CJA Speakers Bureau

For interviews, please contact Chloe Henson chloe@climatejusticealliance.org, mobile (505) 690-9978 PST

Below you will find a list of spokespeople and their bios organized around the following areas of expertise:


Climate Justice Alliance Spokespeople

Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance


Angela is the new Executive Director of the Our Power Campaign and Climate Justice Alliance. She has committed her life to advancing the role of the grassroots sector and provides agile leadership and structure to address and adapt to the changing and complex priorities of local communities while influencing national and international agendas. She has served as a leading member of local to international organizations that include; La Via Campesina North America, US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative (BEAI), US Friends of Movement of Dam Affected Peoples (MAB) and others. She has introduced and advocated for internal frameworks that enable feedback loops for both national/International decision-making and local representation as well as, gender, and racial equity that embraces a diversity of contributions, while fostering trust and reciprocity for collective work. For the past 3 years, she has served as the Weaver Co-Chair of the steering committee body of the BEAI, where she coordinated the work of extraordinary leaders from the grassroots,and develop authentic relationships with Green groups as well as, Philanthropy successfully working on a strategy to eliminate barriers and shift 10 million to the grassroots.

Through her work on the Collective Leadership with La Via Campesina North America (LVC-NA) region as a representative of the Rural Coalition, she has collectively developed strategies that advocate for a stronger civil society voice on food sovereignty and in negotiations that represented the Global south in the North. Working with LVC-NA members such as the Farmworkers Association of Florida (FWAF), she helped to launched a campaign on People’s Agroecology in the US, as a Just Transition method of farming for farmworkers locked into the toxic industrial agricultural labor market. This work initiated in 2013, has sparked t the development of regional agroecology encounters and formation processes around the Nation that include grassroots farmworker organizations as well as international partners, overlapping work with critical national coalitions and organizations in the food, agriculture and climate movement.

She is growing the movement with her two young kids and partner, has a deep respect for Mother Earth and is an avid seedkeeper. She holds a Masters Degree of Organizational Management, a BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University, as well as, strong communications and social media expertise, she has consulted for 13 years with non-profit and government agencies providing strategy planning, financial forecasting and communications. While serving as the Programs and Communications Director of the Rural Coalitions for 3 years, she managed relations with a diverse board, staff and membership in remote locations bringing the power of the grassroots to Capitol Hill. She has produced and authored a number of publications and spoken on panels in reference to the power the grassroots and international solidarity and has a passion for cultivating authentic and transparent connections that elevate the grassroots.

Areas of Expertise: policy, international solidarity, grassroots organizing, agroecology, advocacy


Miya Yoshitani, Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance & Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

Miya-Yoshitani-300x200.jpgMiya has an extensive background in community organizing, campaign strategy, leadership development and training, organizational development, and fundraising, and a long history of working in the environmental justice movement. In her twenties she was the executive director of the largest student environmental network in the US, the Student Environmental Action Coalition, SEAC, and worked broadly in international environment and development networks organizing for environmental and economic justice. Miya was a participant in the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991, and was on the drafting committee of the original Principles of Environmental Justice, a defining document for the environmental justice movement. Miya first joined the APEN staff in the mid-90’s as a youth organizer, and has served as lead organizer, development director and spearheaded APEN’s strategic planning. APEN has been fighting – and winning – environmental justice struggles for the past 18 years and remains one of the most unique organizations in the country explicitly developing the leadership and power of low-income Asian American immigrant and refugee communities. APEN has been a trailblazer in bringing the voices of APA communities to the forefront of environmental health and social justice fights in the Bay Area, winning real policy solutions for the community across a gamut of issues including occupational safety of high-tech workers, affordable housing, transportation and land-use, and challenging multinational corporations to mitigate pollution that is devastating the health and well-being of countless low-income communities of color.

