CEE-Change Fellowship

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people working together to clean up community

CEE-Change Fellowship:
Building Leadership in Civics and Environmental Education (CEE)

ee360 and Cedar Tree Foundation launched the CEE-Change Fellowship to scale up our impact as we work to create a more equitable and sustainable future.

NAAEE's newest initiative to support leadership and innovation in civics and environmental education across North America identifies leaders as CEE-Change Fellows. NAAEE recognizes the value in fostering leadership within schools and at the community level, promoting civic engagement and environmental responsibility, and ultimately building more resilient and healthy communities.

The eighteen-month fellowship provides CEE-Change Fellows with opportunities to learn and network through online professional development, technical assistance, and face-to-face training. Fellows design civic engagement (CE) and environmental education (EE) Community Action Projects and have access to a limited pool of mini-grant funding to support their work, leadership training, and professional development opportunities. Participants will learn civic engagement skills together with environmental education skills, and look at how the two fields can collaborate more deliberately. Each project addresses U.S. EPA’s core mission to provide Americans with clean air, land, and water.

CEE-Change, Together

Welcome to our blog series, CEE-Change, Together. Each month, NAAEE will post narratives from the CEE-Change Fellows as they implement their community action projects and work to strengthen environmental education and civic engagement capabilities, all supporting the mission of cleaner air, land, and water. Join us on their journey by reading their blog posts. We will release a few new stories each month on eePRO and link to them here!

March 2022: "Deliberative Dialogue Forums: Effectively Engaging Communities on Challenging Topics," by Mandy Baily

April 2022: "Facilitating Teen and Adult Community Environmental Action Projects via Near-Peer Mentors and Resources", by Laura Cisneros

April 2022: "Parley for the Oceans: Fighting Marine and Coastal Plastic Pollution," by Judith Morales 

May 2022: "Cepow Cameroon Helps Solve Cameroon's Plastic Waste Problem," by Fontoh Desmond Abinwi

June 2022: "Community-Based Science Gives Middle Schoolers a Voice for Education," by Patricia Dugan-Henriksen 

June 2022: "Climate Conversations Collaborative," by Lisa Yeager

July 2022: "Place-Based Education and Civic Engagement," by Aubrae Filipiak

July 2022: "Environmental Leadership Project Connecting Youth to Their Communities," by Danny Woolums

August 2022: "Adapting Formal Education Curriculum to Fit a Nonformal Setting" by Jenna Hoover 

September 2022: "Neighbor2Neighbor: A Community Action Research Project to Scaffold Transitions Towards Sustainability" by Melanie Schikore

September 2022: "Water Reflections Across Generations" by Carolin Ellerkamp

Partnership

The fellowship program is a partnership with U.S. EPA and the Cedar Tree Foundation to help strengthen environmental education and civic engagement. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT U.S. EPA’S MISSION

Questions? Contact: CEEchangeFellow@naaee.org

2021 CEE-Change archive 

2018 ee360 Community Fellow Archives 

CCC and T3 Fellow Archives

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CEE-Change Cedar Tree ee360 EPA logos v3

CEE-Change Fellows

Siya Aggrey

Siya Aggrey

Siya (he/him/his) is currently the founder and director of EcoHealth180 in Uganda, an organization that works to prepare communities for potential disease outbreaks. He’s looking forward to sharing his knowledge in writing and publishing with the rest of the fellows. He brings experience in integrating public health, gender and nutrition within environmental conservation initiatives, environmental education in mountain communities, and engagement of healthcare service providers in environmental education.

Siya would like to travel to the Carpathian Mountains. Some things he likes to do outside of work include braaing (meat roasting) with friends and accompanying it with some good music and a drink. 

