Who You’ll Meet at Bioneers 2023
Keynote Speakers – Thursday, April 6th
Director of Policy and Advocacy | NDN Collective
Jade Begay, MA, a citizen of Tesuque Pueblo and also of Diné and Southern Ute ancestry, Director of Policy and Advocacy at NDN Collective, works at the intersections of storytelling, narrative strategy, climate and environmental justice, and Indigenous rights policy at the domestic and international levels. She previously served as the Creative Director and Climate Justice Campaign Director at NDN Collective but now directs its programs and projects that elevate policy and advocacy issues important to the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples and tribal nations. In 2021, Jade was appointed by President Biden to serve on the inaugural White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council and is a recipient of a Ripe for Creative Disruption Environmental Justice Movement Fellowship.
Host and Executive Producer | The Laura Flanders Show
Laura Flanders, one of the pre-eminent progressive journalists and media figures in the country, is the host and Executive Producer of the nationally syndicated The Laura Flanders Show, which airs on nearly 300 PBS stations nationwide (and online, on radio, and as a podcast). She is an Izzy-Award winning independent journalist, a bestselling author (including of: Blue Grit: Making Impossible, Improbable, Inspirational Political Change in America and Bushwomen) and a recipient of the Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Media Center.
National Geographic Explorer and Founder | The Dominica Sperm Whale Project
Shane Gero, Ph.D., is a Canadian whale biologist, Scientist-in-Residence at Ottawa’s Carleton University, and a National Geographic Explorer. He is the founder of The Dominica Sperm Whale Project, a long-term research program detailing the lives of these enigmatic ocean nomads in the Eastern Caribbean. His research is motivated by a desire to understand animal societies, how and why they form, and sadly, what happens when they fall apart. Shane is also the Biology Lead for Project CETI who are applying machine learning and gentle robotics to decipher sperm whale communication. His science appears in numerous magazines, books, and television; and most recently was the basis for the Emmy Award winning series, Secrets of the Whales.
Director of Policy | Maine Environmental Education Association
Amara Ifeji, 21, an award-winning (2021 National Geographic Young Explorer and 2022 Brower Youth Award) climate justice activist, Director of Policy at the Maine Environmental Education Association, has had great success in mobilizing youth-led, grassroots movements to advance climate education legislation and ensure equitable access to outdoor learning for ALL youth in Maine.
President | One Fair Wage
Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, co-founded (after 9/11) the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), which grew into a national movement of restaurant workers, employers and consumers. She then launched One Fair Wage as a national campaign to end all sub-minimum wages in the United States. Saru has won many prestigious awards for her advocacy, is frequently interviewed on major media and is the author of four books including: One Fair Wage: Ending All Subminimum Pay in America and Bite Back: People Taking on Corporate Food and Winning.
Keynote Speakers – Friday, April 7th
Lead Organizer | Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard
Ilana Cohen is a lead organizer of the Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard campaign and the international Fossil Free Research movement, which combats the fossil fuel industry’s dangerous influence on academia. She is also a 2022 Brower Youth Award winner and a climate journalist with bylines in outlets including The Nation, The New Republic, Teen Vogue, and Inside Climate News. Ilana is currently a senior and Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics Undergraduate Fellow at Harvard University, where she studies the ethics of climate change.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
Chair | Congressional Progressive Caucus
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, now serving her third term in Congress representing Washington’s 7th District, the first South Asian American woman elected to the House, is the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and serves on many key committees. A highly influential leader on progressive policies on: immigration, LGBTQ rights, labor issues, economic inequality, climate, clean energy, etc., Congresswoman Jayapal, prior to her election to political office, spent decades working internationally and domestically in global public health and development and as an advocate for women’s, immigrant, civil, and human rights. She is the author of two books, including, most recently: Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change.
Kim Stanley Robinson
Science Fiction Author
Kim Stanley Robinson, an American science fiction writer, is the author of about twenty books, including the internationally bestselling Mars trilogy, and more recently Red Moon, New York 2140, and The Ministry for the Future. He was part of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers’ Program in 1995 and 2016, and a featured speaker at COP-26 in Glasgow as a guest of the UK government and the UN. His work has been translated into 26 languages and won many awards including the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. In 2016 asteroid 72432 was named “Kimrobinson.”
Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics | University of California, Santa Barbara
Leah Stokes, Ph.D., one of the nation’s most influential leading experts and “engaged scholars" in climate and energy policy, is the author of the award-winning book Short Circuiting Policy, which examines the role of utilities in undermining regulation and promoting climate denial. Trained at MIT, Columbia, and the University of Toronto, Stokes’ widely read and cited work has been published in top scholarly journals, as well as the New York Times, Washington Post, and other popular media outlets. She is the Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a senior policy consultant at Rewiring America, and co-host of the popular climate podcast “A Matter of Degrees.”
Chef, Educator & Author
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.
Keynote Speakers- Saturday, April 8th
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.
CEO | New Energy Nexus
Danny Kennedy, with a long background in eco activism, has become one of the nation’s leading figures in clean-technology entrepreneurship and the capitalization of the transition to a “green” economy. Co-founder of the solar energy company, Sungevity, and the clean energy incubator Powerhouse, Kennedy supports the clean technology and energy fields in myriad ways. In addition to leading roles with Third Derivative (a joint venture with the Rocky Mountain Institute) and the California Clean Energy Fund, Kennedy is currently CEO of New Energy Nexus, a global nonprofit providing funds, accelerators, and networks to drive clean energy innovation and adoption.
Senior Fellow | Other & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley
Yuria Celidwen, Ph.D., of Indigenous Nahua and Maya descent, born into a family of mystics, healers and poets from Chiapas, Mexico, conducts research at U.C. Berkeley’s Department of Psychology at the the intersection of Indigenous studies, cultural psychology, and contemplative science; is a Senior Fellow at the Other & Belonging Institute; co-chairs the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit of the American Academy of Religion, and is part of the steering committee of its Contemplative Studies Unit. She also works with the United Nations on the advancement of Indigenous peoples’ rights and the rights of the Earth and is a teacher of Indigenous epistemologies, spirituality and contemplative practices.
Author & Journalist
Rebecca Solnit, one of our nation’s most influential writers, thinkers, historians and activists, is the author of 20+ books, including: Orwell’s Roses; Recollections of My Nonexistence; Hope in the Dark; Men Explain Things to Me; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster; and A Field Guide to Getting Lost. She is also co-editor of Not Too Late: Changing the Climate Story from Despair to Possibility (coming April 2023) and writes regularly for the Guardian, serves on the board of the climate group Oil Change International, and just launched the climate project Not Too Late.
Panel and Interactive Speakers – 100+ More to Come. Stay tuned.
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.
Co-Founder | Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry
John Warner, Ph.D., the co-author (with Paul Anastas) of the defining text in the field of Green Chemistry and co-founder (with Jim Babcock) of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, is: editor of the journal Green Chemistry Letters and Reviews; on the advisory panel for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy; a Distinguished Professor of Green Chemistry at Monash University in Australia; and Bath Global Chair at the Bath (UK) University Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies. John has won many prestigious awards for his research, inventions and policy advocacy and has served as a sustainability advisor for several major firms.
Climate Scientist, Buddhist Zen Priest and Grief Ritual Facilitator
Kritee Kanko, born in India, weaves her quest for racial justice, climate action and trauma healing into her work as a climate scientist, Buddhist Zen priest and grief ritual facilitator. She co-founded Boundless in Motion and the Rocky Mountain Eco-Dharma Retreat Center, two non-profit organizations based in Boulder, Colorado. She previously directed the Climate Smart Agriculture program in India for the Environmental Defense Fund for 11+ years.
Founder | Alchemus Prime
Marilyn Cornelius, Ph.D., a facilitator, coach, teacher, researcher, author and the founder of Alchemus Prime, integrates tools from behavioral sciences, design thinking, biomimicry and meditation to foster transformative change at the individual, team, organization, policy, and community levels. Among her many achievements, she has authored or co-authored 32 books whose topics span self-love, mindful reflection, trauma, leadership, food and wellness, spirituality, ethics, and poetry; and also hosts two shows on Facebook, Mornings with Marilyn and Beyond Medicine.
