Karina Ramirez (she/her/hers) has been the Diversity Coordinator for Latino Audiences for Citizens’ Climate Lobby since 2018. Prior to joining CCL, Karina spent a decade as a journalist, working for newspapers in the North Texas area. She covered immigration, education and community stories in Spanish for three years for Al Día and also spent seven years as business writer and columnist for the Denton-Record Chronicle. She was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and has a daughter who is presently studying Global Environmental Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Kriste Peoples (she/her/hers) is a Denver-based writer, speaker, trail running coach, and outdoorist. Her work in the field of equity and inclusion in nature combines speaking and facilitating instructional workshops for others. She extends her passion for connecting underrepresented communities to new, empowering narratives of engagement.
Kristy Drutman (she/ her/hers) is a digital strategist and the host of Brown Girl Green, a podcast and media series dedicated to critical conversations around building an environmentally just society. Kristy interviews environmental rights leaders and advocates who want to share their stories and talk about why workplace and member diversity and inclusiveness is important for environmental advocacy groups who want to create a sustainable world for future generations. As a Filipina American, Kristy is inspired to change the image of what it means to be an environmentalist in the 21st century.
Kunal Palawat (they/them/theirs) is a Desi-American, nonbinary, queer, Jain, educator and scientist. They love cooking, studying nutrient cycles, and picking kale with their poodle, Tango! They are interested in how people connect and relate over food and land, storytelling, healing practices, and critical ecology. They currently work at University of Vermont’s Prism Center, supporting queer and trans students as the Student Empowerment Coordinator. They also co-founded the Black, Indigenous, and PoC Environmental Collective with their partner-in-justice, Jenn.
Laura Catherine Edmondson
Laura (sher/her/hers) identifies as female and uses she/her/hers pronouns. She is biracial, with both African and Scandinavian ancestry. She is also a trans-racial adoptee. Professionally, Laura works as a Program Manager for a non-profit called Best Buddies, where, among other things, she teaches public speaking and self advocacy classes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Laura is also a Leader for Brown Girls Climb, a company whose mission is to increase visibility and access for women of color in the climbing community . She was raised in Knoxville, TN, Taslaguwetiyi (Cherokee) and Tsoyaha (Yuchi) territories, outside the Smokey Mountains where she first fell in love with the outdoors. Laura has been climbing for 4 years. She dabbles in trad and bouldering but prefers sport climbing. She has climbed and traveled all over the world and now resides in New Hampshire, Wabanaki and Abanaki territories, and climbs and hikes in the White Mountains with her partner and their dog.
Loretta Maps Bolt
Loretta Maps Bolt (she/her/hers) is an artist, healer, and technoshaman focused on interspecies collaboration with plants. For the past two years she has been making music with plants by taking the electrical response and translating it into musical notes. With an adventurous background in biodynamic cannabis farming, environmental education, ceremonial healing, and a decent amount of circus thrown in. With this experience, she creates realistic pathways for those in scientific and healing communities to forge deeper connections with their spaces and widen awareness of plant agency and the more than human world.
Mayra Pelagio (she/her/hers) is a current masters’ student at San Jose State University. She holds a B.S in Environmental Science and Management and a minor in Wildlife Conservation Biology from UC Davis. Mayra is passionate about social and environmental justice and is currently an Immigrant Justice fellow with the UCLA Labor center in the Silicon Valley area. In her free time, she likes to hike, bird watch and spend time with her three little sisters.
Nanci Torres (she/her/hers) is currently serving as an Environmental Science Educator in Yosemite National Park. She attended El Camino community college and transferred to UC Davis where she received a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning in 2017. One of the major discussions that is currently on her mind is the accessibility to professional opportunities in the outdoors for undocumented individuals. Nanci is very passionate about finding ways to over come barriers so that undocumented individuals can feel a part of the environmental movement. On her free time Nanci likes to read, write, ride her bike, and spend time with family.
