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, 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.
Darryl Molina Sarmiento
Executive Director, Communities for a Better Environment
Darryl Molina Sarmiento is the Executive Director for Communities for a Better Environment, a 40-year-old environmental justice organization that builds local power through community organizing, research, and legal support in Wilmington, South East Los Angeles, East Oakland, and Richmond, California. Darryl embodies CBE’s leadership ladder, having first encountered CBE at the age of 18, when she took a CBE Toxic Tour. In 2005, she formally joined CBE as the Youth Program Coordinator where she organized youth to defeat the Vernon Power Plant. In 2011, Darryl transitioned into the role of CBE’s Southern California Program Director and was at the helm of successful community-based campaigns against the fossil fuel industry and toxic polluters. Darryl was instrumental in leading the passage of Clean Up Green Up, a City of Los Angeles ordinance that is one of the first Environmental Justice Green Zone Policies in the nation. She has worked on the passage of statewide energy and climate policy and has worked to advance local clean energy and transportation goals. Darryl graduated from UCLA and has done labor organizing with AFSCME Local 3299 and community organizing with the Pilipino Workers Center of Los Angeles. She previously served on the boards of Southern Californians for Youth, The California Fund for Youth Organizing and the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice.
Executive Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment
Dwaign has over twenty-eight years of professional experience in economic development, community and neighborhood development, youth development and workforce development. Throughout his professional experience, Dwaign has effectively led capable and diverse teams and has also been able to communicate complex public policies to various stakeholders to show how community-based partnerships can build stronger communities and empower residents and businesses to take active roles in their neighborhoods.
Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) builds the power of communities of color and low-income communities in Massachusetts to eradicate environmental racism and classism, create healthy, sustainable communities, and achieve environmental justice. ACE is a membership organization anchored in Roxbury, and from these strong roots, organizes residents and builds coalitions using an environmental justice framework to win significant concrete victories in Greater Boston and Massachusetts.
Another Gulf Is Possible
Jayeesha Dutta is a tri-coastal, nearly trilingual Bengali-American multi/interdisciplinary artist, activist, and strategist. She is a co-founding core member, space activator, and people convener for Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative, galvanizing the voices and experiences of brown (indigenous, latinx and desi) women from across the Gulf South to the Global South working towards a just transition for our people and the planet. She is a co-founder emeritus of 826 New Orleans board of directors. Jayeesha is an avid traveler, home chef, live music lover, and adores being near (or in) any body of water. She was born in Mobile, raised in New York, aged in Oakland and is deeply grateful to call New Orleans home.
National Organizer, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Jaron Browne is the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) National Organizer for Global Well Being programs, building out GGJ’s Just Transition, climate justice and anti-militarism campaigns, including support for CJA’s Our Power Campaign, and other national and international climate justice and new economy campaigns. Jaron coordinated the It Takes Roots delegations to the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris, COP22 in Marrakesh, COP24 in Katowice, and was a co-author of the report We Are Mother Earth’s Red Line, analyzing the impact of Paris Climate Agreement. In 2016, Jaron worked with GGJ member organizations to coordinate a series of Just Transition Assemblies in Detroit, Vermont, Seattle and Rhode Island. Before joining GGJ, Jaron was an organizer with POWER and Causa Justa::Just Cause for nearly 13 years, building the power of working class Black and Latino families in the Bay Area. Jaron was trained as an organizer with the Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles at the Labor/Community Strategy Center in 2001. Jaron has also been active in the movement to end mass incarceration, as well as LGBT social movements in the US. Jaron is located in Oakland, CA.
Jesús Vázquez is an activist, organizer and lawyer who is part of the Sustainable Agriculture and Agroecology Movement of Puerto Rico. Jesús works with public policy and advocacy around environmental justice and food sovereignty issues. He also coordinates different activities to support the network of local sustainable farms in the different regions of Puerto Rico. Jesús gives priority to organizing tasks to strengthen the local movement for food justice. He is a member of the National Coordination Team of Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico.
