Meet the People of America’s Unsung Environmental Movement

The World We Need provides a vivid introduction to America’s largely unsung grassroots environmental groups—often led by activists of color and the poor— valiantly fighting back in America’s so-called sacrifice zones against industries poisoning our skies and waterways and heating our planet.

This page lists people featured in the book. Learn about them and support their work.


Audrea Lim

Writer, Storyteller, Listener

Brooklyn, New York

Audrea Lim is a journalist in Brooklyn, NY, whose work has appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times, The Nation and Guardian. She is the editor of The World We Need, and is working on a book about the commodification of land.

Twitter    Instagram    Facebook

Movement Leaders

Owólabi Aboyade

Baba, Story-teller, Culture-Creator

Cultural Organizer
Relentless Bodies, EMEAC, Collective Wisdom Detroit

Detroit (Waawiiyaataanong) Michigan

Owólabi Aboyade is a father, MC, cultural organizer, essayist, and Orisha priest from Detroit. He is former director of East Michigan Environmental Action Council and co-founder of Relentless Bodies creative disability justice collective.

Donate to EMEAC at

Amplify the Mutation Mixtape entertainment justice/ disability justice/ hip hop world building

Facebook    Website    Instagram


Shalina S. Ali

Artivist, Healer, Mama

Co-Executive Director
TRUE Skool, CirculateMKE, Art of Coping

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Shalina S. Ali, born and raised in Milwaukee, is a Mother, Artist and Entrepreneur. Her mission in transformative justice is rooted in cultural work, creative arts, and hip-hop culture.

Donate and Amplify

Instagram    LinkedIn    Instagram

Yudith Azareth

Artivist, Bridge Builder, Land steward

Language Justice worker, organizer
Another Gulf is Possible Collaborative, BanchaLenguas Language Justice Collective

Bulbancha (New Orleans), LA- Houston, TX

Yudith Azareth Nieto is a Mexican-American Language justice worker, organizer based in the Gulf South, cofounder of BanchaLenguas Language Justice Collective and core leadership at Another Gulf is Possible Collaborative.


Instagram    Facebook    Instagram


Larry Bannerman

Activist, Green Jobs, Equal Justice

Board member and leader of the Infrastructure, Traffic, & Public Safety TEAM
Turner Station Conservation Teams, Inc., Chromium Remediation Workgroup, MPA Innovative Reuse Committee

Turner Station, Maryland 21222

I am a lifelong member of the historic community of Turner Station, Md. After a 38 year career in high voltage maintenance and testing, I recognize the need for clean renewable energy.

Supporters / Volunteers
TSCT receives no funding from local government. Funds for all of our work comes from grants and donations. Volunteers are always in short supply. Our website and funding link is

Instagram    LinkedIn    Website


Lavina Bowers

Tribal Leader, Cultural Bearer, Activist

Yurok Tribal Elder
Women Empowering Women for Indian Country,Yurok Tribe, Rides to Riffles Conservation Fund

Requa, California

Lavina is a Yurok tribal leader, elder, activist, fisherwoman, and cultural bearer who plays a critical role in guiding tribal politics. She was foundational in securing fishing rights and sovereignty for the Yurok people.

Donate / Support

Website    Website    Facebook

José Bravo

National Campaign Coordinator
Campaign for Healthier Solutions

San Diego, CA

José Bravo is a long-time international leader on just transition, climate justice and chemicals policy as they relate to communities fighting for Environmental Justice and Labor Justice.

Donate at:

Twitter    Facebook

Willa Childress

organizer, putzer, plant whisperer

Organizing Co-Director
Pesticide Action Network

Minneapolis, MN

Willa grew up on small farms in Oregon and Tennessee. Her early experience with injustice in these communities fuels her work as a rural organizer with Pesticide Action Network.

Supporters / Volunteers
Sign up to follow our work at:

Twitter    Website



Jorge Cora

Healer, Beekeeper, Farmer

Finca Conciencia

Vieques, PR

Raised on an agroecological farm in rural Puerto Rico, Jorge practiced beekeeping for 35 plus years, developing his own agroecological project in Yaurel before moving to Vieques to start Finca Conciencia in 2007.

