Thank you for joining us for Bioneers 2022. Our gratitude to everyone who participated and helped to make our return to an in-person conference a wonderful success.
Dates and details for Bioneers 2023 will be announced soon. Please sign up here to be notified!
We’re in the thick of a civilizational stress test. It feels like a permanent five-alarm emergency, signaling that massive change is inevitable. But it’s more than just change – this scenario demands authentic transformation. Although the tide is turning, the existential challenge is that time is not on our side. We need to fast-forward the transformation. At Bioneers 2022, we’ll dive deep into solutions, visions, strategies and paradigm shifts to do just that.
At this moment, our power lies in community. It’s about changing our societal pronoun from “me” to “we.” We know the solutions residing in nature surpass our conception of what’s even possible, and we know that human creativity is rising to solve the fundamental crises we face. There’s a window through, and we'll open it together.
2022 FEATURED SPEAKERS
Journalist and Author
Kate Aronoff, a Brooklyn, NY-based staff writer at The New Republic, and a former Fellow at the Type Media Center whose work has appeared in The Intercept, The New York Times, The Nation, Dissent, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian, among other outlets, is the co-editor of We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism, American Style and the author of Overheated: How Capitalism Broke the Planet--And How We Fight Back.
CEO and Founder | Bioneers
Kenny Ausubel, CEO and founder (in 1990) of Bioneers, is an award-winning social entrepreneur, journalist, author and filmmaker. Co-founder and first CEO of the organic seed company, Seeds of Change, his film (and companion book) Hoxsey: When Healing Becomes a Crime helped influence national alternative medicine policy. He has edited several books and written four, including, most recently, Dreaming the Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature. (bioneers.org)
Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder in Residence | PolicyLink
Angela Glover Blackwell, one of the nation’s most prominent, award-winning social justice advocates, is “Founder-in-Residence” at PolicyLink, the organization she started in 1999 to advance racial and economic equity that has long been a leading force in improving access and opportunity in such areas as health, housing, transportation, and infrastructure. The host of the Radical Imagination podcast and a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, Angela, before PolicyLInk, served as Senior Vice President at The Rockefeller Foundation and founded the Urban Strategies Council. She serves on numerous boards and advisory councils, including the inaugural Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve and California’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery.
Partner & CEO | McLennan Design
Jason McLennan, one of the world’s most influential visionaries in contemporary architecture and green building, is a highly sought-out designer, consultant and thought leader. A winner of Engineering News Record’s National Award of Excellence and of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize (which was, during its 10-year trajectory, known as “the planet’s top prize for socially responsible design”), Jason has been showered with such accolades as “the ‘Wayne Gretzky’ of the green building industry and a “World Changer” (by GreenBiz magazine).
CEO | TreePeople
Cindy Montañez, the CEO of TreePeople, has rapidly expanded that Los Angeles-based organization's impact across Southern California, turning it into the largest environmental movement and fastest growing environmental nonprofit in the region. Cindy, the youngest council-member of her hometown of San Fernando at 25, became its mayor at 27, and then at 28 the youngest woman ever elected to the California State Legislature. Later, as Assistant General Manager at Los Angeles’ Department of Water and Power, she helped transition the nation's largest publicly-owned utility to cleaner energy and a more sustainable water supply. In addition to her role at TreePeople, Cindy was just re-elected to San Fernando’s City Council and serves on the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability’ board.
Principal Research Scientist | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Samuel Myers, MD, MPH, studies the human health impacts of accelerating disruptions to Earth’s natural systems, a field recently dubbed “Planetary Health.” A Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, he is the founding Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, the author of roughly 100 peer-reviewed research articles, and the lead editor of Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves (Island Press, 2020).
Explorer-in-Residence | National Geographic
Enric Sala, Ph.D., a former professor who quit academia to become a full-time conservationist as a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, founded and leads Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research, and media to inspire leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean. To date, Pristine Seas has helped create 25 of the largest marine reserves on the planet, covering an area of more than 6.5 million square kilometers. Sala, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, has, in the past 15 years, earned numerous prestigious awards and honors for his conservation work.
Co-Founder | DaughtersforEarth.org
Zainab Salbi, a celebrated humanitarian, author, and journalist, co-founder of DaughtersforEarth.org, “Chief Awareness Officer” at FindCenter.com, and host of the Redefined podcast, founded Women for Women International, an organization to help women survivors of conflicts, when she was 23, and built the group from helping 30 women to reaching nearly half a million and raising tens of millions of dollars to help them and their families rebuild their lives. The author of several books, including the bestseller, Between Two Worlds and, most recently, Freedom Is an Inside Job, she is also the creator and host of several TV shows, including #MeToo, Now What? on PBS.
Co-Founder and Chief Relationship Strategist | Bioneers
Nina Simons, co-founder of Bioneers and its Chief Relationship Strategist is also co-founder of Women Bridging Worlds and Connecting Women Leading Change. She co-edited the anthology book, Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart, and most recently wrote Nature, Culture & The Sacred: A Woman Listens for Leadership. An award-winning social entrepreneur, Nina teaches and speaks internationally, and previously served as President of Seeds of Change and Director of Strategic Marketing for Odwalla. (ninasimons.com)
Stop It At The Source’ Campaigner | 350.org
Clayton Thomas-Müller is a member of the Treaty #6 based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan located in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based in Winnipeg, Clayton is a senior campaign specialist with 350.org.
Founder | Earth Uprising International
Alexandria Villaseñor co-founded the U.S. Youth Climate Strike movement (part of the youth-led international Fridays for Future movement) at age 13. Now 16, Alexandria has become an internationally-recognized, prestigious award-winning activist, speaker, author and founder of several initiatives, including Earth Uprising International. A contributing author to All We Can Save, an anthology of women climate leaders, and a child petitioner for the groundbreaking international complaint to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Children vs. Climate Crisis, Alexandria serves on the advisory board of Evergreen Action, is a youth spokesperson for the American Lung Association, and is the youngest Junior Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Frans B. M. de Waal
C. H. Candler Professor Emeritus | Emory University
Frans B. M. de Waal, Ph.D., is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist widely renowned for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. C. H. Candler Professor Emeritus at Emory University, de Waal has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and was declared one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today by Time magazine in 2007. The author of numerous highly influential books including Chimpanzee Politics and Our Inner Ape, his most recent, just coming out new book is: Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist.
Co-Owner and Farmer | Rise & Root Farm
Karen Washington, co-owner/farmer at Rise & Root Farm in Chester New York, is a renowned activist and food advocate, who, among her many achievements, in 2010 co- founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS) an organization supporting growers in both urban and rural settings. In 2012, Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country, and in 2014 she was the recipient of the James Beard Leadership Award. Karen also serves on the boards of the New York Botanical Gardens, the Mary Mitchell Center, SoulFire Farm and the Black Farmer Fund.