Narinda Heng (sher/her/hers) is a Bay Area-based writer, potter, and outdoor educator. She is an instructor for GirlVentures and Stanford University's Adventure Program. Since leading her first backpacking trip with GirlVentures in 2014, she has been on wilderness trips with young people in Alaska, California, Colorado, and New Mexico. A trip she co-instructed for Eagle Rock School in 2016 is captured in the documentary, All Who Dare. Narinda's work revolves around community, queer Khmer American identity, family, solidarity, and reclaiming/redefining our connection with the outdoors and with one another.
Nagiarry Porcena-Meneus (she/her/hers) is passionate about village-building, existential celebration, collaborative spaces, human advocacy, and representation of land-based voices that are commonly muted from legitimacy. Her ancestors birthed from the mountains and urban landscapes of Haiti valuing land ownership and cultivation. She has been living in Philadelphia for 9 years since immigrating after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Writing is her lifelong love partner. As an aspiring author, she is filled with poems, research papers, non-fiction, fiction pieces to be shared along when existence aligns itself with and leads to their revelations. Her continuous mission is to advocate for community and regional planning while supporting the joys that do blossom in life and in such multidimensional processes. She is a leader of the People of Color Environmental Coalition, storyteller, and community organizer for Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership who looks forward to graduating Temple University in May 2019 with a degree in Geography and Urban Studies.
Princella Talley (she/her/hers) is a Diversity Outreach Coordinator at Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) focusing her outreach efforts in African American communities. She is the CCL Alexandria, Louisiana chapter leader and the head of the Climate and Culture Action Team, which works to build leadership skills to address climate change. Her climate advocacy journey began as a CCL volunteer in 2016. Princella is also a B2B writer specializing in creating in-depth blog content for technology services companies & IT development ﬁrms brand and runs the content creation service OneGreen Society as a ghostwriter and SEO consultant for environmentally focused brands.
Roz Katonah (they/them/theirs) is a curious soul who is fascinated by the spiritual experience of being in an intelligent human body. As a black latinx non-binary trans-masculine person, they find joy in living their best imagined life. Roz is passionate about exploring the healing connections between the Earth and their ancestors. This has led them to pursue a career in nature-based professional clinical counseling. Currently, they are working as a clinical counselor in Davis, CA committed to serving and advocating for the QTBIPOC community.
Sakenya (they/them/theirs) is deeply committed to the development of healthy persons, healthy relationships, and a healthy planet. By merging Ecowomanist theory with academic inquiry and artistic interpretation, Sakenya strives to encourage and empower others with messages that are relevant, transparent, and practical for everyday living. Sakenya believes in preserving and studying ancient knowledge, including traditions that may be ancestral, primordial, and mysterious. Sakenya earned a Master of Arts in Humanities and is currently a Ph.D. Fellowship Recipient at Prescott College studying institutional (education, health, environmental) systemic apathy, power, and systems theory.
Sarah (she/her/hers) is a media creative and communications strategist with a passion for using storytelling to amplify marginalized voices and cultivate connection across issue silos. She is dedicated to creating and contributing to intentional media platforms where underrepresented communities retain agency over their own stories. Sarah is also a trauma-informed yoga teacher, grounded in the philosophy that yoga is a tool for life for every body. She brings this same lens to her commitment to equity, justice and anti-racist work and actively centers radical self-love, knowledge of trauma and how it impacts the body and community resilience as a facilitator.
Seema Kairam (she/her/hers) is a Program Manager at the Trust for Public Land and Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow. In addition to managing on-the-ground park development projects, Seema’s work at The Trust for Public Land focuses on understanding the effects that new park investments have on gentrification in surrounding neighborhoods. She is working to develop tools to improve our ability to assess community assets and needs and strengthen The Trust for Public Land’s strategies to build community agency, develop partnerships and provide resources than can help neighborhoods become more resilient.
Sindi Palomino (she/her/hers) is a Latina, Mexican, STEAMinst Anthropologist Union Supporter from the Southwest side of Chicago. Her environmental and cultural experiences are homegrown; learning lessons from parents and grandparents later to be fortified by a B.A. in Anthropology and minor in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as additional research in the School of Public Health and STEM courses. Going through white normative institutionalized knowledge made her realize the importance of traditional knowledge from her family’s ancestors and elders. In her hometown, in the central Mexican state of Michoacán, Día de los muertos is a lived ancestral practice connected to the Monarch butterfly and community resilience.