CEO | Kataly Foundation
Nwamaka Agbo, the CEO of the Kataly Foundation and Managing Director of Kataly’s Restorative Economies Fund (REF), has a background in public administration and financial management and previously worked as a consultant providing technical assistance and strategic guidance to community-owned and -governed community wealth building initiatives.
Co-Creator & Stewardship Lead | Shelterwood Collective
Nikola Alexandre, Co-Creator & Stewardship Lead of the Shelterwood Collective, is a Black queer forester with MA degrees in both Forestry and Business Administration from Yale who founded Conservation International’s Ecosystem Restoration Program. After attending a nature-based healing gathering following the Pulse massacre, Nikola committed his life to tending the earth and reclaiming land stewardship as a way of nurturing a future for the communities he belongs to, which led to his co-founding the Shelterwood Collective in Sonoma County.
Noor Almusahwi, a refugee for most of his life and raised by a foster family, was able to succeed academically and to become an effective advocate for immigrants by public speaking, writing, working with nonprofits, and even briefing members of Congress on best practices to handle the humanitarian crisis at the border.
Director of the Pain Management Department | Santa Cruz Community Health
Michael Amster, MD, a physician and researcher at the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center with twenty years’ experience in pain management, is the founding Director of the Pain Management Department at Santa Cruz Community Health. A meditation practitioner for 30+ years, he is also a certified yoga and meditation teacher who conducts research on awe and leads mindfulness retreats.
Environmental Justice Organizer
Alfredo Angulo (they/them), a lifelong Richmond, CA resident and recent first-generation graduate from U.C. Berkeley, witnessed many oil spills, fires, and gas leaks from the second-largest refinery in California in that town, and became an environmental justice organizer, working on such projects such as the Bay Area Air Quality Management’s Community Emissions Reduction Plan for Richmond, as well as documenting the stories of those most harmed by generations of fossil fuel operations with the Richmond Progressive Alliance’s Listening Project.
Rising Appalachia, a world-traveling ensemble founded by Atlanta-raised, New Orleans-based sisters Leah and Chloe Smith whose soulful folk-roots sound traces back to their open-minded musician parents and to grassroots music communities in the hills and valleys of the Deep South as well as urban Atlanta, has consistently used its platform to activate, organize and support frontline justice work and community organizations. Fifteen years into an adventure that has taken this self-made, stubbornly independent band around the globe, they have recently released a new master-work, their seventh album, Leylines, recorded in California in a studio overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Founder | LoveSocial
Azita Ardakani is a serial entrepreneur, social activist and human centered communication expert. Azita created Lovesocial in 2010, an award winning creative agency which developed human driven campaigns and strategies mapping organizational community behavior. In 2016 she launched Honeycomb Portfolio, an experimental investment vehicle. Honeycomb is driven by nature's intelligence and is looking to bridge our entrepreneurial, social and emotional economic frame by deferring to nature.
Founder and Director | Fenceline Watch
Yvette Arellano is the Houston, TX-based founder/Director of Fenceline Watch (USA) an environmental justice organization dedicated to the eradication of toxic multigenerational harm on communities living along the fence-line of industry. Yvette has testified before the EPA, federal, state, and intergovernmental bodies about public health impacts from toxic exposure and potential solutions; has aided in crisis response post-chemical disasters; contributed to efforts to stop fossil fuel infrastructure expansions; and has worked on achieving a global plastics treaty with the Break Free From Plastics Coalition.
Associate Professor of Women, Gender, Spirituality, and Social Justice | California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)
Alka Arora, Ph.D, an Associate Professor of Women, Gender, Spirituality, and Social Justice at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), developed an educational framework called “Integral Feminist Pedagogy” that weaves together feminist, ecological, embodied, and contemplative paradigms. She has published numerous articles and serves as an educational consultant, leadership coach, and certified facilitator of Gender Equity and Reconciliation International workshops. Alka was featured in the documentary film Women’s Spirituality in Higher Education.
Sonali Sangeeta Balajee
Founder | Our Bodhi Project
Sonali Sangeeta Balajee, an artist, organizer, facilitator, mindfulness/yoga instructor and health practitioner, is the founder of Our Bodhi Project, which supports healthy movement-building and organizing through deepening critical analyses, centering the health of all living systems, and enlivening the connection between social and spiritual wellness. Sonali spent 13 years in U.S. local government, working on social justice and racial equity initiatives and has extensive experience in community organizing. She also recently founded SSoMA (the Spiritual Social Medicinal Apothecary).