Areas of Expertise: policy, leadership, grassroots organizing, environmental justice, advocacy


Cindy Wiesner, Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance & National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)

cindy-wiesner-tunis-crop.jpgCindy Wiesner, National Coordinator of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) and Co-Chair of the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and the Our Power Campaign, has been active in the grassroots social justice movement for over 20 years. She started organizing with HERE Local 2850. Cindy then served as Director of Organizing for People Organizing to Win Employment Rights (POWER) in San Francisco, and as an Organizer and Board member for generation FIVE. Cindy has also been a consultant for Men Overcoming Violence Everywhere and Mujeres Unidas y Activas. Before joining GGJ staff she was the Leadership Development Director of the Miami Workers Center (MWC) and represented the MWC as a member of the US Social Forum (USSF) National Planning Committee. In both USSF's, Cindy was the co-chair of the national outreach working group and served on the leadership and coordination bodies of those efforts. She currently represents GGJ on the International Council of the World Social Forum. After 5 years as GGJ Political Coordinator, Cindy stepped into the role of National Coordinator in September, 2012. Cindy is originally from Los Angeles and is of Salvadoran, Colombian and German descent and is Queer. She is based in Miami, FL.

Areas of Expertise: policy, leadership, grassroots organizing, environmental justice, advocacy

National/Clean Energy Policy Experts


Dr. Cecilia Martinez, Director of Research Programs, Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED)

martinez.jpgDr. Cecilia Martinez previously held positions as Associate Research Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment at the University of Delaware, Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University and Research Director at the American Indian Policy Center. Dr. Martinez has led a variety of projects to address sustainable development at the local and international levels. Her research is focused on the development of energy and environmental strategies that promote equitable and sustainable policies. Dr. Martinez has also worked with a range of organizations from local grassroots groups to international organizations engaging in the promotion of sound environmental policy and environmental justice. She served on the Climate Action Planning Steering Committee for the City of Minneapolis, and has been appointed to several national advisory boards. She is also on the leadership team for the national EJ and Science Initiative, and is leading the effort on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on environmental harms. Most recently she co-authored a chapter on environmental justice and climate resiliency with Dr. Nicky Sheats. She is working on a manuscript on environmental justice and climate change and among her other publications is the co-edited volume Environmental Justice: Discourses in International Political Economy which includes some of her work on North American Indigenous peoples and the challenge of forging a common agenda of indigenous rights, justice and sustainability. She received her B.A. from Stanford University and her Ph.D. from the University of Delaware’s College of Urban Affairs and Public Policy.

Areas of Expertise: Clean Power Plan; Environmental Justice; Equity and Sustainability


Ahmina Maxey, US & Canada Campaigns & Membership Coordinator, GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives)

maxey.jpgAhmina Maxey has worked tirelessly for environmental justice in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan, fighting to protect the health and environment of her community. Through her work with the Zero Waste Detroit coalition she helped achieve citywide curbside recycling, and watch-dogged the local incinerator (the largest in the country). Ahmina has worked at the city and state-level to improve Detroit’s air quality, leading to the passage of numerous laws protecting the environment and health of Detroiters. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan, earning her Bachelor of Science in Environment, in 2007.

Areas of Expertise: Incineration and its use as a false solution to climate change in the Clean Power Plan; Environmental justice; Recycling; Zero waste.



Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

tom-goldtooth.jpgTom is Dine’ and Dakota and lives in Minnesota. Since the late 1980’s, Tom has been involved with environmental related issues and programs working within tribal governments in developing indigenous-based environmental protection infrastructures. Tom works with indigenous peoples worldwide. Tom is known as one of the environmental justice movement grassroots leaders in North America addressing toxics and health, mining, energy, climate, water, globalization, sustainable development and indigenous rights issues. Tom is one of the founders of the Durban Group for Climate Justice; co-founder of Climate Justice NOW!; a co-founder of the U.S. based Environmental Justice Climate Change initiative and a member of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change that operates as the indigenous caucus within the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change. Tom is a policy adviser to indigenous communities on environmental protection and more recently on climate policy focusing on mitigation, adaptation and concerns of false solutions.