Black Dirt Farm Collective
Kirtrina M. Baxter is a dedicated mother, drummer, urban farmer, food justice activist and community organizer for the Garden Justice Legal Initiative–a program of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. She works with gardeners around the city, assisting them in gaining access to land and other resources. In this capacity, she also organizes Soil Generation, a diverse body of urban agriculture advocates and environmental and food justice activists who work within a racial and economic justice framework to help inform policy and provide community education and support to gardeners in the city. Before moving back to Philadelphia in 2012, Kirtrina co-founded the Ithaca Youth Farm Project, and the Congo Square Market in Ithaca, NY. In addition to her work at the Law Center, Ms. Baxter is the farm manager and a board member at Urban Creators; a board member of Mill Creek Farm; and a member of the Black Dirt Farm Collective, The Seedkeepers Collective, and the National Black Food and Justice Alliance. As an afroecologist, she has a passion for preserving and creating cultural agrarian traditions through art, cooking and nutrition, growing food, seedkeeping, and collective organizing. Though certified in permaculture, Kirtrina identifies with afroecology as a more politically informed way to practice her land work. In 2008, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Holistic Healing and her M.A in Cultural Studies from Union Institute and University.
Deputy Organizing Director for Just Transition, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Lisa Abbott is a member of KFTC’s organizing team, and serves as Deputy Organizing Director for Just Transition. She joined KFTC’s staff in 1992 and served as organizing director from 2002 to 2015. In her current role she coordinates KFTC’s work on Just Transition, sustainable energy, and climate change. She also serves on the board of the New World Foundation and is a Philanthropic Trustee of the Solutions Project. She was instrumental in the formation of the Student Environmental Action Coalition in the late 1980’s. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Maryland at College Park and a BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
Ironbound Community Corporation
Maria is the Leadership Developer for Ironbound Community Corporation in the Environmental Justice and Community Development Department. Maria has over 10 years of experience as a facilitator, specializing in conflict resolution, racial and gender justice, and community building. She is a founding member of the Roots Project, Inc., an organization that leads trainings in social justice, building connections and healing communities.
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, Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
Sharon E. Lewis is the Executive Director of the CT Coalition for Environmental Justice which promotes environmental justice through community advocacy and engagement. She was exposed to advocacy at an early age. Sharon worked for corporate America in the reinsurance and insurance industry for seventeen years where she traveled extensively, representing the insurance interests with regard to major catastrophes such as hurricanes, tornados and other natural disasters. It was her dealings with the Love Canal situation that gave rise to her feelings for the lack of environmental justice in low income and communities of color. Currently, she serves on the Board of the Rivers Alliance, as well as several environmental and health committees convened by the State of Connecticut.
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!
Álvaro Palacios Casanova
Álvaro is the Policy Director of the Climate Justice Alliance supporting Green New Deal and Energy Democracy work. Álvaro is a Mayan, a survivor of colonialism, and a first generation Xicano scientist committed to environmental health and justice in low-income communities of color. Álvaro is a successful regulatory and legislative policy advocate with experience leading frontline coalitions in California prior to joining CJA. Álvaro is an educator who shares the scientific method and its findings to equip everyone, regardless of educational background, to advocate for themselves and their community. As a formerly gang-involved youth and the son of two hard working immigrant parents, his family and life experiences have been narrated by police profiling and institutional racism. Through these first-hand experiences with police and racism in educational STEM programs, he has dedicated his career to justice led by his values of compassion, collaboration, respect, and inclusion. When he’s not nerding out on policy language or looking up section codes, Álvaro enjoys hiking the Redwood forest with his dog Lila Coahuila, bird-watching, wildlife photography, and spending as much time as he can with his 1 year old nephew, Báalam.
Angela Mahecha Adrar
Angela can be contacted through Heather, executive assistant, at email@example.com
Angela Mahecha Adrar serves as the Executive Director of the 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 political agendas on climate justice, Just Transition, food sovereignty and other sectoral shifts toward a Regenerative Economy. She has worked substantially building alignment between philanthropy and the Grassroots sector to move multi-million investments to the grassroots sector serving on multiple boards, advisory committees and leadership teams of funds, family foundations, and multi-sector strategy groups.
Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright
Green New Deal Policy Lead
Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright serves as the Policy Coordinator and Green New Deal lead for Climate Justice Alliance and its members. With 15 years of professional experience, he’s used his organizing, policy and outreach experience to advocate for a variety of social justice campaigns including environmental justice, affordable health care access, income inequality and civil rights for LGBTQIA persons. In 2012, Anthony led the effort to make Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative the first health insurance provider in the State’s history to remove transgender health exclusions from all of their policies. He continues to write numerous articles for various publications discussing the axiomatic nexus between the climate crisis and racial justice and has spoken of this issue at universities and gatherings throughout the United States and Europe. Anthony earned his undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Policy and Jazz Composition as well as his Graduate Degree in Community Development, Environmental Science and Public Policy from Clark University, and is blessed to be the father of his energetic, entertaining and VERY loquacious four-year old son, Zahir Cielo (aka “Bean”).
Regional Organizing Manager
Chloe is formerly CJA’s membership engagement coordinator, graduated from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque with a degree in economics, and is currently based in Oklahoma City. 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 reading, cooking, and walking her dog Hiro.
Regenerative Economy Fellow
Dom is a father, builder and worker-owner for Earth-Bound Building, a construction cooperative based in Maryland. When not covered in sawdust, he supports the cooperative’s administrative and financial responsibilities. Dom is passionate about creating and supporting local, small-scale enterprises that are rooted in community and ecology.
Dom spends the majority of his free time in nature with his energetic daughter, River. He holds a BA in English and is a lifelong bookworm. He is joining CJA to support the Reinvest in Our Power work and provide technical assistance to cooperatives within the Our Power Communities.
Esteban is a climate policy advocate hailing from Medellin, Colombia. After living in NYC and then Vermont, he moved to DC to become a policy fellow for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. He holds a BA from Middlebury College in Environmental Studies and Policy and is very passionate about the intersections between policy and climate mitigation and adaptation. He enjoys hiking, geeking out about policy, ginkgo trees, capoeira, and has a growing obsession for food history documentaries.
Senior Management Coordinator
New York City, NY
Heather is the Senior Management Coordinator at CJA. She provides Executive Assistant support to the Executive and Managing Directors, and works on overall systems and data management for the staff, Steering Committee, and CJA membership. Heather has a BFA in Acting from NYU, and until joining CJA full-time, split her time as a movement operations consultant and performing artist. Heather loves drawing, seeing plays, and spending time outside. She is based in Brooklyn, NY.
Digital Media Coordinator
Hendrik is part of CJA’s communications team and coordinates the digital media work. Born in Germany, Hendrik started his political activism as part of the anti-fascist movement against the resurgence of nationalism and racist violence following the reunification of Germany in 1990. To avoid the military draft in his home country, he moved to the United States and started to work in the Latin America solidarity and Global Justice movements and became the National Organizer for School of the Americas Watch. Hendrik started to freelance with the Climate Justice Alliance during the It Takes Roots Ruckus Direct Action and Resiliency Camp in the summer of 2018. In February 2019, he joined CJA as a member of the staff.
Philanthropic Partnerships Director
Holly is the liaison between funders and the Climate Justice Alliance, with lead responsibility on elevating Just Transition solutions led by frontline communities, via relationship-building with philanthropy. She supports CJA member groups’ funder relations, and engages in dialogue and action with grassroots organizations, movement support networks, 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; Domestic Fair Trade Association; La Via Campesina North America; Southern Reparations Loan Fund; and Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network.
Prior to her long service in 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 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, Nick & Evie, and their dog, Ziggy, to rural Central Alabama.
Youth Articulation Organizing Fellow
Green New Deal Policy Fellow
Kari Fulton is an award-winning Environmental and Climate Justice organizer, writer, and historian. She has worked with various domestic and global coalitions to coordinate campaigns and national conferences, including Power Shift, the largest youth climate summit in the United States, and the People’s Climate March. Kari has trained and engaged students and communities on Climate and Environmental Justice across the United States. She has traveled to Europe, Latin America, and South Africa, attending and reporting on international environmental conferences; and supports local community organizations to develop strategies for stronger public health, community empowerment, and environmental policies. Her work has been featured in various media, including Black Entertainment Television, Teen Vogue, Essence Magazine, and Chinese Global Television Network.