Founder | UC Berkeley’s Program for Anti-Authoritarianism and Social Movements
Howard Besser, Professor Emeritus at New York University and the founder of UC Berkeley’s Program for Anti-Authoritarianism and Social Movements, has for 30+ years been a political activist while researching and teaching about the intersection of technology and public policy. He is particularly interested in grassroots movements for social change.
Deputy Director | Urban Tilth
Adam Boisvert has spent the past 13 years growing community and school garden and food production programs with the food justice organization Urban Tilth in Richmond, California. Currently, Adam serves as Urban Tilth’s Deputy Director and as a teacher-of-record for the Urban Agriculture Academy at Richmond High School, a year-round elective course rooted in hands-on, experiential learning.
Executive Director | Ecology Center
Martin Bourque, the Executive Director of the Ecology Center in Berkeley since 2000, has led that cutting-edge non-profit to become a high-impact engine for change locally, regionally and nationally, helping move progressive agendas in such domains as transparency in plastic recycling, pollution reduction, food and farming, access and equity, consumerism, and zero waste. A member of the Break Free from Plastics movement and a founding member of the Alliance of Mission-Based Recyclers (AMBR), Martin has appeared as a go-to source for the truth about recycling for many leading media outlets and in several documentaries, including: Bag It, The Story of Plastic, and Netflix’s Broken.
Co-Founder | Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Rev. Cynthia Brix, Ph.D. (hon), is co-founder of Gender Equity and Reconciliation International (GERI), which has organized over 300 trainings in 14 countries for healing and reconciliation between women and men and people of all genders. An ordained interfaith minister, Cynthia co-leads retreats on interfaith spirituality and co-convened seven international conferences on “inter-spirituality.” She is co-author of three books with William Keepin, including: Women Healing Women: A Model of Hope for Oppressed Women Everywhere, and, most recently, the collection: Gender Equity and Reconciliation: Thirty Years of Healing the Most Ancient Wound in the Human Family.
Fellow in Environmental Humanities and Environmental Justice | Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah
Taylor Brorby, a Fellow in Environmental Humanities and Environmental Justice at the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah, is an award-winning, widely published writer and poet as well as a contributing editor at North American Review who also serves on the editorial boards of Terrain.org and Hub City Press. Taylor regularly speaks around the country on issues related to extractive economies, queerness, disability, and climate change, and is the author of Boys and Oil: Growing up gay in a fractured land; Crude: Poems; Coming Alive: Action and Civil Disobedience; and co-editor of Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America.
Lead Circle Member | Youth vs Apocalypse
Aniya Butler is a 16 year old spoken word poet and organizer from Oakland, CA. She works with a youth-led climate justice group, Youth Vs Apocalypse where she directs the Hip Hop & Climate Justice Initiative and coordinates the No One Is Disposable campaign. Using poetry and organizing, Aniya emphasizes the importance of acknowledging that climate change is a direct result from the same oppressive systems responsible for the social injustices frontline people experience every day. Aniya wants to help rebuild a world with foundations of equity, sustainability, and love so that every living thing can truly thrive.
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.
Erin Matariki Carr
Project Lead | RIVER
Erin Matariki Carr, of Ngāi Tūhoe and Ngāti Awa descent, lives in her traditional homelands in Aotearoa/New Zealand and works in law and policy, with a focus on the interface between Indigenous and Western legal systems and methodologies. She previously worked as Manager of Planning & Design to create and implement policies under the world-first legislation conferring legal personhood to the Te Urewera rainforest. Matariki is currently a project lead at RIVER, where she focuses on the constitutional transformation movement in Aotearoa with a number of other teams, including Tūmanako Consultants and Te Kuaka NZA.
Co-Founder and Executive Director | People over Plastic
Shilpi Chhotray, co-founder and Executive Director of People over Plastic (a media platform for multicultural changemakers to hear powerful, intergenerational, solutions-oriented conversations that center the intersection between environmental and racial justice), is a globally recognized communicator and thought leader on the plastic pollution crisis. She was formerly the Global Communications Lead at Break Free From Plastic.