Areas of Expertise: indigenous communities and rights, environmental justice, advocacy, climate policy


Mike_Ewall__Energy_Justice_Network.pngMike Ewall, Executive Director, Energy Justice Network

Mike Ewall is the founder and director of Energy Justice Network, a national support network for grassroots community groups fighting dirty energy and waste industry facilities such as coal power plants, ethanol plants, natural gas facilities, landfills and incinerators of every sort. He has been actively involved in student and community environmental justice organizing since high school in 1990. He's taught hundreds of workshops at college campuses and activist conferences throughout the U.S. His grassroots support work has helped many communities achieve victories against power plants, landfills, incinerators, medical waste facilities and other polluting industries.

Areas of Expertise: policy, energy, power plants, grassroots community organizing


Miya Yoshitani, Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance & Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

Click here for bio.


Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance

Click here for bio.


Regional Experts


Dania Alejandra Flores-Heagney, Interim Executive Director, Environmental Justice league of Rhode Island

Dania is a Latina, mixed woman. She honors her Pan-African and indigenous roots. She is a mother and grandmother, born in Guatemala City, graduated with a BA in Forensic Photography in 1994. She had own a small Aerial and Artistic Photography family business, till she came to the US on November of 1999, after being intimidated by extreme right candidate and 1999 President Alfonso Portillo of the Guatemalan Republican Front. During this period, Dania was the private photographer of his opponent wife, former first lady Wendy Widmann, thus being the reason of harassment. After arriving to the US and over stayed with their expired visas, Dania, her 2 oldest daughters and their father (in what some called illegal stay = environmentally forced migration). Past work experience were working in a factory, sales and marketing, mortgage consultant, interpreter, translator, organizer, paralegal, facilitator, educator, and etc. Dania always organized in her country and here in the U.S. as a volunteer, staff and consultant, a critical thinker, advocate and activist! Formally a board member of DARE, Jobs With Justice and English for Action. In the last 4 years, Dania was a board member and summer consultant of the Environmental Justice league of Rhode Island, member of international, national and local alliances, continuously fighting for economic, social, environmental, migrant and gender justice and equity.

Areas of Expertise: Clean Power Plan; Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice and links with other oppressions (intersectionality)


orozco.jpgAna Orozco, Climate Justice Policy and Programs Coordinator, UPROSE

Ana Orozco is the Climate Justice Policy and Programs Coordinator of UPROSE. She has worked in the field of Environmental and Climate Justice since 2006 in various capacities including community organizing, policy analysis, advocacy and research. She has worked with EJ communities and organizations both in California and New York.

Areas of Expertise: Just transition; Clean energy solutions; Emissions credits trading.







greenberg.jpgMolly Greenberg, Environmental Justice Policy Manager, Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC)

Molly Greenberg is the Environmental Justice Policy Manager with Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) for the past five years. ICC is located in the East Ward neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, and is committed to fighting for environmental justice in Ironbound, Newark, New Jersey and beyond for over 40 years. Molly works with the Passaic River Community Advisory Group to fight for the complete cleanup of the Passaic River superfund. Along with ICC, Molly tracks environmental permits and regulations that impact Ironbound, collaborates on fighting new facilities, advocates with community for the cleanup of existing industries and works with community to bring positive community development like parks and green infrastructure into the neighborhood. Prior to working at Ironbound Molly earned her Masters in Social Work from Monmouth University’s International Community Development program, and has been working for social justice for many years.

Areas of Expertise: environmental justice, toxic clean up, superfund sites, environmental regulations


Saki-600x412.jpgSacajawea “saki” Hall, Founding Member, Cooperation Jackson

Sacajawea “saki” Hall is a black radical feminist engaged in the collective struggle for human rights, social justice and social transformation. She is a mother, birth-worker, artist and journalist. saki is one of the founding members of Cooperation Jackson and currently co-leads the Land and Housing Initiative, including the development of a Community Land Trust. saki leads Cooperation Jackson’s Communications team and supports its Climate Justice and Just Transition work along with supporting the financial planning and development of three Worker-Owner Cooperatives.

