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.
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.
Baba, Story-teller, Culture-Creator
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 www.emeac.org
Amplify the Mutation Mixtape entertainment justice/ disability justice/ hip hop world building https://audiomack.com/will-see/album/mutationmixtape
Shalina S. Ali
Artivist, Healer, Mama
TRUE Skool, CirculateMKE, Art of Coping
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
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.
Tribal Leader, Cultural Bearer, Activist
Yurok Tribal Elder
Women Empowering Women for Indian Country,Yurok Tribe, Rides to Riffles Conservation Fund
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
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: https://ej4all.org/campaigns-and-activities/campaign-for-healthier-solutions/donate
organizer, putzer, plant whisperer
Pesticide Action Network
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: http://www.panna.org/sign-up/join-pan
Healer, Beekeeper, Farmer
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
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.
Joe Della Fave
Father & Cook, Hopeful, Good Trouble
Former Executive Director
Ironbound Community Corporation, Newark Equitable Growth Commission, Housing & Community Development Action Fund
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 ironboundcc.org
Mother, Land, water and animal defender, Spokesperson for her people
Gwich’in Steering Committe
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.
Leah Sue Dodge
Vegan, Native, Investigator
Leah Sue Dodge publishes OneidaEye.com, a secular anti-crime & anti-corruption blog focusing on her enrolled tribe – Oneida Nation of Wisconsin – and ‘green’ scams targeting municipalities and Indian Country.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://thenaturalhistorymuseum.org/donate
Builder, Farmer, Educator
Kaʻala Farm, Inc.
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 kaalafarm.org and hit the donate button!
Catherine Coleman Flowers
Activist, Mother, Teacher
Founding director of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice
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: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/11/sanitation-sewage-community-tell-us
Activist, Healer, Mother, Grandmother
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 agri-cultura.org/donate-la-cosecha
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.
Activist, Mother, Sister and Friend
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.
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. https://sogoreate-landtrust.org/pay-the-shuumi-land-tax/
organizer, urban planner, writer
organizer and urban planner
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth; Louisville Association for Community Economics/Louisville Community Grocery
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 (kftc.org) and Louisville Community Grocery (louisvillecommmunitygrocery.com) and buy from Black and local businesses.
Public artist and illustrator with a focus on storytelling, history, and the environment.
Innovator, Advocate, Problem-solver
President, Mountain Association
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!
Water Protector, Farmer, Economist
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
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 https://apen4ej.org to follow their work.
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 eycej.org/donate
Activist, Educator, Mother
Founder & CFO
CERO Cooperative, Inc.
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
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 https://www.theharambeehouse.net.
Organizer, Nerd, Organizer
Deputy Director, Advocacy and Organizing
Ironbound Community Corporation, The ROOTS Project
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.
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 https://casapueblo.org/)
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.
Organizer, Storyteller, Grandfather
Senior Community Organizer
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
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.
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
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
Performing Artist, Collaborative Activist
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 www.artspotproductions.org to learn about and support our work.
Mother, Activist, Justice-seeker
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 https://new.comingcleaninc.org/donate
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
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.
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
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 at niijiiradio.org by clicking on the Donate Now in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Specify where you would like your donation be used.
Social-Entrepreneur, Therapist, Father
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.
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’.
Performing Artist, Producer, Cultural Organizer
New Orleans, Louisiana
Nick Slie is a New Orleans-born performer, producer and cultural organizer. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Mondo Bizarro.
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
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.
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.
Jeffrey Yoo Warren
Artist, Community scientist, Tinkerer
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: https://unterbahn.com/
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.
Storyteller, Builder, Leader
Executive Director (UPROSE), Co-Chair (Climate Justice Alliance)
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.
Writer, Latina, Cat mom
Bold Culture, The Mujerista
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Storyteller, Realist, Anti-Capitalist
Breaking Clean Communications
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.
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.
writer, journalist, listener
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.
Curious, Enterprise Journalist
The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Grist
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.
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.
St. Martin’s Press
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.
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.
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!
Southerner, Writer, Mother
Writer and Editor
Scalawag, Bitter Southerner, New York Times
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.