Associate Attorney | Communities for a Better Environment
Connie Cho, J.D., Associate Attorney, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), first joined CBE as a Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow in 2020. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked in local government, community organizing, and non-profit services to transform health care and social safety net systems in New York. Connie is a graduate of Yale, the London School of Economics, and Harvard Law School.
Dr. Cynthia Daley
Founder and Director | Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems at California State University Chico
Bio coming soon.
OAEC's WATER Institute | Co-Director
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.
Co-Founder and Managing Director | Orchid Capital
Tenesha Duncan, a Black feminist strategist exploring the intersections of reproductive and economic justice, is the co-founder and Managing Director of Orchid Capital Collective, an impact investing firm leveraging integrated capital to fund the shift toward community driven comprehensive birth and reproductive care. Tenesha brings over a decade of experience in reproductive health, rights, and justice in direct service provision, care quality improvement, organizational development, coalition building and facilitation, philanthropy, and venture capital.
Lupe Romero Elicea
Co-Director | Climate Justice Alliance’s Just Transition Revolving Loan Fund & Incubator
Guadalupe “Lupe” Romero Elicea, Co-Director of the Climate Justice Alliance’s Reinvest in Our Power initiative, migrated from Mexico to the Bay Area at 17 and became involved with the Immigrant and Chicanx student movements. Guadalupe later became a worker-owner of Spectrum Apparel printing and co-founded its political arm, Printers United, with the goal of creating screen printing for art, revolutionary propaganda and social movement support.
Principal of Strategy Development | Biome Trust
Jan Hania is Tuwharetoa, Raukawa-ki-teTonga, Te Atiawa of Aotearoa/New Zealand, and is the Principal of Strategy Development for Biome Trust, which is focused on having a sustained impact in environment, education, and human wellbeing. Jan has worked both in Aotearoa and internationally on large-scale bioregional regeneration and climate adaptation initiatives. Jan develops exemplar equity-based projects that are practically implemented, demonstrating effective and sustained outcomes.
Educator and Facilitator
Lara Hania, with 30 years’ experience as an educator in Aotearoa/New Zealand, is committed to contributing to re-establishing Indigenous Māori equity and sovereignty as well as human-nature connections. Lara facilitates professional development for teachers and professionals enhancing cultural competency and nature connection and is a dynamic storyteller who shares narratives that draw on the patterns and wisdom of Te Taiao (the natural world) as a blueprint for humanity.
Executive Director | PowerCorpsPHL
Julia Hillengas, co-founded (in 2013) and is Executive Director of PowerCorpsPHL, initially a City of Philadelphia workforce development initiative designed to help address youth disconnection and violence and promote urban environmental sustainability. Julia, who has extensive experience as an educator, coach, community organizer and public sector leader, currently leads PowerCorps’ strategy, partnerships, and expansion, seeking to work as a bridge-builder between young people and economic opportunities nationally.
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.
Co-Founder | Gender Equity and Reconciliation International (GERI)
William Keepin, Ph.D., co-founder of Gender Equity and Reconciliation International (GERI), a one-time a whistleblower in nuclear science policy, is a mathematical physicist whose research on efficient renewable energy strategies for abating global warming influenced international environmental policy. He has published widely on scientific and spiritual topics and co-convened seven international conferences to foster collaboration between religions and science. Will is also the author of five books, including: Song of the Earth: A Synthesis of Scientific and Spiritual Worldviews, and co-author, most recently of the collection: Gender Equity and Reconciliation: Thirty Years of Healing the Most Ancient Wound in the Human Family.
Senior Policy Advisor for Climate and Resilience | City of Boulder
Brett KenCairn, Boulder Colorado’s Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Action and leader of that town’s Natural Climate Solutions team, is the Director of the Center for Regenerative Solutions (CRS)—an initiative to expand natural climate solutions nationally that is co-sponsored by the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. He also is the founder or co-founder of four organizations including: the Rogue River Institute for Ecology and Economy, Veterans Green Jobs, and Community Energy Systems.
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.
Co-Founder | Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems at California State University Chico
Bio coming soon.