Areas of Expertise: Media and Communications; Human Rights; Gender; Intersectionality; Just Transition


bkheadshot-600x462.jpgBrandon King, Founding Member, Cooperation Jackson

Brandon King is an anti-authoritarian black radical engaged in the process of building economic democracy, defending human rights, moving towards social and cultural transformation. As a founding member of Cooperation Jackson, Brandon serves on its Coordinating Committee. He is also the Organizing Coordinator, a Co-Coordinator of emerging Freedom Farms Cooperative, and is a part of Cooperation Jackson’s Communications team. Brandon also is a representative to the Climate Justice Alliance, and the National Black Food Justice Alliance. As a DJ and visual artist, Brandon also sees the arts and culture as key components necessary to energize and activate people to be engaged in defining and determining our own destiny.

Areas of Expertise: Just Transition, Food Justice, Our Power


denise.jpgDenise Abdul-Rahman, Environmental Justice Chair, Indiana NAACP Environmental Climate Justice

Denise Abdul-Rahman is the NAACP Indiana Environmental Climate Justice Chair. She advocates on behalf of communities that are affected by environmental climate injustice. She works to develop research, educate and engage the community and its leaders and the influence in the shaping of public policy, that is imperative to support equitable, just and sustainable communities. Denise recently served as a delegate to Paris France, COP 21 Climate Change Agreement.

Areas of Expertise: Clean Power Plan; Energy; Equity and Fairness





Shana-2016.jpgShana Lazerow, Staff Attorney, Communities for a Better Environment

Shana Lazerow is a staff attorney at Communities for a Better Environment. She is committed to providing the legal assistance needed to bring about CBE’s vision of empowered communities and an environmentally just society. Shana brings the legal perspective to CBE’s campaign teams, and develops and pursues lawsuits using federal and state environmental statutes,. She also engages in regional and statewide policy issues including transition to clean energy.

Shana graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, and from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law in 1997. Prior to joining CBE’s staff, she was the program director for San Francisco Baykeeper and a staff attorney at Waterkeepers Northern California, where she ran a small legal clinic to train public interest lawyers. In her 18 years of legal practice, Shana has also made brief forays into academia, and cherishes the prospect of helping the next generation of activists and lawyers develop strategies to bring about social change.

Areas of Expertise: Clean Air Act, State Implementation Plans, environmental and land use tools for environmental justice communities, transition to clean energy.



edgar_franks.jpgEdgar Franks, Civic Engagement Program Coordinator, Community to Community Development

Edgar Franks lives in Bellingham, WA. He serves as the Civic Engagement Program Coordinator at Community to Community Development, working to engage supporters and develop a strategy that ensures the needs of the Farm Worker community are represented. Community to Community works on issues of Food Sovereignty through the lens of Farm Workers, with the goal of creating a politically conscious inter-sectional base that is fighting to create a local solidarity economy. Edgar currently represents Community to Community in the Climate Justice Alliance and on the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. He is also on the National Leadership Team of Move to Amend.

Areas of expertise: Just transition; Food justice; Our Power Plan


Kandi_Mossett.jpgKandi Mossett, Lead Organizer on the Extreme Energy & Just Transition Campaign, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

Kandi Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara – North Dakota) has emerged as a leading voice in the fight to bring visibility to the impacts that climate change and environmental injustice are having on Indigenous communities across North America. After completing her Master’s Degree in Environmental Management, Ms. Mossett began her work with IEN as the Tribal Campus Climate Challenge Coordinator, engaging with more than 30 tribal colleges to instate community based environmental programs, discuss issues of socio-ecologic injustice, and connect indigenous youth with green jobs. She currently serves as the IEN’s Lead Organizer on the Extreme Energy & Just Transition Campaign, focusing at present on creating awareness about the environmentally & socially devastating effects of hydraulic fracturing on tribal lands. Her local work is complemented by international advocacy work, including participation in several UN Forums and a testimony before the U.S. Congress on the climate issue and its links to issues of health, identity, and well being on tribal lands. Kandi’s message is: “Above all, fight to protect all life; be a voice for all those that can’t speak and never give up hope.” Always remember, “You’re not guaranteed change when you make your voice heard against injustice; but you’re guaranteed to fail if you remain silent.”  

