with the weapon love, we will not stop seeking a society that — as Martin Luther King, Jr. once called for — can live at peace with its conscience through peaceful sustained resistance.
IT Specialist / Advisory Board Member since 2009
Chair of the Board / Advisory Board Member since 2009
Joan Gregory describes herself as a climate activist working to assure a livable future for current and future generations. She is a catalyst and a connecter. Her circles of involvement and caring are deep and wide, encompassing environmental, social, and climate justice.
[publisher's note: Joan is amazing, and never sleeps.]
Co-Founder of Peaceful Uprising / Advisory Board Member since 2009
I am an activist living in the redrock country of Moab Utah. I am the mother of 5 young adults and the Nana to 5 young people. They are the driving force to the passion that fuels my activism.
My association with Peaceful Uprising began before the group was formed. I was at the BLM auction, as a protester, when Tim DeChristopher chose to take a stand and risk his own freedom to stop certain destruction on thousands of pristine acres. We met the day after the auction and 2 weeks later, we launched Peaceful Uprising, knowing that there are others out there who need a place to use their voice regarding the threats to a livable future for our planet and ourselves.
It has been an amazing and fast 2 years and PeaceUp has grown to a new level, supporting those who are unwilling to simply stand by and watch the senseless destruction of our planet. We are working to make this a better world. Join Us!
Advisory Board Member since 2011
The fields, swamps and groves where I grew up in south Florida have been given over to rows of houses and packed highways. I moved to Utah a few years ago already distraught about climate change and the impact it will have on the lives of my grandchildren. Thankfully I have found a warm community in Peaceful Uprising dedicated to doing something positive about these concerns. I am proud to be a part of this movement.
Advisory Board Member since 2009
I grew up in the canyons of Southern Utah. My family instilled in me a sense of duty to our collective backyard; the public lands of Utah, and the dendritic canyon veins that kept her heart beating. Past this, I learned from countless role models, teachers and guardians alike how interconnected this world is and that people cannot be separated from the places and conditions in which they live. I was additionally taught that every individual has the potential to affect meaningful change. It is these lessons that I carry with me into my activism.
I am currently working on a major in Environmental Studies and a minor in Psychology from the University of Utah, with hopes of going to graduate school in Public Administration, Law or both; yet these titles do not include the education I receive every day from my work with Peaceful Uprising. Peaceful Uprising stands as a venue through which I am able to work alongside fellow change-makers, visionaries, mentors and friends alike. Through a common set of core principles we have established, I am able to bring my hearts sentiment in line with my day to day action.
I joined Peaceful Uprising because our global society is about to face a challenge like none it has ever dealt with before; and we are far too interconnected for any part of society to be immune to the effects of climate change. My friend and fellow activist, Tim Dechristopher, recognized this in an all-too-realistic way, and realized he had to do everything in his power to prevent that vision of our future. I work for many other social justice causes like LGBTQ rights and immigration issues, but climate justice is the single umbrella issue that will inevitably affect all of us. Even the half solutions our government has proposed cannot get passed at a federal level. I believe it is time for whole solutions—and that time, more than ever before, is of the essence. We citizens must remember our place in this living breathing process we call democracy, and empower ourselves enough to seek the real change necessary to ensure that my kids and your kids grow up safe, happy and healthy. In the end, I want to be a good mom; therefore, while I am many things, I am a climate activist first and foremost.
Advisory Board Member since 2011
Rachel is a returned prodigal Utah girl. In 1994, 25 years into life and 12 hours after turning in her Master’s thesis at the University of Utah, she climbed in the U-Haul and took off to Seattle, never looking back and thinking she would never return. 14 years (one urbanite career and 2 years of bliss in the North Cascades wilderness) later, she did return to Salt Lake City — overcome by the call of the high desert, the dry climate and a city that (despite herself) Rachel knew she would always call home. Relishing her newfound status as a political minority, Rachel immediately threw herself into activism on a variety of issues that the prevailing political forces were botching royally: LGBT rights, redistricting reform and more. She soon found an incomparable community of fellow travelers in the movement for justice: PeaceUp. She is honored and humbled to serve on its board.
Co-Founder of Peaceful Uprising / Advisory Board Member since 2009 (currently “de-facto”)
In December 2009, Tim DeChristopher peacefully raised a bidder 70 paddle and successfully disrupted an oil and gas lease auction that was later declared illegal by the Obama Administration. Tim’s brave action saved thousands of acres of Southern Utah wilderness including parcels all along National Parks such as Zions and Arches. Charges of 2 federal felonies and a hefty fine were brought against Tim in 2009 in the case: Tim DeChristopher vs. The United States of America. Co-founding Peaceful Uprising, Tim galvanized a new community of activists that continue to carry on the message that non-violent, civil disobedience is necessary in the Climate Justice Movement if we are to have a chance at saving our planet. Tim was found guilty on both felony counts on March 3rd, 2011 by a jury of his peers who were never allowed to hear all the facts, and on July 26th 2011 he was sentenced to serve 2 years in federal prison, not so much for his crime which the Judge Benson said was “wasn’t that bad” but for his “continuing trail of statements “. Tim is currently serving his 2 years in Federal Prison in Herlong, California. His attorneys are working on an appeal.
“At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like. In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like. With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow. The choice you are making today is what side are you on.” – Tim DeChristopher’s statement to Judge Benson (read Tim’s entire statement to Judge Benson from July 26th ,2011)
For more information on Tim DeChristopher, please visit: http://www.peacefuluprising.org/tim-dechristopher