Founder | Turenscape
Kongjian Yu, a world-renowned, award-winning leader in ecological urbanism and landscape architecture, is the founder of the planning and design firm, Turenscape, in Beijing. Yu, who received a doctorate at The Harvard School of Design, founded the Graduate School of Landscape Architecture and the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Peking University. Especially known for his “sponge cities” and other revolutionary nature-based solutions for climate adaptation, his approach to urban planning and design has been implemented in over 200 cities in China and beyond, and has significantly impacted national policies for improving the environment in China.
2022 Conference Speakers
Community Organizer and Plant-Medicine Practitioner
Alondra Aragon, a mother, community organizer, land steward, youth advocate and plant-medicine practitioner born and raised in unceded Yelamu Ohlone Ramaytush territory, has dedicated the past decade to working in the environmental and youth justice sectors. The first full-time staff employee of I Am Why, Alondra is closely involved in the stewarding of Hummingbird Farm in San Francisco’s Excelsior neighborhood.
Gender Equity and Reconciliation (GERI) Trainer and Program Manager | GERI-Latin America
Silvia Araya-Fischer, Psy.S, a Gender Equity and Reconciliation (GERI) Trainer and Program Manager for GERI-Latin America, is a holistic psychologist certified as a Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher and in Family Constellations. She is author of Trust and Live without Panic, and a contributor to the forthcoming book, Gender Equity and Reconciliation: Thirty Years of Healing the Most Ancient Wound in the Human Family.
Partner/Worker-Owner | LIFT Economy
Erin Axelrod, a seasoned expert on growing climate-focused and climate-benefiting businesses, is: a partner at LIFT Economy; co-founder of the Force for Good Fund (a $1.1M pilot fund that invested in 13 women and POC-lead socially-oriented and climate-justice-centered enterprises); co-founder of The Next Egg initiative (which seeks to move the $35 Trillion in U.S. retirement savings into community-based solutions); and director of the Trees for Climate Health Initiative, an ambitious reforestation initiative working to grow over 10 million trees by 2025, using a justice-centered lens.
Drama Therapist and Dance/Movement Facilitator
Angus Baguinho (they/them), a Portuguese-American drama therapist and dance/movement facilitator focused on queer and trans collective healing, co-founded in 2019 (with Solace Pesach) Queer World Making, a Weaving Earth nature-based rites-of-passage program for non-binary middle-school students in the Bay Area. This fall, Angus will be co-leading a new rites-of-passage program for queer, trans, non-binary and gender-blessed youth in Lyons, CO.
Artistic Director | Kearny Street Workshop
Note: Jason Bayani is participating in one of our Community Conversations as part of the virtual conference. https://conference.bioneers.org/virtual-conference-schedule/
Executive Director | Native Movement
Enei Begaye (Diné/Tohono O’odham), a longtime community organizer/activist, educator and facilitator, has, for the past 12 years, been Executive Director of Native Movement, an Alaska-based grassroots advocacy organization. Enei also co-founded the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition and the Arizona-based Black Mesa Water Coalition and has served on a number of national social justice boards and foundations.
Executive Director | The 1855 Treaty Authority
Frank Bibeau, an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, is an activist and tribal attorney who works extensively on Chippewa treaty and civil rights, sovereignty and water protection, including by serving as Executive Director for the 1855 Treaty Authority, representing the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and Honor the Earth (a Native-led, nonprofit environmental protection group), and litigating to stop Enbridge’s notorious Line 3 crude oil pipeline in Minnesota.
Multimedia Journalist | Unicorn Riot
Alex Binder, a multimedia journalist who’s worked with the independent, noncommercial media organization Unicorn Riot for over six years, writes articles and creates videos about the criminalization of poverty, environmental racism, reproductive rights and abortion access, immigrant and undocumented people’s rights, and more. Alex strives to bring balance and equity to the media landscape by publishing underrepresented stories.
Founder and Director | Ecology of Awakening
Kerry Brady, MA, SEP, founder/Director of Ecology of Awakening (“dedicated to supporting the sustained, embodied shift necessary to create resilient and thriving communities for future generations”), has 30 years’ experience in transformational modalities, including Transpersonal Psychology, Somatic Experiencing trauma work, ecology, permaculture and rites of passage work. An adjunct faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), where she has for 20 years co-taught a course with evolutionary philosopher Brian Swimme, she also assists trainings at Somatic Experiencing International and teaches Living Resiliency workshops at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.
Co-Founder | Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Rev. Cynthia Brix, Ph.D. (hon), co-founder of Gender Equity and Reconciliation International, which has organized 280 trainings on reconciliation of gender injustice in 12 countries, is an ordained interfaith minister who has co-organized 7 international conferences on “inter-spirituality,” including 2 on women’s spiritual leadership across diverse faith traditions. She is also the co-author (with William Keepin) of: Women Healing Women and Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation between Women and Men.
Co-Director, Indigeneity Program | Bioneers
Alexis Bunten, Ph.D., (Aleut/Yup’ik), Co-Director of Bioneers’ Indigeneity Program, has been a researcher, media-maker, manager, consultant, and curriculum developer for organizations including the Sealaska Heritage Institute, Alaska Native Heritage Center, and the FrameWorks Institute. She has published widely about Indigenous and environmental issues, and is the author of So, how long have you been Native?: Life as an Alaska Native Tour Guide.
Just Transition Lead | Indigenous Climate Action
Jacob Crane (Tsuut’ina Nation), the Just Transition Lead at Indigenous Climate Action, is a successful business owner who participates as a community leader in a variety of organizations that serve first-time Indigenous entrepreneurs and work for air quality and healthcare access for Native American populations.
Toolkit Training Lead | Indigenous Climate Action
Jayce Chiblow (Anishinaabe, Garden River First Nation, Ontario), the Toolkit Training Lead at Indigenous Climate Action, has a Masters in Environmental Studies, the research for which she conducted in her community, bringing together youth, community leaders, and knowledge keepers to engage in climate action and Indigenous food sovereignty issues. Jayce, who has recently been working with the Indigenous Environmental Justice Project through York University, previously worked for Ogamuah Annag Consulting, an Indigenous-owned environmental services company.
Co-Director | Women's Earth Alliance (WEA)
Kahea Pacheco (Kanaka ‘Ōiwi), an advocate for Indigenous people’s rights, intersectional environmentalism and climate justice, is Co-Director of the Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA), which she joined in 2011 as a Legal Research Intern after graduating from law school. At WEA, Kahea has over the years, among other achievements, facilitated legal advocacy partnerships for Indigenous women-led environmental campaigns and co-led a partnership with the Native Youth Sexual Health Network to develop the “Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies” report and toolkit.” Kahea, who has lived and traveled around the world, currently serves on the Advisory Council for 1t.org (the trillion trees platform of the World Economic Forum) and on the board of Planet Women, and is a Program Advisor to Jane Goodall’s Trees for Jane campaign.