Food as a way of healing.

Amy Bowers Cordalis

Attorney, Fisherwoman, Mother

Principal Ridges to Riffles Conservation Fund
Ridges to Riffles Conservation Fund, Yurok Tribe

Requa California

Amy is a fisherwoman, attorney, mother, and member of the Yurok Tribe. She’s the Principal of the Ridges to Riffles Conservation Fund, a nonprofit representing Native American tribes in natural and cultural resource matters.


Facebook    Instagram    Website


Joe Della Fave

Father & Cook, Hopeful, Good Trouble

Former Executive Director
Ironbound Community Corporation, Newark Equitable Growth Commission, Housing & Community Development Action Fund

Newark, NJ

Joe Della Fave is a former public official and educator, long-time community activist, organizer, justice advocate, and nonprofit executive, building community and advancing environmental, housing, economic and racial justice.

Donate at



Bernadette Demientieff

Mother, Land, water and animal defender, Spokesperson for her people

Executive Director
Gwich’in Steering Committe

Fairbanks, Alaska

Bernadette stands firm in her position to protect the Gwich’in way of life which is connected to the land, water and animals. “Your voice is one of the most powerful tools you have, use it.”

Write congressional leaders and have them withdraw from the lease sales in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Twitter    Facebook    Tik Tok

Leah Sue Dodge

Vegan, Native, Investigator

Oneida Eye

Oneida, Wisconsin

Leah Sue Dodge publishes, a secular anti-crime & anti-corruption blog focusing on her enrolled tribe – Oneida Nation of Wisconsin – and ‘green’ scams targeting municipalities and Indian Country.

Website    Twitter

Shannon Dosemagen

organizer, open enthusiast, science activist

Open Environmental Data Project

New Orleans, LA

Shannon is an environmental health advocate, community science champion and enthusiastic about the potential for open systems and technology to support the creation of a more just and equitable future.


Twitter    Website

Jayeesha Dutta

Artist, Mermaid, Elemental Healing Practitioner

artist, facilitator, healing justice practitioner
Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative, Mar Bari, Windcall Institute

Gulf South, USA to Global South

Jayeesha Dutta is a tri-coastal, tri-lingual Bengali-USAn interdisciplinary artist, healing justice practitioner, and pop-ed facilitator honoring the waters from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay of Bengal.

Instagram    Facebook    Website

Beka Economopoulos

Organizer, Cultural Strategist, Network weaver

Not An Alternative; The Natural History Museum

Based in Vashon, WA, but work is PNW regional and national.

Beka Economopoulos is an environmental justice organizer, cultural strategist, and director of The Natural History Museum, an award-winning initiative mobilizing artists, activists, frontline communities, scientists, and scholars.

Donate, Amplify
The Natural History Museum develops award-winning environmental justice exhibitions, advocacy campaigns, alliance-building events, and public scholarship to shift narratives and inspire action. Support our work at

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Eric Enos

Builder, Farmer, Educator

Executive Director
Kaʻala Farm, Inc.

Waiʻanae, Hawaiʻi

Born on the Waiʻanae coast of Oʻahu, amongst the largest population of Native Hawaiians, Eric Enos comes from a family of builders, farmers, craft folk, caregivers and educators. His life’s work is to restore the land, the water, and community.

To make a financial contribution, visit and hit the donate button!

Instagram    Facebook    Website

Catherine Coleman Flowers

Activist, Mother, Teacher

Founding director of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice

Montgomery, AL

Catherine Coleman Flowers is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow for Environmental Health Advocacy; Vice-Chair of the White House Environmental Justice Council; Rural Development Manager for the Equal Justice Initiative; and author of “Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret

Have you or someone you know faced local sanitation issues? Let us know here:

Instagram    Twitter    Website

Helga Garcia-Garza

Activist, Healer, Mother, Grandmother

Executive Director
Agri-Cultura Network, La Cosecha CSA

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Helga Garcia-Garza is a community organizer, environmental justice and Indigenous Sovereignty advocate. Executive Director of Agri-Cultura Network, New Mexico Food & Ag Policy Council Chair, Castanea Fellow and RWJF Fellow.