Co-Founder | Start:Empowerment
Alexia Leclercq, a grassroots organizer, scholar and artist, has led dozens of environmental justice campaigns from passing legislation, fighting for clean water, addressing aggregate mining pollution to international advocacy and speaking at the UN on climate negotiations. Co-founder of the Colorado River Conservancy and of Start:Empowerment (a Queer and BIPOC-led nonprofit at the nexus of climate education and environmental justice organizing), her work has been recognized by the Brower Youth Award, Jericho Activism Prize, WWF Conservation prize and more. Currently a graduate student at Harvard, her research there focuses on the use of liberatory pedagogy to advance climate justice and air quality in communities of color.
Founder | Elephant Circle
Indra Lusero, a Colorado licensed attorney, founder of Elephant Circle and the Birth Rights Bar Association, designed Colorado’s ambitious Birth Equity bill package that passed in 2021 and has been involved in legislation to eliminate the shackling of incarcerated people during pregnancy and birth and improve midwifery and birth center regulations. As a Queer, Genderqueer, Latinx parent, Indra is attuned to the importance of people on the margins leading the dismantling of oppressive systems to build a more equitable world.
Director | The Cleveland Tree Coalition
Samira Malone is the Director of The Cleveland Tree Coalition, a collaborative of public, private and community stakeholders partnered with the City of Cleveland to create a healthy, vibrant, sustainable and equitable urban forest. Samira works to raise awareness of the critical need for a robust tree canopy in Cleveland and to generate financial support for the work of the Coalition. Her practice as an urban planner and environmental leader is rooted in racial and environmental restorative justice and holistic community development.
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.
Executive Director | Center for Whole Communities
Ginny McGinn, Executive Director of the Center for Whole Communities and an artist, has a long history working on social and organizational change and in building partnerships across lines of power and privilege. Previously, Ginny served as president of Bioneers, where she was instrumental in greatly expanding the reach of its programs. Ginny facilitates and consults on organizational change around the country, using Whole Thinking Practices and the tools she and her colleagues at the Center for Whole Communities have helped evolve.
Gender & Women's Studies Professor and Director of Media Studies | UC Berkeley
Minoo Moallem, a Gender & Women's Studies professor and Director of Media Studies at UC Berkeley, has published many papers, articles and book chapters on Iran, the Middle East, gender and other topics and is the author of several books, including: Between Warrior Brother and Veiled Sister: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Cultural Politics of Patriarchy in Iran, and the co-editor of Between Woman and Nation: Nationalisms, Transnational Feminisms, and The State. Professor Moallem is affiliated with many centers and institutes, including the Center for Middle Eastern Studies; Berkeley Center for New Media; Center for the Study of Race and Gender; and the Berkeley Center for Right-Wing Studies, to name only a few.
Campaign Organizer | Breathe Free Detroit
KT Morelli, the Campaign Organizer for Breathe Free Detroit, is a seasoned activist who lived in the shadow of Detroit's incinerator for over a decade and helped lead the grassroots, community-powered campaign which was ultimately successful in shutting the incinerator down (in 2019). KT is also a member of GAIA's US Failing Incinerators Project, Break Free From Plastic’s US Environmental Justice delegation for the Global Plastics Treaty, and Michigan's Environmental Justice Caucus.
Professor | UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health
Rachel Morello-Frosch is a professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health whose research integrates community-based and environmental health science methods to understand structural determinants of environmental health among diverse communities with a focus on social inequality, racism, discrimination, psychosocial stress, and how these factors interact with environmental hazard exposures to produce health inequalities. She also collaborates with environmental justice partners to develop tools to improve policy and regulatory decision-making, and to advance environmental justice.
Co-Founder and Program Director | The Humane Prison Hospice Project
Ladybird Morgan RN, MSW, RCST practitioner and co-founder/Program Director of The Humane Prison Hospice Project, has 20+ years’ experience in hospice and palliative medicine as well as in addressing trauma, mental health challenges and repercussions of sexual violence. She has helped guide medical practitioners, families, caregivers, programs and institutions around the world including with Doctors Without Borders and in California Prisons. Currently a private palliative care consultant with Mettlehealth and co-facilitator for Commonweal’s Cancer Care Help Program, Healing Circles, and UCSF/MERI Center’s Last Acts of Kindness, she is also a co-investigator/study therapist with a University of Washington study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.