Integrating Environmental Education Within Community-based Disease Surveillance System in Mountain Communities of Elgon Region (ECSEMER)

The Project
This project aims to enhance resilience to…

Cesar Almeida

Cesar Almeida

DJ, Planet Chambo

CEE-Change Fellow

Cesar (he/him) knows sound and music are necessary catalysts for change. Creative director for Planet Chambo in Chicago, Illinois, he finds energy and rest through his own creative work as a DJ, spending time with family and friends, and sports. He brings interests and knowledge in youth program design, video and audio production, DJing, artist network, and podcast production to the Fellowship. 

Cesar would like to travel to the largest solar plant in Morocco and record local traditions of music in Ecuador.

Dancing for Environmental Justice

The Project
"Dancing for Environmental Justice" aims to eliminate the barriers to inclusive, just, and sustainable access to green spaces across Chicago through transformative artistic performances that feature BIPOC artists. Our team intends to use the CEE mini-grant funding to fund episodes 2 and 3, which will take place at…

Mandy Sunshine Baily

Mandy Sunshine Baily

University of Florida

Mandy Sunshine (she/her) brings being a positive-discipline practicing mother of three vibrant boys, meditation/yoga facilitation, and a knowledge of Florida’s subtropical coastal ecosystems to the Fellowship. It’s no surprise then, that she enjoys surfing, biking, and playing outside. 

She harnesses that positive energy in her community action project, which aims to engage communities in deliberative dialogues to reveal the values of a diversity of participants and encourage the co-creation of solutions by those being impacted by local environmental concerns. Her work as a team member of the University of Florida and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University extension collaborative Community Voices, Informed Choices (CIVIC) is focused on creating a toolkit that can be utilized by extension agents to promote in-depth and inclusive community exploration of challenging natural resource issues, such as land use and water…

Ramona Big Eagle

Ramona Big Eagle

n/a

Tower to Table for Food Security, Education, and Sustainability

The Project
This project proposes an innovative gardening idea that uses education to help to address a community environmental issue. Community members (specifically seniors and children) will take part in attending classes and I will teach them about nutrition, healthy living through gardening, and entrepreneurship. As a result of the training they receive, the participants will grow and eat nutritious vegetables and fruits and learn how to sustain themselves financially!

Goal

Serve seniors and children from underserved communities and individuals that live in food deserts with classes and hands on experiences that will help them achieve a more equitable and sustainable future for themselves.

Project Outcomes

  • Community members will gain new knowledge, skills,…
Eileen Boekestein

Eileen Boekestein

Environmental Education Coordinator, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Like many environmentalists, Eileen (she/her) finds solace in getting outside. Hiking and bird watching are two of her interests. No agenda? No problem! That’s part of the fun. Eileen would love to visit the Patagonia region of South America one day, but she also loves exploring the wild parts of her home state, Michigan.

Eileen works as the Environmental Education Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). She brings with her years of cross-boundary work connecting science and governmental organizations with the public and is excited to share her experience facilitating multi-stakeholder community partnerships with others in the Fellowship. Eileen holds a BS in Environmental Biology from Cornerstone University and MS in Environmental Studies with an Environmental Communication emphasis from Green Mountain College. She’s a veteran public speaker, grant writer, and written word…

Caleb Carlton

Caleb Carlton

Executive Director, Young Voices for The Planet

Caleb (he/him) is preparing for the future. His work as the executive director of Young Voices For the Planet is all about mentoring and supporting young people to become agents of change in their communities and beyond. He brings experience in development, education, leadership, and media with a whole range of skills within those areas. 

His community action project is youth-focused. Caleb is focused on empowering youth to shape their own future by using their voices, values, perspectives and talents to craft stories of hope and solution for the environmental and climate crises.

“Young Voices For the Planet collaborates with a diverse group of young leaders who've done incredible work in the environmental-civic action sphere, and these young leaders are ready to mentor youth through similar projects and processes of engagement and action. Our core work will be to support community-based youth action projects, and to…

Laura Cisneros

Laura Cisneros

Assistant Extension Professor, University of Connecticut

In between long-distance running and searching for animal tracks, Laura (she/her) is devoted to building capacity for impactful environmental action through a civic engagement lens. Her work as a professor at the University of Connecticut provides her the opportunity to work with youth-driven to take action in their communities. Laura brings an extensive background in ecological knowledge and research, experience with user-friendly mapping technologies, resources on equity, diversity, and inclusion, and experience developing community action projects. If Laura could travel anywhere in the world she’d visit either a local Connecticut lake, a neotropical rainforest (where she did her PhD research), or the Oaxacan mountains (where her family is from).