Kevin J. Patel
OneUpAction International | Founder
Executive Director | 350.org
May Boeve is the Executive Director of 350.org, an international climate change campaign that uses creative communications, organizing, and mass mobilizations to generate the sense of urgency required to tackle the climate crisis. Previously, May co-founded and helped lead the Step It Up 2007 campaign, and prior to that was active in the campus climate movement while a student at Middlebury College. May is the co-author of Fight Global Warming Now and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Deanna Van Buren
Co-Founder and Executive Director | Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
Deanna Van Buren, M.Arch, is the co-founder and Executive Director of Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an architecture and real estate nonprofit that seeks to build infrastructure that addresses the root causes of mass incarceration: poverty, racism, unequal access to resources, and the criminal justice system itself. She has been profiled by The New York Times, and her TED Talk on what a world without prisons could look like has been viewed more than a million times. Van Buren is an alumna of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Coordinator of the Hip Hop and Climate Justice initiative | Youth vs Apocalypse
Aniya Butler, an Oakland, CA-based 15-year-old spoken word poet and performer, is a Lead Circle Member within Youth vs Apocalypse (YVA), an organization dedicated to both Climate Justice and Social Justice. Aniya is also the coordinator of YVA's Hip Hop and Climate Justice initiative and a member of the organization's management team. Aniya views her calling as helping rebuild a world with foundations of equity, sustainability and love, so that every living thing can truly thrive.
Author and Activist
Anneke Campbell, a writer and community activist who has worked as a midwife, nurse, English professor, yoga teacher and death educator, co-authored (with Thomas Linzey): We The People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the U.S.; co-edited Nina Simon's Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart and edited Nina’s newest book, Nature, Culture and the Sacred: One Woman Listens for Leadership. Anneke also co-produces and scripts videos for non-profits and wrote the feature film, Shot.
Professor of Transformative Studies | California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)
Jeanine M. Canty, PhD, a professor of Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), draws from social and ecological justice, Ecopsychology, and the process of “worldview expansion” in her teaching. She is both editor and contributor to the books: Ecological and Social Healing: Multicultural Women’s Voices; and Globalism and Localization: Emergent Approaches to Ecological and Social Crises. Her forthcoming book is: Returning the Self to Nature: Undoing Our Collective Narcissism and Healing Our Planet (Shambhala Publications, 2022).
Visionary Activist Astrologer | Coyote Network News
Caroline Casey, the renowned “Visionary Activist Astrologer” and “story-language crafter” at Coyote Network News (“the Mythological New Service for the Trickster Redeemer within us all”), has been hosting and “weaving context” on her beloved Pacifica Radio Visionary Activist Show for 26 years, and is the author of the book, Making the Gods Work for You. Caroline has long presented her uniquely provocative, inspiring and vividly entertaining “astro-mythological” political meta-story-telling in a very wide range of multi-media venues.
Culture Director | Association of Ramaytush Ohlone
Gregg Castro [t'rowt'raahl Salinan/rumsien-ramaytush Ohlone] has worked preserving his indigenous heritage for three decades as a writer-activist. He is Culture Director for the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone; the Society for California Archaeology’s ‘Native American Programs Committee’ Chair; and Adviser to the California Indian Conference, California Indian History Curriculum Coalition and American Indian Cultural District of San Francisco.
Musical Group | Thrive East Bay
The Thrive Choir, the musical voice of Thrive East Bay and the global Thrive Network (a community and movement devoted to love in action by building equitable social systems), is an Oakland, California-based highly diverse group of vocalists, artists, activists, educators, healers, and community organizers who seek to celebrate the confluence of their many cultures and identities through their music. They have shared the stage with many nationally-acclaimed “engaged” artists and leading progressive figures and inspired thousands at marches, conferences and festivals. The Choir lifts up the house at Thrive Sundays in downtown Oakland.
Founder and Executive Director | Association of Ramaytush Ohlone
Jonathan Cordero, Ph.D. (Ramaytush Ohlone/Chumash) is founder and Executive Director of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone and Visiting Professor in the Indigenous Law Center at UC Hastings. His important research has revised previous scholarship on California Indian and Spanish relations during the “Mission Period,” and he works as a consultant in both the public and private sectors, especially in the arts, as well as serving as a leader, speaker, and activist in the broader Ohlone and Chumash communities.
Artistic Director Emeritus | Destiny Arts Center
Sarah Crowell, a dancer and choreographer who has taught dance, theater, mindfulness and violence prevention for 35+ years, recently left her position as Artistic Director at Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, CA, where she served in different capacities, including Executive Director, for 30 years, and where she founded and co-directed the renowned, award-winning Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company. The recipient of many honors, including the KPFA Peace and KQED Women’s History Local Hero awards, Sarah was also a four-time finalist for a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater Education.
Co-Founder | Spherical
Dawn Danby is co-founder of Spherical, an integrative design, technology and research studio offering "cosmovision remediation and ontological repair services." Dawn’s celebrated ecological design work over two decades has traversed scales and industries, from green chemistry to green infrastructure. A long-recovered industrial designer, Dawn now investigates the paradoxical roles of technology in supporting the integrity of Earth’s living systems. Her team’s current work is dedicated to the ecological healing of urban watersheds in California.
Co-Founder | Molodi
Antwan Davis, a multi-percussionist specializing in body-percussion, improv actor and stand-up comedian, co-founded the Las Vegas based performance arts company, Molodi, and has performed with the Las Vegas and North American productions of Stomp and toured nationally with Step Afrika. Antwan has been performing and teaching workshops in the U.S. and internationally for 14 years.
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger
Co-Founder and Executive Director | Indigenous Climate Action
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger (Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation), a leading global figure in Indigenous Rights and Climate Justice activism, is the co-founder and Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action and is a member of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change. She also sits on a number of boards of notable non-profit organizations (including Bioneers) and activist groups. She has organized divest movements, lobbied government officials, led mass mobilizations against the fossil fuel industry, written extensively for a range of publications and been featured in documentary films (including Elemental).
Director of Operations and Farming Education | Pie Ranch
Leonard Diggs, the Director of Operations and Farming Education at the visionary regenerative farming and food system education center on California’s San Mateo coast, Pie Ranch, has managed sustainable and organic farms in northern California for over 30 years, including a 365-acre college farm with annual and perennial crops, a winery, livestock and a mixed species forest. Leonard has also instructed a wide range of agricultural classes and served on numerous agricultural boards and committees in an effort to share his experiences with current and future generations of gardeners and farmers.
Co-Director | OAEC's WATER Institute
Brock Dolman co-founded (in 1994) the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center where he co-directs the WATER Institute. A wildlife biologist and watershed ecologist, he has been actively promoting “Bringing Back Beaver in California” since the early 2000s. He was given the Salmonid Restoration Federation’s coveted Golden Pipe Award in 2012: “…for his leading role as a proponent of "working with beavers" to restore native habitat”.