Co-Founder | Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project
Mateo Nube, one of the co-founders of the Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project, was born and grew up in Bolivia. Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has worked in the labor, environmental justice and international solidarity movements. Mateo is also a member of the Latin rock band Los Nadies, national co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance and co-chair of the Justice Funders’ Board of Directors.
Climate Journalist and Author
Madeline Ostrander is a Seattle-based climate journalist and the author of At Home on an Unruly Planet: Finding Refuge on a Changed Earth, one of Kirkus Review’s 100 best nonfiction books of 2022. The former Senior Editor of YES! Magazine, her writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, The NewYorker.com, The Nation, PBS's NOVA Next, Slate, and numerous other outlets.
2021 Brower Youth Award Winner
Peter Pham, an undergraduate student majoring in Public Health, engages in the youth climate movement to pass climate action at the municipal, county, and state levels. He serves on the board of a youth climate nonprofit, an environmental advocacy group and an urban forestry nonprofit, and served as a 2021 redistricting commissioner. Peter won a prestigious Brower Youth Award for his activism in 2021.
John Christian Phifer
CEO | Larkspur Conservation
John Christian Phifer, Executive Director of Larkspur Conservation and President of the Conservation Burial Alliance, utilizes his background as a funeral director, embalmer, end-of-life doula, funeral celebrant and home funeral guide to demystify death and bridge environmental advocacy and end-of-life care. His work, which led to the creation of Tennessee’s first conservation burial ground, was recently featured on PBS in the documentary Bury Me At Taylor Hollow.
Director of the International Marine Mammal Project | Earth Island Institute
David Phillips, a biologist specialized in marine wildlife conservation and Director of Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project, has also served as the Institute's Executive Director since its founding in 1982 and has played a leading role in building its network of activist projects. David has represented marine mammal conservation issues at international conventions, including the International Whaling Commission, and has testified before Congress. The U.N.’s Environment Programme granted him its Leadership Award in honor of his efforts to protect dolphins from indiscriminate fishing techniques. In 2009, he helped open the David Brower Center, a LEED Platinum-rated green building that serves as a hub for the environmental movement.
Trainer | Gender Equity and Reconciliation International
Jorge Rico, M.A. a Gender Equity and Reconciliation International (GERI) Trainer based in Providence, Rhode Island, co-leads the GERI Latin America Project and the GERI corporate training program, and also leads the Men’s Ministry at Concordia Center for Spiritual Living in R.I. Originally from Bolivia, he has 25+ years’ experience in Human Resources in the USA and Latin America, including developing numerous Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives in corporations.
Chief Operating Officer | Open Lunar Foundation
Chelsea Robinson, from Waitakere in Aotearoa/New Zealand, lives in Tahoe, CA and leads the Open Lunar Foundation, which seeks to “create good governance and stewardship of the Moon.” Her background includes working on climate policy, movement building, commons management and improving democracy.
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.
Heidi Honegger Rogers
Associate Professor | University of New Mexico (UNM) College of Nursing
Heidi Honegger Rogers, DNP, FNP C, APHN BC, a family nurse practitioner, advanced practice holistic nurse and associate professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM) College of Nursing, is Director of Interprofessional Education for the UNM Health Sciences Center and leads the Planetary Health Task Force for the American Holistic Nurses Association. She is also engaged with the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, the Planetary Health Alliance and the Work That Reconnects Network.
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.
Executive Director | Amazon Watch
Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director of Amazon Watch since 2015, leads the organization in its work to protect and defend the bio-cultural and climate integrity of the Amazon rainforest in solidarity with Indigenous and forest peoples. For 25+ years Leila has worked to defend the world’s rainforests, human rights, and climate through grassroots organizing and international advocacy campaigns at Amazon Watch, Rainforest Action Network and Global Exchange. She is also a Global Fund for Women Advisor for Latin America, a Greenpeace Voting Member and serves on the Advisory Circle of Daughters of the Earth. (amazonwatch.org)
Co-Founder | Daughters for Earth
Zainab Salbi, frequently named one of the “women changing the world” by leading publications ranging from Newsweek to The Guardian, founded Women for Women International, a humanitarian organization dedicated to women survivors of wars when she was just 23. Under her leadership (1993–2011), it grew from assisting 30 women to helping more than 420,000. The author of several books, including the best seller Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny and her latest, Freedom is an Inside Job; in 2022 Zainab co-founded (with Jody Allen) Daughters for Earth, a new fund and campaign that aims to inspire all women to engage in climate change action to protect and restore the Earth.