Facilitating Teen & Adult Community Environmental Action Projects via Near-peer Mentors & Resources

Read more about Laura's project in "…

Victor Davila

Victor Davila

ACTION Program Manager , THE POINT CDC
Fontoh Desmond Abinwi

Fontoh Desmond Abinwi

Executive Director, Crusaders for Environmental Protection and Ozone Watch

Fontoh works to build “eco-kids for the future” by empowering young children to be ambassadors and combat growing environmental challenges.

Fontoh joins the Fellowship from ​​the Crusaders for Environmental Protection and Ozone Watch located in Cameroon. He brings with him an enjoyment of tourism, art and culture, and music concerts. His professional skills include developing community conservation actions, promoting environmental education amongst kids, project writing and management, crowdfunding and fundraising skills, and lastly skills on effective tree planting and bio-monitoring. 

Fontoh hopes to visit any national parks around the world with unique biodiversity qualities. 

He has been inspired by many passion-driven achievers in the field of environmental education. However, his greatest source of inspiration has been Mahatma Gandhi with his purity of heart and the way he emphasized protecting Mother…

Patricia Dugan-Henriksen

Patricia Dugan-Henriksen

Middle School Science Teacher, Groveton High School

If you asked Patti (she/her) what energizes her, there’s no doubt she’d tell you her profession as a middle school teacher is very important to her. But, outside of work, a nice weekend cultivating her garden or relaxing at the beach are also dear. Patti holds years of experience in both formal and nonformal education settings and with a variety of age levels. Where would Patti travel? She’d go to Tibet!

Groveton Passion Projects

The Project
The funds from this mini-grant will be used to provide students with an introduction to civic engagement through two different organizations: The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) with a focus on climate and New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHGS) with a focus on watersheds. During the fall semester, 7th grade students from Groveton High School will investigate ways they can make a difference in their community and choose a passion project that they will implement…

Carolin Ellerkamp

Carolin Ellerkamp

Swaraj

Music focuses and motivates Carolin (she/her). Sports energizes and activates her. Developing and providing access to safe water pushes her every day. Carolin’s community action project aims to be an intercultural and intergenerational exchange of ideas all relating to water quality, access, and sustainable solutions to ensure everyone has access to safe water. 

Currently, Carolin studies and works in Germany and would love to see the whole world and all its diversity in nature. If there were three natural wonders that stand out, they are the aurora borealis, tropical rainforests, and the deep sea. Until she can travel to all those places, in the meantime she’s exploring every inch of Germany. 

Among the many skills Carolin brings to the fellowship are knowledge in environmental and sustainability sciences, inter- and transdisciplinary science, photography, fundraising, and communications including website design. …

Aubrae Filipiak

Aubrae Filipiak

Director, Woodland Pond School

Aubrae (she/her) serves as the director of the Woodland Pond School in Bangor, Maine. She brings a lot of business operations, organizational, non-profit management, and process improvement experience and she’s willing to share it all with the fellows in the program! Her community action project has two prongs. One, build a series of CEUs for Maine educators to help them add project-based, nature-based learning projects to their curricula. Two, outreach to families in Maine about why nature-based, project-based learning is a great option, and how to advocate for more within their community schools.

Aubrae is always seeking her next adventure. She likes to spend time hanging out with friends and family, exploring Maine, eating good food and overthinking attributes to include in her bio.

Woodland Pond School on the Town!