Worker-Owner | Mandela Grocery Cooperative
Nikia Durgin is a worker-owner at Mandela Grocery Cooperative in West Oakland and a Founding Member of the Pu Tang Clan, a San Francisco Femme Arts Collective. With the help of motherhood, a decade in youth programming and a young life of adversity and resilience, she seeks to connect art and community and food and environmental revolution in order to redefine how we see labor, love and ourselves!
Assistant Professor of American Studies | University of New Mexico
Nick Estes, Ph.D. (Kul Wicasa/Lower Brule Sioux), is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico and a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, a group of Dakota, Nakota and Lakota writers. In 2014, he was a co-founder of The Red Nation in Albuquerque, NM, an organization dedicated to the liberation of Native people from capitalism and colonialism. He serves on its editorial collective and writes its bi-weekly newsletter. Nick Estes is also the author of: Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance.
International Program Officer and Trainer | Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Garrett Evans, International Program Officer and a lead Trainer for GERI (Gender Equity and Reconciliation International) based in Canada, is a contributor to the forthcoming book: Gender Equity and Reconciliation: Thirty Years of Healing the Most Ancient Wound in the Human Family. With a deep background in conflict resolution, Garrett seeks, through GERI, to unite his contemplative practice with his healing work.
President | PRISM
Maxx Fenning founded PRISM, an LGBT nonprofit in South Florida, at 17 years old. Now 19 and studying at the University of Florida Online, Maxx serves as PRISM's President, where he works to expand access to LGBT-inclusive education and sexual health resources. In addition to his advocacy work, Maxx is active on TikTok, where he discusses hard-hitting topics on gender and sexuality, sexual health, mental health, and LGBT History, all in an effort to prove that safe sex is sexy.
Founder and CEO | Hypha
Ashoka Finley, an “emergent strategist” and systems thinker whose main focus is on the necessary transition to an “Adaptation Economy” (i.e. the sum of the mitigation, transition, and restoration work that needs to be accomplished in order to thrive in a climate-changed world), is currently working on Hypha, a social impact club that seeks to make it easy for all people to participate in complex systems change.
Founder and Artistic Director | Truthworker Theatre Company
Samara Gaev, founder and Artistic Director of Truthworker Theatre Company, is a New York based but widely traveled (nationally and internationally) activist, educator, theater director and performer with 16 years’ experience using performance for cross-cultural healing and social change, including working with formerly incarcerated, gang affiliated and pregnant youth. Samara has studied with choreographic luminaries, including Bill T. Jones, Garth Fagan and Urban Bush Women; been an artist-in-residence and/or teaching artist at prestigious venues; served as an anti-oppression trainer for severak major institutions; and lectured and performed widely, including at the UN, Yale and NYU.
Executive Director | New Mexico Community Capital (NMCC)
Elizabeth “Liz” Gamboa (of Mexican/Apache descent) is Executive Director at New Mexico Community Capital (NMCC), a non-profit organization whose mission is to support Native small business owners, families and tribal enterprises by providing culturally appropriate tools for success through classes and original programming.
Artist, Poet, Climate Organizer and Filmmaker
Alixa García, a Colombia-born, globally-raised, multi-disciplinary artist and cultural provocateur, is an award-winning poet, climate organizer and filmmaker, as well as a visual artist, musician, science-fiction writer and essayist. Her performance work with the duo Climbing PoeTree has been featured at hundreds of universities, conferences and festivals, and her visual work has been exhibited in major museums and public spaces, including in Times Square, NY, The Contemporary Museum of Art, L.A, and the Kunsthal Kade Museum, Netherlands, to name a few. García's work has been published by Whit Press, North Atlantic, AK Press, & Hatchett.
Founder and Executive Director | International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute (ICAHSI)
Amikaeyla Gaston, an award-winning vocalist, musician and musical director, is the founder and Executive Director of the Oakland, CA-based International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute (ICAHSI), which seeks to “aid at-risk populations by bringing together artists and healers of all forms and from all specialties to promote healing and wellness through the arts.” She is also a Cultural Ambassador for the State Department who has worked with political refugees, war survivors, and at-risk populations worldwide in inter-cultural literacy and restorative justice projects.
Chairwoman | Tamien Nation
Quirina Luna Geary, an enrolled citizen and Chairwoman of the Tamien Nation (the aboriginal tribe of Santa Clara Valley), studied linguistics at UC Davis and has worked for over 26 years to revitalize her heritage language, including by co-authoring a 600-page dictionary. Quirina is a cultural practitioner who works with state and local agencies to advocate for the protection and preservation of Tamien Nation ancestors, cultural resources and sacred landscapes.
Co-Founder | Unicorn Riot
Niko Georgiades, co-founder of the independent media organization, Unicorn Riot, has published hundreds of articles, videos, livestreams, and documentaries on topics ranging from protests and resistance to investigations, arts and culture to alternative economies and community projects. He’s extensively documented police killings and is currently working on a larger project called The Mothers, featuring multiple podcast seasons and a full-length documentary on stories of mothers who’ve lost their children to police violence and are turning their pain into power.
Percussionist and Drummer
Michaelle Goerlitz, a San Francisco Bay Area-based highly versatile percussionist and drummer, has played with a wide range of artists, including: VNote Ensemble, ‘Chelle & Friends, Mark Levine, Tammy Hall, Rhiannon, Yair Dalal, Barbara Higbie, Jami Sieber, Roger Glenn, Mimi Fox and Samba Rio. She also co-founded two long-lived Bay Area groups, the Blazing Redheads and Wild Mango, and she teaches extensively, both privately and at music camps and schools.
Senior Director of Programs and Research | Bioneers
Teo Grossman, Senior Director of Programs and Research at Bioneers, previously worked on a range of projects from federal range management to state-level assessments of long-range planning to applied research on topics including climate change adaptation, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and ecological networks. A Doris Duke Conservation Fellow during graduate school, Teo holds an MS in Environmental Science & Management from UC-Santa Barbara.
Kichwa Indigenous and Youth Climate Justice Advocate
Helena Gualinga is an Indigenous youth environmental and climate justice advocate from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku. She is a co-founder of Polluters Out and is a Young Women Project Lead with WECAN. Her work and story is featured in the recently released documentary, "Helena from Sarayaku," which premiered at the DC Environmental Film Festival.
Kichwa Indigenous Woman Defender of the Amazon
Nina Gualinga is an Indigenous woman defender of the Amazon from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon who advocates for women’s rights and climate justice. She is an international spokeswoman for Mujeres Amazonicas and the Women Defenders Program Coordinator at Amazon Watch.
Senior | AIMS High School
Jerwey Guo, an AIMS High School Senior from Oakland, CA who will be attending UC San Diego to study anthropology, was a co-leader on the team that created the Restorative Justice Singing Tree mural.
