Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Miya 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.
Byron 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.
Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)
Cindy 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.
Eric Harrison, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy (GCCLP)
Denise Abdul-Rahman, Environmental Justice Chair, Indiana NAACP
Abdul-Rahman's main passion everyday is working toward a vision that eliminates environmental injustice, increases clean energy, healthy, thriving, climate resistant and sustainable communities. She holds a BS in management, MBA in healthcare management and a health informatics designation from Indiana University School of Informatics. Abdul-Rahman successfully organized over 85 attendees from across the Midwest to the United States Environmental Protection Agency at Region V. On February 2016, Indianapolis Power Light stopped burning coal. She organized the Just Energy Campaign, and called for a retirement date by 2016, and won. The advocacy of the Just Energy Campaign was instrumental and crucial in the defeat of House Bill 1320, there are no fees charged to distributed generation of energy in Indiana. This victory rose to national coverage within LA Times and Bloomberg News. Abdul-Rahman has personally accepted three awards in recognition for this body of work.
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
Tom 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.
Sara Pennington, 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.
Mateo Nube, Staff Co-Director & Planning Committee Member, Movement Generation (MG)
Mateo was born and grew up in La Paz, Bolivia. Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has worked in the labor, environmental justice and international solidarity movements. He has spent the last decade integrating concepts of popular education into his movement work. Mateo is one of the co-founders of the Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project. Prior to joining MG, Mateo designed and facilitated political education trainings and conducted staff development workshops for grassroots and community organizations interested in growing their organizing, advocacy, and leadership capacities. He served as the director of Urban Habitat’s Leadership Institute and served as the Northwest Coordinator of the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute. Mateo is the son of Barbara, partner of Amanda, and fortunate father of Maya and Nilo. He is also a member of the Latin rock band Los Nadies.
Elizabeth 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.
*Please replace [AT] with @ when emailing staff.
Angela [AT] climatejusticealliance.org
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.
Yuki [AT] climatejusticealliance.org
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.
Holly [AT] climatejusticealliance.org
Holly Baker, new Funder Relations Organizer of the Climate Justice Alliance, has 25+ years’ experience working for grassroots organizations and other non-profits. For the last 19 years, she worked as the Grants Coordinator of the Farmworker Association of Florida, and for more than 6 years, provided program support to and coordination of the farmworker-led agroecology and cooperative development work there. Holly has provided leadership within the Southern Region of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance; served on the Membership Committee of the Domestic Fair Trade Association; participated in collective leadership of La Via Campesina North America; and serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern Reparations Loan Fund. Prior to her long service to farmworker communities, she worked for the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice and co-led the Walk for the Earth, from the Everglades to Tallahassee. She has also worked in development for Enzian Theater, an independent arthouse cinema. Currently, she volunteers with an emerging Indigenous ecovillage, and has supported many Indigenous peoples’ rights campaigns. Holly lives with her two children and two dogs on the East Coast of Florida.
Senowa [AT] climatejusticealliance.org
Senowa Mize-Fox is a racial, climate, and labor justice activist/organizer. She has worked closely with Black Lives Matter Vermont, The Vermont Workers’ Center (VWC), and her former labor union, United Electrical Workers. Through the VWC she participated in 3 different It Takes Roots delegations, from the COP 21 in Paris in 2015 to the Disrupt J20 Protests in Washington, DC. She has a degree in Natural Resources Planning from the University of Vermont, and a Masters’ Degree in International Sustainable Development from the University of Manchester in the UK. Her favorite color is purple, she likes to dance poorly to early 2000’s pop music and she currently resides in Baltimore, MD.
Chloe [AT] climatejusticealliance.org
Chloe Henson is a Digital Organizer for the Our Power Campaign. Chloe recently graduated from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and is currently based in Seattle. She became involved in climate justice organizing during a one-year exchange to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she joined the fossil fuel divestment campaign. Chloe started working with CJA in the summer of 2015 as a Fossil Free Fellow and has since stayed on staff. Chloe enjoys hiking, cooking, and playing with her dog Hiro.
Liana [AT] climatejusticealliance.org
Liana Lopez is a multi-platform communications professional with 15+ years of experience developing, managing, coordinating and producing media and events from online projects to convention exhibitions with educational and social justice themes. She co-founded the Librotraficante Caravan in response to Arizona’s dismantling of the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program and the banning of 90+ books written by Latino authors. She produces and co-hosts Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say radio show on 90.1 FM Pacifica Radio in Houston which highlights Latino literature, social justice and educational issues. She is a recipient of a Houston Arts Alliance Emerging Artist Grant for a multimedia/photography project based on her travels through post-revolutionary Nicaragua and her most recent photography exhibition showcased South Africa’s “post-democracy” era and was commissioned by the Art Institute of Houston. She is excited to be a part of CJA and helping allies who believe that a Just Transition is possible.