Kari is a member of the 2020 Class of the National Urban Fellows and serves as a Policy Fellow with the Climate Justice Alliance, while earning a Master’s degree in Policy Management from the Georgetown McCourt School of Public Policy. Fulton is also a mother, bike enthusiast, and an alumna of Howard University.
Radical Operations Associate
Karina Gonzalez is a Purepecha woman raised in LA’s San Fernando Valley. She found her passion for environmental justice experiencing the first-hand effects of environmental racism in Los Angeles and her family’s hometown in Michoacan, Mexico. She studied Environmental Studies at the University of Arizona and Forestry at Northern Arizona University. Karina has worked for Greenpeace USA, Black Mesa Water Coalition, SustainUS, and Friends of the Earth. She was a recipient of the 2016 Brower Youth Award, the leading national environmental award for youth. Additionally, her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, PBS, and other news sources.
Frontline Solutions Storytelling Fellow
Keenan Rhodes is a photographer, videographer, and writer from Indianapolis, Indiana. He has a history of community activism, organizational development, mentorship and leadership through his involvement with community empowerment organization Kheprw Institute, where he serves as Lead Videographer and Storyteller. He is a 2018 graduate of IU Bloomington with a Bachelors in Journalism and Portuguese. He uses photography and videography as platforms to build community and create narratives centered on freedom, equity and empowerment. His most recent work is a documentary titled Still Shinin: The Documentary about how artists use their trauma to fuel their art, heal themselves and empower others through that process.
Digital Organizing Fellow
Kristen Jeré is a multi-disciplinary journalist, educator, and storyteller. Her work is rooted in using art to bridge gaps in society specifically for underrepresented groups. A Black feminist, Kristen can be found reading essays in her free-time, studying herbal remedies, and exploring the city she resides in–Chicago.
Kristen Jeré is based in Chicago, Illinois with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization.
Funder Relations Associate
Luis is the Funder Relations Associate at Climate Justice Alliance. Prior to joining CJA he worked as the Development Manager for ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater NY where he spearheaded the organization’s foundation, individual, and event fundraising efforts. Luis spent the crux of his life living in an environmental justice community, experiencing first-hand the negative impact of hazardous pollution and systematic neglect. The institutional racism within his community originally led him towards a career in education where he could support students of color in an effort to raise their retention and graduation rates at the collegiate level. After leaving higher education Luis became linked to the environmental justice community through his work with ALIGN. He now supports fundraising efforts at CJA via relationship building, proposals, and reports to foundations.
Luis is a native of Newark, NJ, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). He later received his Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). Outside of work Luis is an avid supporter of Chelsea FC based out in London. He’s an active member of their US supporters’ group and can be found in stadiums cheering on Chelsea.
Just Transition Project Steward
Los Angeles, CA
Guadalupe “Lupe” Romero Elicea is the Project Steward for CJA’s Just Transition Revolving Loan Fund & Incubator. Originally born in Mexico City and raised in Michoacan, Lupe migrated to the United States South-Bay Area at the age of 17.
Lupe became politically active after their enrollment in De Anza community college thanks to the group, Students for Justice. Additionally Lupe joined the Chincanx student organization, MEChA, where they were the Northern California National representative. These two groups led to opportunities to become involved with international solidarity movements, LGBTQ activism, immigrant rights struggles, and union organizing.
Lupe also has a background in Cooperativism as a Silk Screen printer. They were a worker-owner of Spectrum Apparel printing, and co-founder of its Political arm Printers United which dedicated to user silk screen printing for art, revolutionary propaganda and social movement support.
In their free time, Lupe enjoys spending time with their family, playing with their cat named Rascal, and listening to Metal in all its variations.
Marion is responsible for supporting the Executive Director in the the overall program, administrative, and operational management of CJA to successfully implement our Four Year Strategy and beyond. 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.
Donor Relations Associate
Mark Chavez is the Donor Relations Associate for CJA. For the last decade Mark has been involved in community organizing and non-profit work ranging from front-lines direct action to education and outreach. Throughout this time they have been turned to as a storyteller within their communities, a skill often sought in response to inquiries from donors. Born and raised on occupied Suquamish land, Mark grew up exploring the surrounding land and waters with their two older siblings and parents. They were activated after joining a cross-country zero-waste campaign in 2010, which opened their eyes to the devastating impacts of the extractive economy first-hand: from physical refuse strewn across the country’s roadways to the pollution of waterways, mountain top removal coal mining, fracking, and petro-chemical fertilization. This propelled years of traveling across the country lending support to various indigenous and settler-led struggles and causes. Mark brings a philanthropic philosophy rooted in reciprocity, integrity, and respect to CJA’s work to Move the Money towards a regenerative economy where the people have the power.