Co-Founder | Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education
Dave Hage, co-founder of the Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education and a member of the teaching team for the Weaving Earth Immersion program (and a white, cis-man of northern European descent from Southern Pomo territory, also known as Sonoma County) is a wilderness guide and nature connection mentor.
Executive Director and Co-Founder | Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education
Lauren D. Hage, an educator, consultant and ecological designer, is Executive Director and co-founder of the non-profit Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education, which encourages the study and practice of “Earth Intimacy,” “Co-Liberation,” “Embodiment” and “Prayerful Action” as key approaches for addressing the social and ecological crises of our times. Lauren is dedicated to supporting people to pursue their passions and shape their actions from a foundation rooted in interrelationship.
Senior Producer | Bioneers
J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Senior Producer, affiliated with Bioneers since 1990, is a Brooklyn, NYC-based consultant, conference producer, copy-editor and writer. A former Program Director at the New York Open Center and a senior review team member for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge from 2010 to 2017, he has authored or edited several books, including Political Ecosystems, Delusions of Normality, Visionary Plant Consciousness, and, most recently, Animal Encounters.
Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer | Numi Organic Tea
Reem Hassani, MFA, a Petaluma, CA-based multi-lingual (English, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic), multi award-winning businesswoman as well as an artist, is the co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Numi Organic Tea, an exemplary socially and ecologically responsible enterprise, where she oversees the firm's brand identity, including all packaging design and marketing.
Founder | Daily Acts
Trathen Heckman is the founder and Director of the Daily Acts Organization. He serves on the board of Transition U.S. and the California Water Efficiency Partnership and is an Advisory Board member of the Norcal Community Resilience Network. Trathen views his mission as helping people and groups reclaim the power of their actions to regenerate self, nature and community. Trathen lives in the Petaluma River Watershed where he grows food, medicine and wonder while working to compost apathy and lack.
Teacher and Guide
FireHawk Hulin is a lineage carrier of Earth Wisdom teachings originating in South and Central American oral traditions passed on to him and his wife Pele in formal apprenticeship with the metís elders WindEagle and RainbowHawk. He also has an extensive background in theater arts, photography and digital media.
Hip-Hop R&B Artist and Organizer
Jada Imani, an East St. Louis-born, Bay Area-raised Hip-Hop R&B artist and organizer, has developed projects with a range of major organizations and enterprises including the Oakland Museum of California, the GRAMMYs Recording Academy (as a voting member) and Adidas, but her passion is in local, independent projects.
Executive Director | YES!
Shilpa Jain, Executive Director of YES!, has facilitated dozens of transformative leadership gatherings around the world with hundreds of young leaders from over 80 countries. Her previous roles include: founding coordinator of the Global Youth Leadership Collaborative; Education and Outreach Coordinator of Other Worlds; learning activist with Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development in Udaipur, India; and coordinator of the Swapathgami Network. Shilpa has also written numerous articles and books, including: A Poet’s Challenge to Schooling, Reclaiming the Gift Culture, Other Worlds of Power, Paths of Unlearning, and Unfolding Learning Societies. Today, she sees her work as contributing to the deep healing of internal, interpersonal and systemic breakdown and helping people live in greater alignment with their hearts and deepest values, their local communities, and nature.
Co-Founder and Curator | Full Spectrum Labs
Taj James, co-founder and Curator at Full Spectrum Labs, a Principal with Full Spectrum Capital Partners, and co-founder and a Senior Advisor at Movement Strategy Center, is a father, poet, strategist, designer, and philanthropic and capital advisor. Taj seeks in his work to connect community stewards with capital stewards in order to bring financial value into alignment with sacred values in ways that build community wealth.
Indigenous Musician, Scholar and Community Organizer
Note: Lyla June is hosting one of our Community Conversations as part of the virtual conference. https://conference.bioneers.org/virtual-conference-schedule/
Co-Founder | Bridging Transitions
Birgitta Kastenbaum, an end-of-life guide, death midwife/doula, holistic life coach, educator, and community gatherer, co-leads the Death and Dying Collective Los Angeles and is co-founder of Bridging Transitions. Birgitta works with individuals, families (biological or chosen); health, hospice, and care providers; and communities, offering emotional, spiritual and practical support and eco-friendly after-death care. She sees her work as helping us collectively re-imagine dying, death and grief.
Co-Founder | Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
William Keepin, Ph.D., co-founder of Gender Equity and Reconciliation International (GERI), a former whistleblower in nuclear science policy and a mathematical physicist whose research on global warming and sustainable energy helped influence international environmental policy, is the author of four books and many articles on environmental science, archetypal cosmology, and spirituality and social change. He also appears in the new film series, Changing of the Gods, directed by Kenny Ausubel.
Program Manager | Chapter 510
Note: Jahan Khalighti is participating in one of our Community Conversations as part of the virtual conference. https://conference.bioneers.org/virtual-conference-schedule/
Mark Kitchell is a renowned veteran documentary filmmaker who makes social histories of social change movements, including such beloved classics as: Berkeley in the Sixties, an Academy Award nominee; A Fierce Green Fire, a big-picture exploration of environmental activism from conservation to climate change; Evolution of Organic, which tells the story of organic agriculture; and upcoming, the first social history of cannabis, The Emerald Triangle.
Osprey Orielle Lake
Founder and Executive Director | Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
Osprey Orielle Lake, founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International, works with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote climate justice, resilient communities, and a just transition to a democratized energy future. She also serves on the Executive Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and is the author of the award-winning book, Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature.
Founder | The School for Sacred Storytelling
Leah Lamb, MSW, works with storytelling as an ancient art and tool for healing, and is the founder of The School for Sacred Storytelling, where she teaches how to engage story as a tool to navigate one’s way through life and the current crises facing humanity. Her work in environmental media included producing The Green Channel at Al Gore's television network, consulting for The Pachamama Alliance, and covering the UN Climate Talks.
Deb Lane has been playing the drums for most of her life. Formerly a member of the Santa Cruz World Beat Band, Pele Juju, she performs with artists throughout the Bay Area and beyond. In addition to her musical endeavors, Deb is a leader in water-use efficiency and works as a Water Resources Analyst.
Native Conservancy | Founder
Dune Lankard, an Eyak Native, was a subsistence and commercial fisherman before the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In response to the catastrophe, he founded the Eyak Preservation Council and Native Conservancy, which has helped preserve more than a million acres of wild salmon habit along 3,500 miles of the Gulf of Alaska coastline, helping build resilient communities and regenerative/restorative economies. Dune has also served on a number of boards, including for International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, the Seva Foundation, and Bioneers.
Director of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives | Pie Ranch
Jered Lawson, who co-founded the visionary regenerative farming and food system education center on California’s San Mateo coast, Pie Ranch, in 2003, is its current Director of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives. He leads the organization's regional advocacy efforts and works with the ranch's board of directors to raise the necessary support to fulfill the organization's mission and keep improving its infrastructure. Previously, Jered worked with various organizations in California seeking to develop healthy, local and just food systems.
