David Chang

Roles at NAAEE:

30 Under 30

Environmental Health Coordinator
WE ACT for Environmental Justice

A native to San Francisco's southeast region, David first became exposed to environmental injustice in parks closest to his home. Unlike the parks he would frequent for soccer tournaments or weekend picnics in the city's northwest, David found himself a victim of crime across several parks just blocks from his house. These parks were unsafe, lacked maintenance, and too often seemed disregarded. In 2004, David joined the Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders Program at the Crissy Field Center where he laid down roots in environmental education, stewardship, and environmental justice.

Ten plus years later, David continues to follow in the steps of his mentors at the Crissy Field Center. His passion is to empower those he works with to speak up about issues they are facing and to ensure that their voices are heard. He has developed multilingual environmental education programs, incorporated advocacy/political education components into said programs, set up town hall meetings and events with elected officials, and used citizen science/community based participatory research to strengthen campaigns. As the Environmental Health Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice, David manages a ten week educational course titled the Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training Program, liaises between WE ACT and its academic partners to translate environmental health research back to the community, and organizes the Healthy Homes Campaign where he sits on steering committees for two coalitions: Asthma Free Homes and Stand for Tenant Safety. With WE ACT, David also served as a judge for the National Environmental Health Association Innovating for Environmental Health App Challenge and is currently a member of the American Public Health Association's - Environmental Health Coalition.

Prior to working at WE ACT, David collected qualitative data around park usage as a social assessment field researcher for the NYC Urban Field Station. He also led environmental education and stewardship programs for the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department as well as the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. As a result of these programs, the parks he once found to be unsafe and underserved are now in the hands of various volunteer groups and youth who share a role in helping to improve the parks on weekends and on monthly cleanup days. David holds a BA in Environmental Studies/Biology from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Environmental Conservation Education from NYU