Make a financial contribution at

Instagram    Website


Lucy Gay

Educator, Catalyst, Strategist

Director for Waianae Educational Opportunities
Leeward Community College, faculty; KAHEA; Nani ‘o Waianae

Waianae, Hawaii, USA

I’m an educator with a Master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Hawaii where I learned how to listen fast and listen well.

Write letters to the editor, call A.M. radio stations, talk to your neighbors, keep us in your prayers.

Terry Gonzalez-Cano

Activist, Mother, Sister and Friend

Community Activist
Resurrection Group / Mothers of East LA, Community Police Advisory Board

Mother who became a community activist for her environmental justice zone community. For the last several decades, she has had to fight environmental racism and environmental injustices to no end.

Help us help ourselves by asking our elected officials to write a law preventing polluting companies from filing for bankruptcy to avoid criminal and financial responsibility.


Corrina Gould


Spokeperson Cofederated Villages of Lisjan (Ohlone)
Sogorea Te’ Land Trust

Oakland, CA, East Bay, Territory of Huchuin

Corrina Gould is the spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan. She is the cofounder of Indian People Organizing for Change and Co-Director for The Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.

Give Shuumi.



Cassia Herron

organizer, urban planner, writer

organizer and urban planner
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth; Louisville Association for Community Economics/Louisville Community Grocery

Louisville KY

Cassia Herron is an organizer, urban planner and writer from Richmond, KY. She has served as chairperson of the Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and co-founded the Louisville Association for Community Economics.

Donate, support your local economy
Donate to KFTC ( and Louisville Community Grocery ( and buy from Black and local businesses.

Twitter    Website    LinkedIn

Patrick Hershberger


Public artist

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Public artist and illustrator with a focus on storytelling, history, and the environment.


Website    Instagram    Facebook


Peter Hille

Innovator, Advocate, Problem-solver

President, Mountain Association

Berea, KY

Peter Hille has worked in the non-profit sector for more than 30 years to help shape a brighter future for the people and communities of Appalachia.

Follow and share our stories, spread the word, we can build a new economy, together!

Facebook    Website

Winona LaDuke

Water Protector, Farmer, Economist

Water Protector
Anishinaabe Agriculture, Honor the Earth, Winonas Hemp

White Earth Anishinaabe

Since 1981, I’ve been involved in community organizing on my reservation, White Earth, primarily focused on restoration of Indigenous agriculture, protection of wild rice and water.

Supporters / Volunteers

Facebook    Website    Website


Pam Tau Lee

Elder, Activist Artist, Abolitionist

Chinese Progressive Association, Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, Grassroots Global Justice

Pam is Chinese American with 50 years of activism and a 26 year career as a union, labor and public health educator and contributor to the Principles of Environmental Justice.

Supporters / Volunteers, Amplify
Educate, organize and mobilize to expose and abolish environmental racism. Go to APEN to follow their work.



mark! Lopez

Father, Fighter, Foo

Eastside Community Organizer & Special Projects Coordinator, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice

Tongva homelands, The Eastside of Los Angeles

mark! was born and raised in the Mothers of East LA Santa Isabel, co-founded by his grandparents Juana & Ricardo Gutierrez. Read his movement perspective, “The Fire: Decolonizing “Environmental Justice.

Support our movement by donating at

Instagram   Facebook   Twitter

Josefina Luna

Activist, Educator, Mother

Founder & CFO
CERO Cooperative, Inc.

Boston, MA

Josefina Luna is an environmental activist and a world citizen who was born on the Dominican Republic’s north coast. She was a teacher for 15 years before founding CERO.