Founder | weDialogue
Amy Lenzo, who pioneered the World Cafe online process and has hosted hundreds of online World Cafes with people from all over the world since then, has been hosting conscious online engagement for over a decade and has been a cutting-edge leader in creating distinctly human interactive online spaces that help us connect with ourselves, each other and the natural world.
Vice President of Special Operations | Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps
Gero Leson, Ph.D., Vice President of Special Operations at Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, has, since 2005, managed that company's shift to sourcing the main ingredients in its products—coconut, palm, olive and mint oils—from organic and fair trade projects. His team has built relationships with up to 2500 small growers, helping them: set up primary processing facilities, develop local management, and shift to regenerative agriculture. Gero’s academic background is in physics (masters) and environmental science and engineering (doctorate).
Senior Legal Counsel | Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights
Thomas Alan Linzey, Esq. is Senior Legal Counsel for the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights (CDER), an organization committed to advancing the legal rights of nature and environmental rights globally. Co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), Linzey is widely recognized as the founder of the contemporary “Community Rights” and “Rights of Nature” movements. He co-founded the Daniel Pennock Democracy School, which has trained over 5,000 lawyers, activists, and municipal officials, and is the author or co-author of several books, including: Be The Change: How to Get What You Want in Your Community; We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States; and the forthcoming Modern American Democracy and Other Fairy Tales.
Facilitator | Singing Tree
Lili Lopez, a certified Singing Tree Facilitator and Marketing Specialist for Unity Through Creativity, has co-facilitated the creation of over 35 murals.
Chair | Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
Valentin Lopez has served as Chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band since 2003, and as President of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust since its inception. A Native American Advisor to the University of California’s Office of the President on issues related to repatriation, Valentin is also a Native American Advisor to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology. He is actively involved in efforts to restore tribal Indigenous knowledge and ensure that his people’s history is accurately told.
Co-Director | OAEC's WATER Institute
Kate Lundquist co-directs the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s WATER Institute and the “Bring Back the Beaver Campaign” based in Sonoma County, California. Kate collaborates with landowners, communities, tribes, conservation organizations and resource agencies to uncover obstacles, identify strategic solutions, and implement beaver and process-based restoration treatments to conserve watersheds, recover listed species, increase water security and build resilience to climate change.
Co-Founding Director | People Power Solar Cooperative
Brandi Mack, co-founding Director of People Power Solar Cooperative, and the National Director of the Butterfly Movement (dedicated to providing personal/professional development for black women and girls), is also Director of Community Engagement with Designing Justice+Designing Spaces (an Oakland-based architecture and real estate development non-profit working to end mass incarceration), and on the faculty of Biomimicry for Social Innovation’s “Living Systems Leadership” retreat for women, is also a holistic health educator, therapeutic massage therapist, permaculture designer, living systems thought leader, and mother of three daughters.
Restorative Food Systems Director | Bioneers
Arty Mangan, Bioneers' Restorative Food Systems Director, joined Bioneers in 1998 as Project Manager for the Restorative Development Initiative. A former board president of the Ecological Farming Association and member of the Santa Cruz GE Subcommittee that banned GE crops, Arty has worked with farmers and agriculture since 1978, first as a partner in Live Juice and later with Odwalla, where he was in charge of fruit sourcing.
Founder | Unity Through Creativity Foundation
Laurie Marshall is the founder of the Unity Through Creativity Foundation and of The Singing Tree Project.
Do No Harm Coalition | Co-Founder
Note: Rupa Marya is hosting one of our Community Conversations as part of the virtual conference. https://conference.bioneers.org/virtual-conference-schedule/
Climate Justice Director | Native Movement
Ruth Miller (Łchavaya K’isen), of Dena'ina Athabaskan and Ashkenazi Russian Jewish ancestry and raised in Dgheyay Kaq (Anchorage), Alaska, is the Climate Justice Director for Native Movement, a matriarchal grassroots Indigenous organization that fights for the rights of Indigenous peoples, and a founding member of the Fireweed Collective, an alliance of young Alaskan justice and sustainability activists. A longtime climate justice and regenerative economy campaigner, she served as one of the youngest ever Capitol Hill interns and has attended several major UN international conferences on Indigenous issues and on climate, including COP25 and 26. Ruth is also a traditional bead-worker and a practitioner of subsistence fishing.
Senior Fellow | Center for Whole Communities
Julian Mocine-McQueen, a Northern California native, brings years of organizing, facilitation and training experience to his role as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Whole Communities (CWC). Currently Co-Lead of Community Engagement for the People’s Food and Farm Project, a regional effort to transform the food system throughout the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, Julian is the co-founder of the Million Person Project, an organization which supports change makers to harness the power of personal narrative.
The Cultural Conservancy | CEO
Sara Moncada (Yaqui), M.A., a Native educator, dancer, filmmaker, author and cultural arts advocate who presents internationally on Native American arts and culture is: CEO of The Cultural Conservancy, a Native-led non-profit working on Indigenous rights and revitalization projects; co-founder of Wise Women Circles, a women-owned media company; Co-Director of Sewam American Indian Dance, a San Francisco Bay Area-based cultural arts and education organization; co-author of The Dance of Caring, which explores Native American Hoop Dance as a model for wellness; producer of the documentary film NURSES: If Florence Could See Us Now; and producer of The Cultural Conservancy’s The Native Seed Pod, a new podcast series exploring Native food-ways and TEK (Traditional Ecological Knowledge).
Co-Founder and Program Director | The Humane Prison Hospice Project
Ladybird Morgan RN, MSW, RCST practitioner, has helped guide medical practitioners, families, caregivers, programs and institutions around the world (including with Doctors Without Borders and in California Prisons) on how to be present to difficult experiences by remembering, embodying and responding from the deepest place of truth. Her work is informed by a lifetime commitment to meditation, sacred practices and personal inquiry. Currently a private palliative care consultant with Mettlehealth and a co-facilitator for Commonweal’s Cancer Care Help Program and Healing Circles, she is also a co-investigator/study therapist with a University of Washington study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy and the co-founder/Program Director of The Humane Prison Hospice Project.
Executive Director | New Energy Economy
Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director and President of New Mexico’s New Energy Economy, which uses legal interventions, public policy advocacy and grassroots action to fight for a fossil-fuel and nuclear-free economy that stewards the health of the environment and communities (especially vulnerable and historically disenfranchised ones),.has a long track record as a civil rights and criminal defense attorney. Legal cases she has won and settled have been featured in major national media, including in a PBS documentary, “End of the Nightstick”. When Mariel, a zealous organizer, realized the urgency of climate change, she came to work for New Energy Economy and became its highly effective executive director.