Assistant Professor of Nursing | St. Francis Xavier University
Nein teluisi De-Ann Sheppard tleyawi Ktaqmkuk, of Mi’kmaw and Irish descent, an Indigenous scholar and critical educator based in Nova Scotia, worked as a primary healthcare nurse practitioner in many remote Indigenous communities across Canada for over 35 years. An Assistant Professor of Nursing at St. Francis Xavier University, her research contributes to growing the revolutionary shift in nursing consciousness, pedagogy, and curriculum, striving to create decolonized teaching and research spaces.
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 wroteNature, 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.
Co-Founder | Covenant Pathways
James Skeet (Navajo), co-founder of the non-profit, Covenant Pathways, and co-proprietor (with his wife, Joyce) of Spirit Farm, on ancestral land in Vanderwagen, New Mexico, draws from ancient Native wisdom, including traditional farming and spiritual practices, to create a regenerative haven where soil vitality, nutrient rich foods, human health and free markets can prosper for another 10,000 years.
Organizer and Author | Climate Justice Arts Project
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.
Founder and CEO | Recompose
Katrina Spade, a designer and the inventor of a system that transforms the dead into soil (aka human composting), is the founder and CEO of the public benefit corporation Recompose, which led the successful legalization of human composting in Washington State in 2019 and became the first company in the world to offer the service in 2020. They have composted over 200 people to date, and the process is now also legal in Oregon, Colorado, Vermont and California. Katrina’s many honors include Echoing Green and Ashoka fellowships and a Harvard Kennedy School Visiting Social Innovator.
Co-Founder | Kheprw Institute
Pambana Uishi, one of the founders of the Indianapolis-based Kheprw Institute (a community-based organization focused on “Empowerment, Economy, Education, and Environment”), is currently its Finance Lead, handling accounting, fund development, human resources, and grants. Pambana has 30+ years’ experience in youth leadership development and community empowerment and is passionately committed to creating a more human-centered, just, affirming world for all life forms.
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 17, 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.
Co-Founder | Birth Detroit and Birth Center Equity
Leseliey Welch, MPH, MBA, a public health leader and co-founder of Birth Detroit (Detroit’s first freestanding community birth center) and Birth Center Equity, is an advocate, activist and public servant who works tirelessly to create stronger and healthier communities. Previously Interim Executive Director of Birthing Project USA and Deputy Director of Public Health for the City of Detroit, she taught at the university level for 15+ years, creating courses on numerous health equity topics for undergraduates as well as medical students and residents. Leseliey currently lectures in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Michigan.
Loren White, Jr.
Community Development Coordinator | Indigenous Environmental Network
Loren White, Jr., who has been working on environmental and economic justice for nearly 20 years, recently joined the Indigenous Environmental Network as its Community Development Coordinator. Since 2018 he has been working with Indigenous frontline communities to help design and develop, manage and maintain the collaborative Regenerative Community Loan Fund, as well as assisting in bringing to fruition a number of other projects rooted in principles of sustainability, equity, and “Just Transition.”
Lead Advisor | Third Act
Akaya Windwood, founder of the New Universal Wisdom and Leadership Institute, on the faculty of the Just Economy Institute, “Lead Advisor” at the activist group Third Act, and former President of Rockwood Leadership Institute (for ten years), also directs the Thriving Roots Fund. A longtime “transformation facilitator,” Akaya has won slews of awards for her activism and visionary leadership and is the author of: Leading with Joy: Practices for Uncertain Times.
One Earth | Co-Founder and Executive Director
Justin Winters, the co-founder and Executive Director of One Earth, a philanthropic organization working to galvanize science, advocacy and philanthropy to drive collective action on climate change, is focused on creating a vision for the world in which humanity and nature coexist and thrive together, based on three pillars: 100% renewable energy; protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans; and a transition to regenerative, carbon-negative agriculture. Prior to One Earth, Justin served as Executive Director of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation for 13 years, where she awarded over $100 million in grants across 60 countries.