Dr. Mildred McClain

Storyteller, Activist, Mother

Executive Director
Harambee House, Inc. / Citizens for Environmental Justice

Savannah, GA, USA

Dr. Mildred McClain, aka Mama Bahati, a 50-year veteran of the People’s Movement for Justice and Self Determination worldwide, currently serves as the Executive Director for the Harambee House.

Donate, Supporters / Volunteers
We work with southeast communities that suffer with environmental injustice and issues related to climate change, goods movement, and energy burdens. Visit us at

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Maria Lopez-Nuñez

Organizer, Nerd, Organizer

Deputy Director, Advocacy and Organizing
Ironbound Community Corporation, The ROOTS Project

Newark, NJ

Maria Lopez-Nuñez leads a team of organizers fighting to defend her neighborhood and city of Newark against toxic industry and gentrification. She also sits on the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.


Instagram    Facebook


Arturo Massol-Deyá


Associate Director
Casa Pueblo

Adjuntas, Puerto Rico

Deyá is a professor at the University of Puerto Rico. His parents Alexis and Tinti founded Casa Pueblo in 1980. He grew up in this project and chairs its Board of Directors.

Be a friend of Casa Pueblo (see DONATE at

Instagram    Twitter    Facebook



Beverly A. May

Nurse, Community Advocate

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

Floyd County, KY

Bev May is a nurse and epidemiologist whose professional and volunteer work focuses on environmental health issues affecting rural and Appalachian communities.



Torm Nompraseurt

Organizer, Storyteller, Grandfather

Senior Community Organizer
Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Richmond, CA

Torm Nompraseurt, Senior Community Organizer born and raised in Laos, escaped to Thailand, arrived in the U.S. 12/01/1975 as a refugee, has been with APEN in different roles since 1995.




Roger Peet

Artist, Printmaker, Writer

Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative

Portland OR USA

Roger Peet is co-founder of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and coordinates the Endangered Species Mural Project. He collaborates with artists, organizers and scientists in service of a more generous and a wilder world.

Follow my work

Instagram    Twitter    Email

Ana Elisa Pérez Quintero

Grower, Beekeeper, Mejunjera

farmer and co-director La Colmena Cimarrona
La Colmena Cimarrona


Farmer, organizer and co-director of La Colmena Cimarrona (Maroon Hive) in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Support food sovereignty in the archipelago of Puerto Rico

Instagram    Website    Facebook

Kathy Randels

Performing Artist, Collaborative Activist

Artistic Director
ArtSpot Productions

New Orleans, LA

Kathy Randels is a native New Orleanian, an Obie Award-winning actor and the founding Artistic Director of ArtSpot Productions. Since 1996 she has directed ensembles of currently and formerly incarcerated women.

Visit to learn about and support our work.

Website    Facebook

Judy Robinson

Mother, Activist, Justice-seeker

Executive Director
Coming Clean

Brattleboro, Vermont

Judy Robinson is a national organizer for bottom-up environmental health campaigns. She co-founded Coming Clean and is a proud strategic partner of the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform.

Make a financial contribution at

Facebook    Twitter    Website


Adan Palermo Rojas

Artist Antagonizer, Organizer

Working Class Heroes Radio

Brooklyn, NY, Sunset Park (Lenapehoking)

Adan uses his skills as an artist to amplify the voices of those directly impacted by various local, national and worldwide issues such as; Environmental Justice, Abolish ICE, Racial Injustice, Police Brutality and Anti-Gentrification.




Jean Ross, RN

Nurse, Activist, Healer

Registered Nurse, President of National Nurses United

Bloomington, Minnesota

Jean Ross, RN, is a President of National Nurses United, the largest union of registered nurses in the United States, a Medicare for All advocate, and a social justice activist.

Donate, Campaign
Join the Medicare for All movement for a single-payer health care system.
Donate to RNRN to send nurses to disaster-stricken areas worldwide. 


Margaret “Maggie” Rousu

Leader, Optimist, Gramma

Executive Director
White Earth Land Recovery Project, KKWE Niijii Radio, Native Harvest

Raised on the White Earth Reservation, Maggie works to promote justice and build equity in her community. Her passions include her work and her family.