Founder and Director | Molodi
Jason Nious, a performing artist and creative director whose background with high school step teams and NCAA gymnastics launched his career, has traveled extensively with Cirque du Soleil, Usher, Stomp, Step Afrika, and numerous theatre and film productions. As founder and Director of the Las Vegas, NV-based, award-winning body percussion ensemble, Molodi, Jason designs new touring productions and facilitates Molodi's arts education program, reaching over 20,000 students per year. He also serves as an arts integration consultant with Focus 5, Cirque du Soleil, Cleveland Playhouse, and The Smith Center; and is an Artist-In-Residence with the Museum of Dance, Education Chair of the LAB LV Theatre Company, and regularly conducts in-school residencies through the Nevada Arts Council.
Founder | Great Plains Action Society
Sikowis (aka Christine Nobiss) (Plains Cree/Saulteaux, George Gordon First Nation) grew up in Winnipeg but has been living in Iowa City for 16 years. She is the founder of the Great Plains Action Society, “a collective of Indigenous organizers of the Great Plains working to resist and Indigenize colonial institutions, ideologies, and behaviors.” She speaks, writes and organizes extensively on Indigenous rights, the climate crisis, environmental collapse and colonial capitalism.
Musician and Artist
Bisi Obateru is a Nigerian musician and artist based in San Francisco.
Senior | University of Texas
Serena Ornelas, a senior at University of Texas in El Paso majoring in painting, co-created the Ukrainian Singing Tree of Strength and Freedom mural.
Co-Founder and Co-Director of Strategy & Growth | Native Women Lead
Alicia Ortega, BBA, MBA, from New Mexico’s Pojoaque and Santa Clara pueblos, is a co-founder and a Co-Director of Strategy & Growth at the nonprofit, Native Women Lead. With a decade+ of experience working with minority and tribally-owned businesses and entities, Alicia has served as the Executive Director of the All-Pueblo Council of Governors, working on critical issues affecting tribal communities and was a recipient of the 2019 New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award. Alicia also serves on several boards and advisory bodies, including for the Native American Voters Alliance Education Project and is a professor at the UNM Anderson School of Management.
Student | Lick Wilmerding High School
Amanda Panoplos attends Lick Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. She helped create The Lemon Cherry Singing Tree of Peace and The Rooftop Singing Tree of Solutions murals.
| Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education
Solace Pesach (aka: Shulamit, Shlomo, and Salomé) (they/them) is a self-described “neurodivergent, working-class, chronically ill, and transgender community ritualist, public astrologer, and youth mentor” of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry who seeks to serve movements for collective liberation by working with the Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education.
john a. powell
Director | Othering and Belonging Institute
john a. powell, Director of the Othering and Belonging Institute and Professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, was previously Executive Director at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State, and prior to that, the founder and Director of the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He also formerly served as the National Legal Director of the ACLU, co-founded the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, and serves on the boards of several national and international organizations. Well-known for his work developing the frameworks of “targeted universalism” and “othering and belonging,” john has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia University. His latest book is Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.
Executive Director | Biomimicry Institute
Beth Rattner, the Executive Director of the Biomimicry Institute, directs that organization’s strategic vision and manages its program development, fundraising, and marketing efforts. Previously, Beth worked with William McDonough and Michael Braungart on The Upcycle; helped co-found the Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute and became its first Executive Director. An attorney by training, Beth was also Managing Director for one of the first sustainability business consultant firms, Blu Skye, and Business Manager for Hewlett Packard’s Emerging Market Solutions (EMS) group.
Program Director of the Indigeneity Program | Bioneers
Cara Romero (Chemehuevi), Program Director of the Bioneers Indigeneity Program, previously served her Mojave-based tribe in several capacities, including as: first Executive Director at the Chemehuevi Cultural Center, a member of the tribal council, and Chair of the Chemehuevi Education Board and Chemeuevi Headstart Policy Council. Cara is also a highly accomplished photographer/artist.
Founder and Chair | Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies
Lawrence Rosenthal, Ph.D., is Chair of the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, which he founded in 2009. His work has appeared in numerous publications including the Nation, the International New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Foreign Policy, and many others. He co-edited Steep: The Precipitous Rise of the Tea Party and The New Nationalism and the First World War; and is the author of Empire of Resentment: Populism’s Toxic Embrace of Nationalism.
Senior Fellow | Center for Whole Communities
Kristin Rothballer, a Senior Fellow of the Center for Whole Communities and a founding trustee of the Tyler Rigg Foundation, consults on strategy, programs, equity and organizational development for several nonprofits, foundations, and social and land-based enterprises. Kristin’s previous roles have included: Managing Director of the inclusive green economy nonprofit, Green for All; wilderness retreat leader for Ecology of Awakening; manager of earth-based retreat centers, including Bell Valley Retreat and Tunitas Creek Ranch; and Director of Programs at Bioneers. She also helped co-create the climate change-themed musical FIREROCK, and recently earned a Certificate in Spirituality and Social Change from Pacific School of Religion.
Managing Director-California | New Energy Nexus
Denise Rushing, a pioneer in clean energy implementation, is Managing Director-California for New Energy Nexus, a global non-profit whose mission is to accelerate an equitable clean energy future. Her team manages the California Clean Energy Fund. Denise also served two terms on the Lake County Board of Supervisors where she was best known for her environmental leadership and her permaculture-inspired approach to community revitalization.
Joshua Kahn Russell
Executive Director | The Wildfire Project
Joshua Kahn Russell is a social movement facilitator, leadership coach, and has trained thousands of activists across the globe. He is the Executive Director of The Wildfire Project, where he supports grassroots frontline organizations to transform their culture, strategize, heal, and grow. He has spent 20 years as an organizer, campaigner, and action coordinator, helping win campaigns — defending land, water, and workers rights — from banks, oil companies, logging corporations, and coal barons. His new podcast mini-series on Revolutionary Left Radio is called Dialectics & Psychedelics: Transformation and Social Struggles.
Executive Director | Amazon Watch
Leila Salazar-López, the Executive Director of Amazon Watch, has worked for 20+ years to defend the world’s rainforests, human rights, and the climate through grassroots organizing and international advocacy campaigns at Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network, Global Exchange, and Green Corps. She is also a Greenpeace Voting Member and a Global Fund for Women Advisor for Latin America.
Facilitator | Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Hugo Sanchez is a GERI (Gender Equity and Reconciliation International) Facilitator based in New Jersey. A Co-Facilitator for the ManKind Project’s (MKP) New Warrior Training Adventure, a yoga teacher and founder of Pacha Yoga, Hugo is passionate about activating, facilitating, and sustaining collective change through yoga and community practice groups.
Co-Founder and Facilitator | Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education
Will Scott is a co-founder and facilitator at the Weaving Earth Center for Relational Education, where he collaborates with human and more-than-human kin to co-create experiential learning at the confluences of social and environmental justice.