Areas of expertise: Midwest; Indian Country; fracking; pipelines


Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

Dallas Goldtooth, (Mdewakanton Dakota and Dine) is a the Keep it in the Ground Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network.  He is a Dakota cultural/language teacher. He is a co-founder of the Indigenous comedy group, The 1491s. He is also a poet, traditional artist, powwow emcee, and comedian. 

Areas of expertise: Midwest; Indian Country; fracking; pipelines; tar sands

Just Transition Experts


Yuki Kidokoro, National Organizer, Climate Justice Alliance

Yuki Kidokoro is the National Organizer of the Our Power Campaign. After graduate studies in Urban Planning at UCLA, Yuki spent 15 years at Communities for a Better Environment as a Youth Organizer, Lead Organizer and Southern California Program Director. At CBE, Yuki was active in successful grassroots campaigns to stop two fossil fuel power plant projects in Southeast LA, to pass health protective policies at the city, regional and state levels, and to prevent the expansion of the I-710 diesel truck corridor. She also helped carry out CBE’s movement building work with the California EJ Alliance and with the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance at the state and national levels. Raised in Southern California, Yuki helped to create a 40+ unit housing cooperative at the Los Angeles Eco-Village in Central Los Angeles where she is an active member. She is trained in conflict mediation and group facilitation, and enjoys biking, gardening and board games.

Areas of Expertise: national policy, grassroots organizing, environmental justice, advocacy, diesel pollution, fossil fuels


Jihan-Bio-Pic-6-Headshot-650x530.jpgJihan Gearon, Executive Director, Black Mesa Water Coalition (BMWC)

Jihan Gearon is Diné (Navajo) and African American from Old Sawmill, Navajo Nation. She is Tódích’ií’nii (Bitter Water) clan, and her maternal grandfather is Tl’ashchí’í (Red Bottom People) clan. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a Bachelors of Science in Earth Systems with a focus in Energy Science and Technology. Throughout her career Jihan as worked to build the capacity and collective strength of Indigenous communities throughout North America who are impacted by energy development and climate change, first in her position as Coordinator of the Native Energy & Climate Campaign at the Indigenous Environmental Network, and now as Executive Director of the Black Mesa Water Coalition. She is a board member of the Center for Story-based Strategy and Steering Committee of the Climate Justice Alliance. In these roles Jihan leads broad coalitions of communities and organizations in connecting the issues of energy development in Indigenous communities to larger social justice movements and common strategies. Jihan is currently based out of Flagstaff, Arizona. Jihan writes a blog at ww.navigatingcontradictions.com.

Areas of Expertise: indigenous communities, grassroots organizing, environmental justice, advocacy, energy development, climate change


sara_pennington.jpgSara Pennington, New Energy and Transition Campaign Organizer, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC)

Sara is a New Energy and Transition Campaign Organizer with KFTC. She joined KFTC's staff in April 2009 as an organizer working to reform Kentucky's rural electric cooperatives and move them toward more energy efficiency and clean energy. She now works on KFTC's broader issue of new energy and a just economic transition for coal-impacted communities and beyond. Originally from West Virginia, she lives in Whitesburg in Letcher County. Sara holds a Ph.D. in creative writing from Florida State University and published her first chapbook of poetry in 2014. She's currently learning to play the upright bass.

Areas of Expertise: policy, grassroots organizing, environmental justice, coal



byron.jpgByron Gudiel, Executive Director, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE)

Over the last 20 years of community organizing, Byron Ramos Gudiel has had the pleasure of struggling and working with activists and organizers throughout the country in service of racial, educational, environmental and economic justice. He has also worked to expand immigrant and worker rights in our communities. While serving as Director of The Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ), Byron worked with staff, members and allies to improve the educational experience and environment of young people of color in Los Angeles and throughout California. Later, as the Director of Organizing at the Sierra Club, Byron led organizing efforts throughout the country to challenge the extraction, export and burning of fossil fuels, protect and create access to public lands, protect endangered species, and promote clean and renewable energy development. During his time at Sierra Club, he worked with members, staff, and allies to demand that people in low-income communities and communities of color have access to clean and renewable energy industry jobs and careers.

