Plenary Speakers 2021

Aneesa Khan

Born in South India and raised in Oman, Aneesa Khan joined the climate justice movement as a student with a passion for environmental law and creative storytelling. She started by organizing for climate reparations at the UN climate talks where she worked to make sure the voices of vulnerable black, brown, indigenous, and Global South youth were heard loud and clear over those of polluting industries. She has multiple years’ experience of organizing in the US and globally as an activist with Friends of the Earth International, The Wilderness Society, and most recently, SustainUS – a youth-led climate justice organization where she served as the Executive Director. She currently works as the Communications Officer for Oil Change International to expose the true cost of fossil fuels. Aneesa believes that even though climate change worsens all inequalities, its unyielding deadline is the push that brings together existing movements for environmental justice, LGBTQ and womxn’s* rights, indigenous rights, racial justice, jobs and welfare. She specializes in telling stories of environmental inequity and injustice through graphic design. Aneesa holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and a Masters in Environmental Policy and Regulation at The London School of Economics.


An alternative political spelling of the English word woman, "womxn" is used to avoid perceived sexism in the standard spelling and to be inclusive of transgender women and nonbinary people.

May Taherzadeh

May Taherzadeh is a multi award-winning filmmaker who has directed films in over 15 countries across 6 continents. She is the co-founder of Inspire Courage for Change foundation that creates films to inspire social action.  Her latest short film Mercy’s Blessing has won 12 international film awards, and is supported by UNICEF, UNFPA, and the European Union. The film is being used in schools and communities in over 100 countries worldwide to inspire change. She is also a guest speaker having presented at:

The United Nations at a forum during Commission on the Status of Women, New York 2017

TEDx Wageningen University, The Netherlands 2019

ClassApp Escolas Exponenciais, Brazil 2017

UNICEF and UN Women campaign Keeping Girls in School, Malawi 2015