Founder | Santa Cruz Permaculture and the UCSC Right Livelihood College
David Shaw, a whole systems designer, facilitator, educator, and musician, founded Santa Cruz Permaculture and the UCSC Right Livelihood College, a partnership with the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” He supports communities locally and globally to transform their shared future through strategic dialogue and collective action.
Attorney/Of-Counsel | Quarles & Brady
Samantha Skenandore (Ho-Chunk/Oneida), Attorney/Of-Counsel at Quarles & Brady LLP, has vast knowledge and experience in working on matters involving on both federal Indian law and tribal law. Her extensive previous experience includes serving as a Tribal Attorney for the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice and clerking for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Indian Resources Section. She currently advises tribal and corporate clients in tribal governance, governmental affairs, corporate transactions, real estate, labor issues and litigation. Samantha represents clients before members of Congress, congressional committees and agencies through federal lobbying services.
Co-Founder | Black Earth Farms
Minkah Smith, a community organizer and artist from South Central Los Angeles, is co-founder of Black Earth Farms and Program Coordinator for Sankofa Gardens, projects that are intended to support collaborative processes focused on reclaiming land to build wellness and help provide healthy food to communities of color from the East Bay to LA.
Independent Filmmaker, Cinematographer and Editor
Steph Smith is a New Orleans-based independent filmmaker, cinematographer and editor whose work has been exhibited at, among other venues: the Female Filmmakers Festival, Birth Justice Film Fest, and the NOLA Feminist Short Film Festival at Loyola University. GIVE LIGHT, which she traveled around the world to make, is her first feature-length documentary. It will be broadcast on PBS nationally in 2023. Its mission is to energize conversations around women's health care and Indigenous rights, and an educational toolkit co-developed with Tulane University will accompany the film. Steph Smith is also a Kundalini Yoga teacher.
Artist and Organizer
David Solnit, a longtime mass direct action organizer, puppeteer and arts organizer with the Climate Justice Arts Project, is renowned for using the arts in movements and campaigns to win positive change. He is the author of the Street Mural Manual and editor/co-author of GlobalizeLiberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World.
Co-Founder and Executive Director | American Indian Cultural District
Sharaya Souza (Taos Pueblo, Ute, Kiowa), co-founder and Executive Director of the American Indian Cultural District (dedicated to recognizing, honoring and celebrating American Indian legacy, culture and people), is an ambassador for promoting equitable resource distribution to American Indian communities, increasing Native visibility and political representation, and protecting and preserving tribal cultural resources in the San Francisco Bay Area. She serves on the Climate Council, SFAC Monuments and Memorials Advisory Committee, Aquatic Park and Pier Planning Committee, Housing Policy Committee, HRC Racial Equity in the Arts Working Group, PG&E Equity Advisory Group, Environmental Justice Working Group, and the Human Rights Commission Roundtable. (americanindianculturaldistrict.org)
Drummer and Teacher
Mar Stevens has studied West African drumming for 19 years. She started her journey under the apprenticeship of Master Drummer Afia Walking Tree of Spirit Drumz and has studied in Guinea, Africa. She has led a number of drum circles for women and taught classes and workshops at Born to Drum and Drum Sundays in Berkeley. She currently teaches a children’s drum class at Meadows Livingstone School and leads the ensembles Sistahs of the Drum and Sistah Boom.
Founder and Executive Director | (r)evolve Foundation
Joshua Sylvae, PhD, involved in the field of Somatics since 2003, is a licensed marriage and family therapist whose clinical practice is grounded in Somatic Experiencing® (SE™) as well as psychodynamic and mindfulness approaches. A faculty member at the SE Trauma Institute, a legacy faculty member at Dr. Peter A Levine’s Ergos Institute for Somatic Education, and the founder and Executive Director of the (r)evolve Foundation, Joshua’s background includes participation in a number of eco and social justice movements.
Chef-in-Residence | Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD)
Bryant Terry, an award-winning chef, educator and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system, is: Editor-in-Chief of 4 Color Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House and Ten Speed Press); Co-Principal and Innovation Director of the Zenmi creative studio; and Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco. His most recent (2021) and 6th book, Black Food was among the most widely critically acclaimed food-related books of recent years. His other books include: Vegetable Kingdom, Afro-Vegan, and Vegan Soul Kitchen.
Co-Founder and Executive Director | Pie Ranch
Nancy Vail, co-founder (in 2003) and Executive Director of Pie Ranch, is a broadly experienced farmer, educator, and advocate for a just and regenerative food system. Previously, Nancy taught in schools K-12, worked on farms abroad and throughout the U.S., eventually landing at UC Santa Cruz's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) where she taught for over a decade. At Pie Ranch Nancy oversees key partnerships with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and Land Trust and Be Present Inc, assists with educational programs and farm production, works at undoing oppressive structures, and also plays fiddle at the monthly barn dance with the band, The County Line Pickers.
Chef | Wahpepah's Kitchen
Crystal Wahpepah (Kickapoo Nation of Oklahoma) the owner and Executive Chef of Wahpepah’s Kitchen in Oakland, Calif, who was a James Beard Award finalist for “emerging chef with best new restaurant of the Bay Area of 2022” and has appeared on the Food network program, Chopped, seeks to create food that honors the origins of each ingredient and cultivates connections to Indigenous farmers and land stewards. Her mission is to resurrect and popularize Ancestral food ways in a spirit of honor, respect, gratitude, reciprocity and collaboration, so that food can be a vehicle to help heal communities and society as a whole. (wahpepahskitchen.com)
Native Energy and Climate Campaign Coordinator | Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
Kandi White (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara), the Native Energy and Climate Campaign Coordinator at Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), has emerged as a leading voice in the fight to bring visibility to the impacts climate change and environmental injustice are having on Indigenous communities across North America. She began her work with IEN as its Tribal Campus Climate Challenge Coordinator and is currently its Lead Organizer on the Extreme Energy and Just Transition Campaign. Kandi has testified before Congress and engaged in international advocacy work, including participation in several major UN forums.
Community Development Coordinator | Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
Bio coming soon.
Terry Tempest Williams
Author and Naturalist/Conservationist
Terry Tempest Williams, one of the nation’s greatest, most beloved, most award-winning living writers and an exemplary “engaged artist,” is a leading naturalist/conservationist and fierce advocate for social justice and freedom of speech. Among countless other achievements and adventures, she has been arrested in anti-nuclear protests, testified before Congress on women’s health issues, camped in remote regions of Utah and Alaska and worked as "a barefoot artist" in Rwanda. Her books include: Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field; Desert Quartet; Leap; Red: Patience and Passion in the Desert; The Open Space of Democracy; Finding Beauty in a Broken World, and, most recently, The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks. A Provostial Scholar at Dartmouth, Terry’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change.
Co-Founder and Executive Director | One Earth
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