Areas of Expertise: policy, leadership, grassroots organizing, environmental justice, green jobs, energy


DianaLopez_2009.jpgDiana Lopez, Southwest Workers Union

Diana Lopez organizes with the Southwest Workers Union for worker rights, environmental justice and community empowerment in San Antonio, Texas. She has fought to clean up military base contamination, organized for energy policies, and in February 2007, along with community members and fellow organizers, started the Roots of Change community garden.

Diana attends school and works in the Eastside of San Antonio, Texas an area lacking large grocery stores and places to get fresh, organic, or local produce. The new garden provides healthy organic food at no cost to community members, serves as an educational center, and creates a positive space for community involvement. Since 2007, hundreds of youth and adults have created a native plant garden, an arbor and raised garden beds. The garden hosts educational sessions, student work days, and Texas-style barbeques where community members can come together to enjoy a meal and take home locally-grown produce.

Diana says of her time spent working on the garden and other environmental justice issues in San Antonio, “I feel everyone deserves the right to a clean, healthy environment regardless of your color or economic status. You work with other people who are fighting for the same thing: justice for people who, by systematic design, have more obstacles to overcome in their everyday life. I have learned that through sharing our stories and history we become united in one struggle for justice.”

Areas of Expertise: policy, youth leadership, grassroots organizing, environmental justice, advocacy


Will_Copeland.pngWilliam Copeland, Climate Justice Director, East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC)

William Copeland is an organizer and cultural worker from Detroit. He works as EMEAC's Climate Justice Director. He served as one of the local coordinators for the 2010 US Social Forum, organizing over 300 Detroit-area volunteers to host 20,000+ activists and community change agents to 5 days of workshops, panels, concerts, and work projects. He also worked as lead organizer of the 2011 Detroit 2 Dakar Delegation to the World Social Forum held in Dakar, Senegal. He has significant affiliations with the healing justice movements in Detroit and nationwide and is also currently working on creating the D.Blair Theater Space in the Cass Corridor Commons. Copeland serves on the board of the US Solidarity Economy Network. Will holds a BS from Stanford University and MS from the University of Michigan. Will See just dropped his first solo hip-hop CD "The Basics" available at http://willseemusic.bandcamp.com/ which includes EJ anthems such as "Water Power" and "Respiration." 

Areas of Expertise: grassroots organizing, environmental justice, advocacy, water


Teresa Almaguer, Youth Program Director, People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER)

She is the Youth Program Coordinator at PODER with Common Roots, a joint, leadership development, youth organizer training program with the Chinese Progressive Association. This past year Teresa also worked with the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic rights to coordinate the annual Youth Organizing Training Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico which had over 40 youth from the southwest. Teresa was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Areas of Expertise: youth leadership, grassroots organizing, environmental justice


Brandon King, Founding Member, Cooperation Jackson

Click here for bio.


Miya Yoshitani, Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance & Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

Click here for bio.


International Experts 

SaraMersha_bio.pngSara Mersha, Director of Grantmaking and Advocacy, Grassroots International

Sara Mersha has been Director of Grantmaking and Advocacy at Grassroots International since 2010. She works to build and maintain long-term relationships with partner organizations and social movements led by peasants, indigenous peoples, women, and youth in the Global South.  Sara also coordinates Grassroots’ advocacy work, collaborating with other US allies as part of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance and the Climate Justice Alliance. In 2014, Sara joined the Planning Committee of the Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project.  Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sara has spent the majority of her life in the United States and brings years of experience connecting local community organizing (such as with Direct Action for Rights & Equality in Providence, RI) with broader movement building efforts.  Sara served as Visiting Faculty in the Ethnic Studies Department of Brown University, and entered a graduate program at Brown’s Center for Environmental Studies in 2009.  Since then, she has focused her academic and movement-building work on climate justice and food 

Areas of Expertise: international development and policy, community organizing, environmental/climate justice, food


Saulo Araujo, Director, Global Movements Program, Why Hunger?/US Food Sovereignty Alliance

