Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Makerusa Porotesano attends COP 26 sustainability conference in Scotland

Photos and Story by

A Portland Community College staff member is in the United Kingdom advocating for climate justice and sustainability on behalf of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Makerusa “Mak” Porotesano

Makerusa “Mak” Porotesano.

Makerusa “Mak” Porotesano, who serves as the Sylvania Multicultural Center coordinator and is co-founder of the Men of Color Leadership Program, is attending the worldwide COP26 sustainability conference from Oct. 31-Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland. He is there as a member of the Pacific Islander delegation with the Pacific Climate Warrior team from 350.org and will have delegation credentials from the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Porotesano will be able to attend and have access to events, workshops and negotiations as a delegate. He also attended the pre-conference for COP 26 in London, England just before the main event.

“I’m excited to be here to speak on behalf of the Pacific community and as a higher education professional,” Porotesano said from London. “PCC and other institutions of higher education are invested in climate change and justice. I’ll be presenting at COP with Second Nature. The key focus of my presentation is getting BIPOC students to engage with climate justice.”

He said he’ll also talk about how this and the college’s jobs training intersect to create resources, equity and employment for students, especially students of color. 

Porotesano leads the Sylvania Multicultural Center, which is grounded in critical theory of adult learning, popular education and social justice. It supports the recruitment, retention and holistic (academic, leadership and professional) success of students of color and to advance diversity, inclusion and equity college wide.

“A goal of mine when I moved back to Portland in 2016 was to bring climate activism into BIPOC spaces, and my work in higher education,” he said. “Over the years, my organizing with Pacific Islander youth has led me to connect with the Pacific Climate Warriors, a youth led and focused organization that represents 13 countries in the Pacific and the diaspora from New Zealand, Australia and most recently the United States. And because of these connections, students from PCC have been able to attend PCW conferences and trainings in Australia, Fiji and Samoa.”

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Public Relations Manager at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic, Wo... more »

Poppe with speech bubble


Sorry, but the comments have been closed. If you see something that doesn't belong, please click the x and report it.

x by Alycia Kearns 10 months ago

What an amazing opportunity, Mak! I hope your presentation went well!

x by Robel Gidey 10 months ago

I had Mr. Porotesano as teacher and as a peer. I’ve been to Scotland for a week, and I have been to England for a week. I have never met anyone of color that isn’t British who has done the same. I have nothing but the highest esteem for Mr. Porotesano and I hope to attend this to show support and to learn more about this topic!