Climate Justice Alliance
Our Steering Committee
The Steering Committee provides political leadership and assures that the alliance stays on strategic course toward climate justice.
Steering Committee Co-Chair
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 and a law degree from Northeastern University. Elizabeth is the first Latina Chair of the US EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
Executive Director, UPROSE
Steering Committee Co-Chair
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.
Co-Director, Movement Generation
Equity Fellow, Kheprw Institute
Aghilah is an Equity Fellow and grant writer with the Kheprw Institute. As a graduate of Indiana University in International Studies, she is passionate about social justice and equity, especially within the global context. Working with Kheprw, she has facilitated community discussions, written grants to support the organization’s work, and now is working with other youth within the Climate Justice Alliance to establish a Youth Collective that brings in the perspective of youth within the broader climate justice movement.
Executive Director, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Burt is the Executive Director of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. He is a graduate of Auburn University and has been with KFTC since 1983. His responsibilities include leadership identification and development, campaign development, organizer training, strategy development and fundraising.
National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Cindy 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 USSFs, 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. She has previously served as a CJA Steering Committee Co-Chair. Cindy is originally from Los Angeles and is of Salvadoran, Colombian and German descent and is Queer. She is based in Miami, FL.
Environmental Justice Chair, Indiana NAACP
Denise’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. Denise successfully organized over 85 attendees from across the Midwest to the United States Environmental Protection Agency at Region V. In 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. Denise has personally accepted three awards in recognition for this body of work.
Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
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.
Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
Tom is Diné 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!; 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 Nations 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.
Meet the CJA staff!
Ananda Lee Tan
Ananda Lee Tan recently returned to our CJA family to support dozens of Our Power Communities in organizing a Just Transition to local, living economies that serve people and planet. Along with the Indigenous Environmental Network, Movement Generation, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative and others, Ananda had co-convened the Climate Justice Alliance in 2009, supporting CJA though its formative years of growth. As an organizer, trainer, direct action strategist, and pathfinder, Ananda has organized social movements around the world since 1986 – building activist coalitions, networks and alliances for Indigenous land defense, worker rights, environmental justice, energy democracy, ecoforestry, food sovereignty, climate justice and peace.
In recent years, Ananda has been guiding the world of philanthropy towards a deeper understanding of movement ecosystems. In 2013, he co-convened the Building Equity & Alignment for Impact Initiative – a collaborative of national NGOs, grassroots groups and funders to build a stronger environmental movement across the U.S. He also helped envision and plan the People’s Climate March, which emerged from this collaboration in 2014.
Originally from the community of Santiniketan, Ananda presently lives on the territories of the Coast Salish First Nations in the Pacific Northwest.
Angela can be contacted through Heather, executive assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Angela Adrar has committed her life to advancing the role of the grassroots sector; she 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 organizations from the local to the international, including: La Via Campesina North America (LVC-NA), US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEA), US Friends of Movement of Dam Affected Peoples (MAB) and others. She introduced and advocated for internal frameworks that enabled feedback loops for national/international decision-making and local representation as well as for gender and racial equity that embraces a diversity of contributions, while fostering trust and reciprocity for collective work. For the past 3 years, she served as the Weaver Co-Chair of the steering committee body of the BEI, where she coordinated the work of extraordinary grassroots leaders and developed authentic relationships with Green groups and philanthropic institutions to eliminate barriers and shift $10 million to the grassroots organizing sector.
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 the development of regional agroecology encounters and formation processes around the U.S. that include grassroots farmworker organizations, international partners, and critical national coalitions and organizations within the food, agriculture and climate movement.
She is personally growing the movement with her two young kids and partner. She has a deep respect for Mother Earth and is an avid seedkeeper. She holds a Master’s Degree of Organizational Management and a BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University. With her strong communications and social media expertise, she 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, she managed relations with a diverse board, staff, and membership in remote locations and brought the power of the grassroots to Capitol Hill.
Climate Justice Policy Coordinator
Cynthia represents CJA in Washington, keeping a watchful eye on climate and energy-related bills generated at Congress and around the country, while strategically working to promote CJA’s climate and environmental justice positions in policy circles and with a wider public. She is also coordinator of the CJA’s Energy Democracy working group, supporting CJA members in approaching the complex relationship between climate and energy and implementing solutions that work for their communities. Cynthia has been close to CJA since 2014, when she designed and coordinated CJA’s People’s Climate Justice Summit and Tribunal—a two day international forum held during the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, providing a strong international people’s voice during the UN world leaders meeting. Cynthia served for seven years as Environmental Justice Organizer for the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) in the East Ward of Newark, New Jersey, organizing with her neighbors to fight egregious pollution and developing campaigns and projects for lasting change. She holds an M.A. in Sociology of Law from the Instituto Internacional de Sociología Jurídica in Spain. Cynthia is active in promoting Latin American folkloric arts—drumming, singing, and dancing with several groups in the New York/New Jersey area.