I am from North Philadelphia section of the city. This was where I spent part of my childhood until my family relocated to the Uptown section of the Philadelphia. The most important commitment in my life is to sustain the positive energy I created in my existence. Also display acts of love to all life. The inspiration behind this commitment came from me processing the influence in my life. Than making a conscious decision to act on the positive ones and to shy away from the dissatisfying ones.
The most important thing about agriculture to me is the relationship that are built through working in it. When you have a group of people working on a sensitive issue such as land and how to cultivate it in such a way that provides nourishment and sustainable life to all has high importancy on my priority list.
For me when it concerns the future the continuous relationship building with my community around food access and food sovereignty through action is how I'm choosing to exist. Which means for me working in community with people who come from the same struggles. What I want other people to know about me is that I am a returning citizen from the United States prison system. I had many challenges coexisted in society for a lot of reasons. Through Urban Agriculture and being able to connect back to my intrinsic self I now am a black farmer from Philadelphia that loves growing food, building, sharing knowledge and enjoying life to the fullest because I truly know who I am and where I come from. Peace and love!
Stormy Saint-Val (she/her/hers) is a black, queer, Haitian-born woman raised in Houston, Texas committed to healing justice that promotes the wholistic well-being of marginalized bodies. She is anticipated to graduate Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University in Boston. Her history engaging in outdoor activities and current studies in herbalism, ecopsychology, and ecotherapy influence her facilitation called Nature-Based Expressive Arts Therapy. Stormy has provided clinical healing services in programs for adults and adolescents substance abuse treatment, children with behavioral challenges, transitional shelters for women who are houseless, community violence, and survivors of sexual trauma.
Susan Sunhee Volz
Susan Sunhee Volz (she/her/hers) is a local Philadelphian and socialist activist fighting for equitable environmental and climate justice. Currently, she organizes with the Ecosocialist Group in Philly DSA and also serves on the steering committee of the National Ecosocialist Working Group of the Democratic Socialists of America, where her primary focus is working for an equitable Green New Deal platform for Philly. She also organizes with the Radical Asian American Womxn's Collective (RAAWC) of Philadelphia where she seeks to advance environmental justice work in the Asian American community. She also brings a strong policy background and a commitment to mental health advocacy to all of her work.
Tabitha (they/them/theirs) is a Jamaican-born organizer living on occupied Lenape territory, so-called "West Philadelphia". They have almost a decade of experience organizing for social justice movements including climate justice, student power, human rights, and reproductive justice. Tabitha is a graduate of the Greenpeace Organizing Term and has an educational background in International Relations with a specialization in International Environmental Policy. They are currently the Campaign Director of the Philadelphia-based direct action organization, Earth Quaker Action Team. When Tabitha is not fighting for climate justice, they are busy studying to become a practicing herbalist! Tabitha is an alum of the 2018 Grassroots Herbalism Intensive and currently enrolled in Seed, Root, and Bloom's Rites of Passage - Herbal + Ancestral Apprenticeship. Tabitha's calling in both organizing and herbalism is rooted in a desire to create a healing practice that’s for the community and accessible to the community. So we can sustain our resistance in this crumbling white supremacist, capitalist structure while we bring about collective liberation.
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin (she/her/hers) is a native New Yorker and an environmentalist focused on equity, access and community. She develops capacity building programs and creates multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic free economy at the local, regional, and national level. Tamara casts a wide net in service to the environmental community. Among other activities, she is the Co- chair of the DC chapter of EcoWomen. DC EcoWomen is a community of approximately 6,000 professional women who inspire each other to create a healthy and equitable society. During her tenure on the Executive Board she has held several positions including Vice President of Professional Development where she produced the organization's signature salon and monthly educational forum - EcoHour. Tamara is the Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee, where she advocates for meaningful engagement and responsive public resources. She is a Director on the Board of Directors for Women’s Voices for the Earth, a mighty organization based in Missoula, Montana, where she supports science based advocacy that gives voice to women fighting to protect their health from toxic chemicals. She is also Co-Chair of the Green Leadership Trust.