Saulo works to advance initiatives of food sovereignty and agroecology by identifying resources and network opportunities that will strengthen the work of grassroots organizations and social movements. Originally from Brazil, Saulo brings years of experience working with urban and rural families in the United States and abroad. Prior to WhyHunger, he worked as the Latin America Program Coordinator for Grassroots International, and served as consultant to international funders, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. He has a bachelors of science degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco state, Brazil and a M.A. in International Development and Social Change from Clark University. Saulo is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, and has served as board member and advisor for many organizations, including The Food Project, New England Grassroots Environmental Fund and Justice at Work.

Areas of Expertise: international development and policy, community organizing, environmental/climate justice, food


Cindy Wiesner, Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance & National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)

Click here for bio.


Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

Click here for bio.


Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance

Click here for bio.

Peoples’ Climate Movement Experts


elizabeth-yeampierre.jpgElizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE

Elizabeth C. Yeampierre is a nationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City. She is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community based organization. Her award winning vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park. Prior to assuming the Executive Director position at UPROSE, Ms. Yeampierre was the Director of Legal Education and Training at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Director of Legal Services for the American Indian law Alliance and Dean of Puerto Rican Student Affairs at Yale University.  She holds a BA from Fordham University, a law degree from Northeastern University. Elizabeth is the first Latina Chair of the US EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

Elizabeth was just recently named one of the top 100 Green Leaders by Poder Hispanic Magazine.  She is the recipient of the 2011 National Alliance for Hispanic Health VIDA (Vision, Innovation, Dedication, and Advocacy) Award, Boricua College Professional Achievement Award in Environmental Health Award 2011, American Bar Association Commission on Hispanic Legal RIghts and Responsibilities 2011 Award, La Federacion Nacional de Pioneros Puertorriquenos Award 2010, Speaker Quinn’s 2009 NYC Council Women’s History Award: Women in Environmentalism, 2007 NRDC Earth Day New York Environmental Advocate of the Year Award, the Municipal Art Society Yolanda Garcia Community Planner Award, 2007 American Planning Association Paul Davidoff Award, 2006 USEPA Region 2 Environmental Quality Award, 2006 Urban Agenda Urban Visionary Award, 2004 National Latina Leadership Award from the National Foundation of Women Legislators and its affiliate, the National Council Of La Raza, the country’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization. Ms. Yeampierre received the 2003 Asian Americans for Equality Dream of Equality Award and the Comite Noviembre Hispanic Heritage Award.

Areas of Expertise: law, community organizing, environmental/climate justice, sustainable development, climate resilience


Eddie3.jpegEddie Bautista, Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance

Eddie Bautista is an award-winning community organizer and urban planner. In February 2010, Eddie resigned as Director of the Mayor’s Office of City Legislative Affairs to take the reins at NYC-EJA. The Mayor’s Office of City Legislative Affairs is the Mayor’s local lobbying office representing the Mayor and City agencies at the City Council, and serving as liaison between the Bloomberg Administration and the Comptroller, Public Advocate and Borough Presidents. As Director, Eddie spearheaded efforts to pass several major pieces of legislation, including: the City’s 20-year landmark Solid Waste Management Plan (which relied for the first time on principles of environmental justice and borough equity); the creation of the first municipal brownfields remediation office in the nation; the required retrofit of all diesel-powered school buses to reduce air pollution in bus cabins; and the Greater Greener Buildings Plan, the nation’s first comprehensive package of legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency for large scale buildings. Eddie also facilitated meetings for policy advocates with Administration officials on a range of legislative and regulatory initiatives such as PlaNYC 2030 (NYC’s environmental sustainability plan, which has become an international model for large cities) and Mayoral Executive Order 120 of 2008, which for the first time called for all City agencies to make services and documents available to immigrant New Yorkers in the top six languages spoken in the City.