Donate, Amplify
Donate at by clicking on the Donate Now in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Specify where you would like your donation be used.

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Noran Sanford

Social-Entrepreneur, Therapist, Father

Founder, MSW

Wagram, NC

As founder of GrowingChange, Noran has received the Soros Justice Fellowship-2014, Ashoka Fellowship-2016, NC Rural Leader of the Year-2017, William C. Friday Award-2018 and the Greater Sum Fellowship-2019.

Donate, Amplify
The 300 closed prisons in the US can be used to help youth avoid prison, create jobs and feed hungry neighbors. Help GrowingChange.Org to ‘flip the prison’.

Instagram    Website    Facebook

Nick Slie

Performing Artist, Producer, Cultural Organizer

Co-Artistic Director
Mondo Bizarro

New Orleans, Louisiana

Nick Slie is a New Orleans-born performer, producer and cultural organizer. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Mondo Bizarro.

Facebook    Website    Instagram

Ramsey Sprague

Organizer, Storyteller, Musician

President, Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition; Chair, Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, Mobile AL NAACP
Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition, Another Gulf Is Possible, Mobile AL NAACP

Mobile, Alabama

Ramsey Sprague is Dulac, Louisiana born, Arlington, Texas raised, and Mobile, Alabama residing. Faith drives their commitment to environmental justice and honoring all traditional caretakers of our lands.

Supporters / Volunteers, Amplify
MEJAC enjoys working with collaborators in research and legal support and welcomes all to share the story of resistance to industrial trespass along the Gulf Coast.

Twitter    Website

Monique Verdin

storyteller, gardener, collaborator

Storyteller • Seed Exchanger
Another Gulf is Possible, School House 4 ReImagining Education, Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange

Bvlbancha (Lower Mississippi River Delta, New Orleans, Louisiana)

Monique Verdin is an interdisciplinary storyteller, a citizen of the Houma Nation, director of the Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange and a member of the Another Gulf Is Possible collaborative.


Instagram    Website    Facebook

Jeffrey Yoo Warren

Artist, Community scientist, Tinkerer

Public Lab

Providence, RI

Jeffrey Yoo Warren is an artist, community scientist, illustrator, and researcher. He creates open source objects, activities, and interactions that re-organize ideas about expertise, identity, equity, and our environment.

My work invites participation through hands-on making and storytelling:

Instagram    Twitter


Major Joe Womack

President & Executive Director
Clean, Healthy, Educated, Safe & Sustainable Community, Inc.

Major Joe Womack was born in historic Africatown, Alabama, the place where the last shipment of slaves landed in The United States. Major Womack is an inspiring leader in promoting positive and sustainable change and currently leads a non-profit organization called C.H.E.S.S. or Clean, Healthy, Educated, Safe & Sustainable Community, Inc.

Elizabeth Yeampierre

Storyteller, Builder, Leader

Executive Director (UPROSE), Co-Chair (Climate Justice Alliance)

Brooklyn, NY

Elizabeth Yeampierre is an internationally-recognized Puerto Rican climate justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry. Elizabeth is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization and Co-chair of CJA.

Support the “Climate and Community Investment Act”
Contact your state representatives to pass the Climate and Community Investment Act to raise $15 billion a year from corporate polluters, create 160,000 green jobs, and fund climate justice.

Instagram    Twitter


Elizabeth Alvarado

Writer, Latina, Cat mom

Bold Culture, The Mujerista

Seattle, Washington

Elizabeth Alvarado is a journalist with a passion for exploring social issues within communities of color. Through her writing she aspires to give a voice to underrepresented communities.

Website    Twitter

Ana Isabel Baptista, PhD

Scholar Activist, Teacher, Mother

Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
Tishman Environment & Design Center, The New School

New York City, New York

Dr. Ana Isabel Baptista is an environmental justice researcher and Newark native. She co-leads the Tishman Environment & Design Center, an interdisciplinary hub for collaborative EJ research and movement support.