Mark now lives gratefully on Kanaka Maoli ‘āina in Honolulu with their life partner and dog. When they aren’t contributing their skills to this work, they can be found writing fiction, reading, or spending time connecting with the land and waters which now surround them by hiking, biking, and swimming in the ocean with family and friends.
Moñeka De Oro
Just Transition Policy & Curriculum Fellow
Moñeka De Oro is a proud indigenous Chamoru daughter of the Mariana Islands. As a mother and an educator she is motivated to protect all that is sacred from unsustainable development and militarization for future generations. She envisions an interdependent, clean, peaceful and prosperous world made possible through indigenous knowledge and a Just Transition.
Director of Organizing
Freedom and Justice called me early in life to listen to my intuition, hear the voices of my ancestors, and lead unapologetically through life; breaking every barrier on this journey, even if I didn’t believe I could. I found my way, by way, of the Mississippi River from Chicago. Welcomed by familiar spirits and hospitality in lands of the Natchez, Choctaw, and Ofo peoples ( Jackson, MS.)”
Monica “Surreal the Messenger” Atkins is a cultural worker and organizer who is passionate about organizing with communities organizing for self-determination and self-governance. Atkins experience organizing is built upon her leadership within the labor movement, building worker power with unions including The United Auto Workers, American Federation of Teachers, and Communication Workers of America through direct action, cultural events, and more. It is through these experiences that she began to organize solidarity economies as a member of Cooperation Jackson to build worker power & ownership while organizing with the Climate Justice Alliance to expand the Just Transition Framework in the Southeast.
Organizing with communities building regenerative economies to win real solutions to the climate crisis- a Just Transition away from an extractive energy economy to local, living, interdependent economies rooted in social and ecological justice, Atkins is currently in service of the Climate Justice Alliance membership as the Director of Organizing.
Olivia is the Senior Communications Advisor for the Climate Justice Alliance. She became involved with the global climate justice movement while assisting in the organization of the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Bolivia in 2010. For the past two decades, she has worked in advocacy and communications to support progressive social movements and causes within the United States and abroad. Before joining CJA in 2018, she served as Director of Advocacy for the National Head Start Association. Prior to that, she led the Venezuela Information Office in Washington, D.C. and later served as an advisor to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for almost a decade.
Brooklyn, New York
Rae is a National Co-Coordinator for CJA, supporting the work of the Our Power Communities. Rae has over a decade of experience as an organizer, campaigner, trainer, and movement photographer. Her focus has been on developing intersectional, cross-movement strategies around race, class, gender, and the systemic drivers of the climate crisis. Rae has a strong background in creative direct action, ranging from technical actions to coordinating sustained mass mobilizations. She is also a movement photographer, using the power of images to create narratives and tell the stories of people and the planet. Originally from Los Angeles, Rae now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her toddler and partner. She loves gardening, being an Auntie, playing music, and sleeping outside.
Member Organizing Coordinator
Senowa is the Member Organizing Coordinator at the 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 three 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.
Reinvest Project Director
Los Angeles, CA
yuki [AT] climatejusticealliance.org
Yuki Kidokoro is CJA’s Reinvest Project Director. 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 developed their youth program and was active in many successful grassroots campaigns. Some of these victories include stopping two fossil fuel power plant projects in Southeast LA, delaying the expansion of the I-710 diesel truck corridor to allow for public process, and winning health protective policies at the city, regional and state levels. Raised in Southern California, Yuki helped create a 45 unit affordable housing cooperative at the Los Angeles Eco-Village in Koreatown where she lives with her partner and 2 cats. She currently serves on the Boards of the Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust and the USTU Housing Cooperative, and is a collective member of the LA Coop Lab. Trained in conflict mediation and group facilitation, Yuki enjoys biking, gardening, board games and thinking about community governance structures.