Member Engagement Coordinator
Chloe Henson recruits, onboards, and supports CJA’s amazing member groups, help develop engagement strategies as well as logistic support for member events and Just Recovery work.
Chloe is formerly CJA’s digital organizer, 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.
Ms. Dortheá Enriqúe
Midwest Region Just Transition Organizer
As a passionate eco-justice activist, Ms. Dortheá Enriqúe works as the Midwest Just Transition Organizer for the Climate Justice Alliance and Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council. She is the Founder of the Detroit Environmental & Water Alliance, a community group dedicated to the pursuit of social justice – when it comes to clean air, clean water and a just transition for a green energy economy for all.
In the past, she has worked with Sierra Club as a Detroit & Great Lakes Organizer to help curb water pollution and increase access to clean water for all. Also, as an Environmental and Climate Justice Leadership Fellow with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, she helped to help create the first Climate Justice Initiative. As an Climate Justice Leadership Fellow at the New Organizing Institute for WE ACT for Environmental Justice, she worked to implement an environmental justice perspective in the Obama Climate Action Plan. Previously, as the AmeriCorps Green Schools Coordinator with Detroit Public Schools and Ecoworks, she developed communication strategies; oversaw energy efficiency projects on energy, resource management, and nutrition; and managed utility bills to help improve student achievement, lower district cost, and improve the health of the district.
She is a world renowned published author, certified life and leadership coach, and motivational speaker.
Special Projects and Logistics Coordinator
New York City, NY
Heather Thiry works on rapid response campaign and event coordination, provides support to the Executive Director, and helps with overall systems and data management for CJA. She worked for several years as administrative support for Building Equity and Alignment for Impact, and has a BFA in Acting and Psychology from NYU. Heather is also an actor and teaching artist, and has created her own work and performed regionally and in NYC.
Funder Relations Organizer
Holly is the liaison between funders and the Climate Justice Alliance, with lead responsibility on writing proposals and reports to lift up Just Transition solutions led by frontline communities. She supports CJA member groups’ relationship building with funders, and engages in dialogue and action with both nonprofits and philanthropy to shift resources to the grassroots organizing sector. Holly has 25+ years’ experience working for grassroots organizations and other non-profits. For 19 years, she worked as the Grants Coordinator of the Farmworker Association of Florida, and for 6+ years, provided program support to the farmworker-led agroecology and cooperative development work there. She 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 currently 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-led ecovillage, and has supported many Indigenous rights campaigns. A native Floridian, Holly has recently transitioned with her two children and two dogs to Central Alabama.
Systems, Research, and Development Manager
Marion works on creating systems and overseeing technology needs at CJA; overseeing re-granting, research, and special projects; and supporting individual donor and foundation development. She previously was a fundraising, events, and communications consultant for social and environmental justice organizations including Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project, All One Ocean, Bay Area Black Worker Center, Black Organizing Project, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Thousand Currents, Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), The Honeybee Conservancy, and Global Gratitude Alliance. Prior to consulting, Marion was the Development & Communications Director at Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, an Oakland-based foundation, and spent four years at the Sierra Nevada Alliance, a conservation non-profit based in South Lake Tahoe, CA, where she worked her way up from AmeriCorps member educating Sierra residents about climate change to leading the Regional Climate Change Program as the Interim Program Director. She is originally from Irvine, CA and holds a Masters in Environmental History and Policy from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. In her spare time, she likes to travel, read, garden indoors, play with her nephew, and serve on the Thousand Currents’ Young Professionals Group Leadership Committee.
Southeast Region Just Transition Organizer
Monica Atkins is currently the Southeast Regional Just Transition Organizer for the Climate Justice Alliance. Atkins has organized social, cultural events and actions including Art, Poetry, and Justice Slam, Freedom Summer March, and March on Mississippi Workers March with artists and activists, such as Common and Danny Glover. Monica has worked for several labor organizations including United Auto Workers, American Federation of Teachers, and Communication Workers of America.
Monica is a Chicago native and graduate of Jackson State University where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in Journalism. A poet, activist, and member of Cooperation Jackson in Jackson, MS, Monica’s passion for the arts has led her to organizing workers and communities through cultural organizing and base-building for the past 10+ years.
Executive Assistant at Climate Justice Alliance
Senowa is the Executive Assistant at Climate Justice Alliance. She 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 in 2017. 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. Senowa’s favorite color is purple, she likes to dance poorly to early 2000’s pop music and she currently resides in Baltimore, MD. If you have questions about CJA operations and/or events logistics, you can contact her at email@example.com or 401.209.7143.
National Organizer of the Our Power Campaign
Los Angeles, CA
Yuki Kidokoro is CJA’s National Organizer for Reinvest in Our Power. 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 prevent the expansion of the I-710 diesel truck corridor, and to pass health protective policies at the city, regional and state levels. 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 affordable 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.