Tepfirah Rushdan (sher/her/hers) is a co-director at Keep Growing Detroit, which provides resources and technical assistance to hundreds of gardens in the city. Over the last 10 years she has combined her love for people and nature through various environmental projects in the city including developing conservation skills in youth, vacant land remediation, youth and adult farmer training programs, wild edible walks, community gardening and climate change and resiliency research. She has held seats on many community driven boards such as Detroit Food Policy Council, RAHAM (Response able hands and minds), Detroit Environmental Agenda, and Uprooting Racism Planting Justice. She is also co founder of a group called Black to the Land which organizes outdoor activities for POC in Detroit.
Theresa Song Ichien
Originally born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia to her Korean immigrant parents, Theresa (she/her/hers) has committed her life’s work to making positive social change via environmental and cultural education and youth empowerment. For the last seven years, she has been training educators for equity as the coordinator for IslandWood’s Education for Environment and Community graduate program, based on their 255-acre forested campus on Bainbridge Island, Washington, in partnership with the University of Washington’s College of Education. Theresa is a member of the Environmental Professionals of Color (EPOC) Seattle chapter and a Pacific Northwest Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to Kpop, practicing mindfulness, and petting cats.
Tianna Arredondo (they/them/theirs; she/her/hers) is an environmentalist, social entrepreneur, and storyteller currently working as the Program Coordinator of the Frontlines to Power initiative with Power Shift Network. Tianna works to support youth leaders through centering equity and justice principles into environmental justice strategies and spaces. Tianna elevates the narratives of leaders of color through Lore Media Collective, an online platform which connects young POC leadership through storytelling. Tianna believes that millennials will shift systems of power to create the lasting change that will strengthen communities and save our planet.
Verner Wilson III
Verner Wilson III (he/him/his) is the Senior Oceans Campaigner for Friends of the Earth US. Verner focuses on protecting the marine environment from shipping pollution in the Pacific Northwest and Arctic, and empowering indigenous peoples. He previously worked for an organization that serves 31 Alaska Native tribes. Born and raised in Alaska’s Bristol Bay with family ties in the Bering Strait, he is a member of the Curyung Tribe in Dillingham, Alaska. Verner has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Brown University, and a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University.
Vivian Breckenridge (she/her/hers) is a professional student studying Environmental Management at Yale University. She is passionate about indigenous land rights, Native-driven conservation and uplifting voices of color in the environmental movement.
Wingyi (she/her/hers) is a Visitor Service Specialist at John Heinz National Wildlife at Tinicum, where she fosters new community partnerships and develops engaging environmental programs. She holds a B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York Binghamton and a M.S. in Entomology from Pennsylvania State University. She cultivated a love for the complex interdependency of ecosystems in the woods and shores of Maine, New York, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. She has found a home in Philadelphia, where she is dedicated to uplifting community and increasing equity in all aspects of her life.
Yakuta (sher/her/hers) was born and raised in India, and her love affair with the natural world began during her first trek in the Himalayas. Since that initiation, she has had the opportunity of working with various non-profits and social enterprises, both in India and the US to educate, inspire, and cultivate deep love and respect for the environment. She studied Communications and Media with a focus on social issues at Sophia College, Mumbai, India which fueled her passion for women’s rights and gave her the confidence to pursue a life of intention. She currently works for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy where she leads the San Francisco Park Stewardship Program, and is developing creative programs that focus on inclusion, cultural relevance, and mindfulness. (Photo Credit: Michael Estrada @brownenvironmentalist)
Yessenia Chaiu Zhang
Yessenia (she/her/hers) is a first-generation Chinese immigrant from Panama. Her love for the outdoors began as a young child, from biking in urban parks to long hikes in redwood forests. Recognizing the importance of preserving these landscapes, she pursued an environmental science degree from UCLA, followed by a Masters in Public Health. Her work at GreenInfo Network revolves around the intersection of the environment, human health, and social justice. Using geospatial tools and web technologies, she helps other organizations make positive impacts in their communities through spatial storytelling.