Previously, Eddie was the Director of Community Planning for NY Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), where he served as the lobbying/communications/community organizing director for this non-profit civil rights law firm. At NYLPI, Eddie organized numerous grassroots coalitions and campaigns, including the Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods (OWN) and Communities United for Responsible Energy (CURE), two citywide coalitions of community-based organizations which blocked the siting of mega-waste transfer stations, large power plants, incinerators and sludge plants in environmentally-burdened, low income communities of color, while changing City and State solid waste and energy policies. Eddie has written articles and been interviewed for local and national news broadcasts. Eddie has a B.A. from N.Y.U., an M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. In 2003, Eddie was among 17 national winners of the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World awards. Nine books feature or mention Eddie’s work, including Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice, by Julie Sze (2006); We Won’t Move: Community Planning in The Real Estate Capital of the World, by Tom Angotti (2008); and The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs by Roberta Brandes Gratz (2010). Eddie is also a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture’s Graduate Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development, where he teaches courses that apply basic principles and practices of city planning and urban design to specific topical projects.

Areas of Expertise: urban planning, community organizing, policy, waste, environmental justice, civil rights


Cindy Wiesner, Co-Chair, Climate Justice Alliance & National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)

Click here for bio.


Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)

Click here for bio.


Reinvest In Our Power Experts


gopalforweb.jpgGopal Dayaneni, Staff Collective Member & Planning Committee Member, Movement Generation

Gopal has been involved in fighting for social, economic, environmental and racial justice through organizing & campaigning, teaching, writing, speaking and direct action since the late 1980’s. Gopal is an active trainer with and serves on the boards of The Ruckus Society and the Center for Story-based Strategy (formerly smartMeme). He also serves on the advisory boards of the International Accountability Project, and Catalyst Project. Gopal works at the intersection of ecology, economy and empire.

Gopal has been a campaigner for Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition on human rights and environmental justice in the high-tech industry and the Oil Campaigner for Project Underground, a human rights and environmental rights organization which supported communities resisting oil and mining exploitation around the world. Gopal has been active in many people powered direct action movements, including the Global Justice/Anti-Globalization Movement, Direct Action to Stop the War, Mobilization for Climate Justice, Take Back the Land, and Occupy.

Areas of Expertise: human rights, direct action, oil, just transition, environmental/climate justice, sustainable development   

vivian.jpgVivian Huang, Campaign and Organizing Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

APEN organizes API community members to advance an environmental, social, and economic justice agenda.  Prior to working at APEN, Vivian spent seven years advocating for statewide policy, legislation, and budget funding for immigrants, communities of color, migrant farmworkers, and women.  She was Director of Legislative Advocacy at Asian Americans for Civil Rights & Equality (the Sacramento office of Chinese for Affirmative Action, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and Asian Law Caucus), as well as Deputy Director of Policy at the California Primary Care Association (the statewide organization representing community health clinics). Vivian also worked on federal policy as a Presidential Management Fellow.

Areas of Expertise: Environmental justice, policy, community health 


Shaun (Sha) Grogan-Brown, Development and Communications Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)

Shaun has worked to strengthen movements for social justice as an organizer, fundraiser, artist, trainer and consultant since the late 90s. He worked with Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) from 2001-2008 as a Fundraiser, Program Organizer, and Development Director.  Sha served as the Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator for the US Social Forum 2010, and soon after joined Grassroots Global Justice Alliance as Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator in 2010.  Sha has worked with many grassroots organizations as a consultant dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and self-sustaining capacity of organizations, and in addition to popular education style trainings on grassroots fundraising, he has a virtual toolbox of skills that he likes to put to use in all of his work, including graphic design, Spanish-English translation and interpretation, and technology support. Sha previously served on the board of Resource Generation, and continues to serve on the board of GIFT (Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training). Sha is a white queer transman originally from the Washington, DC area and currently based in Philadelphia, PA.

Areas of Expertise: social justice, fundraising, environmental/climate justice, grassroots fundraising


Yuki Kidokoro, National Organizer, Climate Justice Alliance

Click here for bio. 


Food Justice/Sovereignty Experts


Saulo Araujo, Director, Global Movements Program, Why Hunger?/US Food Sovereignty Alliance

Click here for bio.


Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance

Click here for bio.

Showing 1 reaction