Climate Equity Series Part 2: Leading With Stories- The Story of Colton Jones and the Role of Storytelling in the Struggle for Climate Justice

Keegan McChesney
Posted on: 7/02/2019 - Updated on: 6/16/2023

Posted by

Lauren Lynch



NOTE: This content will be removed from CAKE by the end of 2023. Please visit the past virtual events on the National Adaptation Forum website.

Humans are emotional beings. Stories motivate us more than data. Through storytelling, we can humanize climate change, shift the narrative and inspire action. Victims of climate catastrophe are all too often reduced to numbers. Instead, this webinar focuses on the story of a single individual, Colton Jones, and how wildfires, climate change and structural racism impacted his life. Colton Jones (CJ) is a powerful activist, organizer, healer and artist. At just 25 years of age, CJ has touched innumerable lives in profound ways. In October, 2017 CJ was working on a farm in Northern California when a regional firestorm erupted. The fires produced thick smoke and particulate matter, creating an environment of unhealthy air. Inhaling this toxic air triggered a severe asthma attack that eventually sent CJ into cardiac arrest. His final words on the way to the hospital were “I can’t breathe.” We all have a story to tell. This webinar is about CJ’s story, and the larger role of storytelling in the struggle for climate justice. The story will be told by CJ’s friend Keegan and will feature pre-recorded poetry readings from CJ.


  • Keegan McChesney is a Program Fellow at Enterprise Community Partners

View webinar recording here.