Twitter    LinkedIn    Website

Simon Davis-Cohen

Writer, Filmmaker, Brother

Research and Communications
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

The traditional lands of a multitude of indigenous tribes and bands including the Chinook (Portland, OR)

Simon works part time for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. His work has appeared in The Nation, The Appeal, In These Times, Harper’s, Salon and The Intercept.

Website    Twitter    Instagram

Ashley Dawson

author, scholar, activist

City University of New York, People’s Power, Extreme Cities

New York, NY

Ashley Dawson is Professor of Postcolonial Studies at the City University of New York. His latest books include People’s Power (O/R, 2020) and Extreme Cities (Verso, 2017).

Twitter    Instagram    Facebook


Alejandra Molina

Journalist, Writer, Storyteller

Religion News Service

Los Angeles, California

Alejandra Molina is a national reporter covering Latinos and religion in the West Coast for Religion News Service. She previously covered cities, immigration and race for the Southern California News Group.

Instagram    Twitter    LinkedIn

Nick Mullins

Storyteller, Realist, Anti-Capitalist

Communication Strategist
Breaking Clean Communications

Clintwood, VA

Nick Mullins is a former Appalachian coal miner turned sustainability advocate and communication strategist. In 2016 he founded Breaking Clean, a communication organization aimed at enhancing environmental dialogs with working class families.

Website    Email

Julian Brave NoiseCat


Data for Progress, Type Media Center, NDN Collective

Ohlone Territory (Oakland, California)

Julian Brave NoiseCat is a writer, policy analyst and organizer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic and many other publications.

Website    Twitter

Dharna Noor

writer, journalist, listener

climate writer
Gizmodo’s Earther

Baltimore, Maryland

Dharna Noor is a writer based in Baltimore. She currently works as a staff writer at Earther, Gizmodo’s climate vertical. She previously led the Real News Network’s climate crisis bureau.

Twitter    LinkedIn


Lori Rotenberk

Curious, Enterprise Journalist

The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Grist

Chicago, Illinois

Lori Rotenberk is an award-winning enterprise journalist. In addition to writing about sustainability and environmental issues, she has been on staff at major daily newspapers covering everything from breaking news to in-depth features.

Instagram    Twitter    Website

Melissa Alvarado Sierra

Activist, Writer, Islander

The New York Times, Catapult, ZORA

US Virgin Islands

I write about the Puerto Rican and Caribbean experience at the intersection of race, gender, and class. My book about literature as activism was published by McGraw-Hill and I’m currently writing an experimental memoir. I have used food to heal from cancer twice.

Twitter    Instagram

Nick Tabor


Freelance journalist
St. Martin’s Press

Mobile, Alabama

Nick Tabor is a reporter living in Mobile, where he is working on a book about Africatown. He was previously on the editorial staff at New York Magazine.

Twitter    Website

Alexandra Tempus

Storyteller, Midwesterner, Seeker

Rolling Stone, Orion, The Nation

Los Angeles, California

Alexandra Tempus is a three-time climate reporting fellow. She is writing a book on America’s Great Climate Migration for St. Martin’s Press.

Instagram    Twitter    Website

Lewis Raven Wallace

Writer, Activist, Dreamer

Author + Educator, The View from Somewhere, Scalawag Magazine, Press On

Durham, NC/Occaneechi territory

Lewis Raven Wallace is a journalist, the author and creator of The View from Somewhere book and podcast, and a co-founder and co-director of Press On, a southern movement journalism collective.

Follow and share our stories, spread the word, we can build a new economy, together!

Twitter   Facebook   Website

Katherine Webb-Hehn

Southerner, Writer, Mother

Writer and Editor
Scalawag, Bitter Southerner, New York Times

Birmingham, AL

Katherine Webb-Hehn is an award-winning multi-media journalist, editor and writer in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, she’s the State Politics editor at Scalawag and an editor for Hub City Press.