The Project
Woodland Pond School will put together a program of public…

Shannon Francis

Shannon Francis

Executive Director, Spirit of the Sun, Inc

Mycelium Healing Project

Restorative Healing and Justice
In the Northeast Denver Metropolitan area, the constituents are primarily made up of BIPOC marginalized communities that live in the most polluted zip code in Colorado and face daily health and financial impacts from living with devastating air pollution as well as water and soil contamination. These "disproportionately impacted community" (DIC) have been neglected and abused by major corporations like fossil fuel giant and #1 polluter in the state Suncor Oil Refinery. In addition to Spirit of the Sun’s youth services, elder care and small climate and social justice policy education work, we believe as Indigenous leaders and organizers that our people need restorative healing and justice to step out more boldly and engage more broadly on climate and environmental public policy issues in government venues.

The Project

Erica Hall

Erica Hall

Vice Chair, Executive Committee , Suncoast Sierra Club

Erica Hall, M.S. CED, MBA, ARM, has a multi-disciplinary background as a community economic development practitioner, community organizer, environmental justice advocate, Board member, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) facilitator/trainer/consultant, and Senior Legal Professional with interests in intersectional environmentalism exploring the connection between sustainability, resiliency, food waste, climate change, food insecurity, the built form and placemaking, economic resilience, racial, social justice and equity, housing diversity, and affordability. Erica is currently the Board Chair/Executive Director of the Florida Food Policy Council; a statewide food policy council working to explore and address gaps in the food system in Florida. Erica is also Executive Committee Vice-Chair of the Suncoast Sierra Club, on the Chapter’s JEDI Committee and has created a JEDI Taskforce within the Suncoast Group to lead the…

Jenna Hoover

Jenna Hoover

Spirituality and EE Group Moderator, Program Educator, Chino Basin Water Conservation District

Jenna (Hoover) Cobb (she/her) is passionate about facilitating spaces to cultivate a relationship with nature and engaging youth in academic, advocacy, and faith-based settings to seek community transformation together. She is currently located on unceded Tongva land in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California in the United States. As a Program Educator at the Chino Basin Water Conservation District and a former youth pastor, Jenna is excited about incorporating spirituality, Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and civics in environmental education.

She is also part of NAAEE’s 2021-22 CEE-Change Fellowship for building leadership in civics and environmental education. For her fellowship project, Jenna developed a cohort program of middle and high school volunteers who received community service hours for developing community action projects related to groundwater in the District’s service area, as well…

Justin Kaput

Justin Kaput

Teacher, Suffield Public Schools

A lover of music, nature, and adventure Justin (he/him) is excited to share skills in wildlife and restoration ecology, project and place based learning, curriculum design, and techniques to connect people with the natural world with all those in the Fellowship. A teacher hailing from Suffield, Connecticut, naming just one place he’d like to travel proved challenging. Some of the possibilities include watching grey whales in Mexico or scuba diving through the Great Barrier Reef. 

An avid mountain biker, traveler, and outdoor enthusiast, adventure is always around the corner for Justin. That said, simply spending time with Mother Nature or with his guitar also energizes him. 

Walk to the Hart of Climate Change

The Project
This community action project seeks to engage students, teachers, scientists, and legislators in working to transform communities across Connecticut through a platform…

Shougat Nazbin Khan

Shougat Nazbin Khan

Shougat (she/her) is committed to sustainable development as she works on building sustainable communities and advocates for it globally. Her experience in the field as Advisor & Environmental Specialist at ICSA, Climate Ambassador at Global Youth Climate Network (GYCN), Global Schools Advocate at United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN), United Nations Young Leader for Sustainable Development Goals, Young Ambassador at ‘The Earth Project’, Founder & COO at ORGASUS, Chairperson at H. A. Foundation, Founder at H. A. Digital School & College brings sustainability and education into the same sphere. 

Similarly, her community action project demonstrates her commitment to ensuring the quality of life for those in her community stands the test of time. During her CEE-Change Fellowship journey, she would like to design, develop and launch Solar Photovoltaic (PV) operated environmentally friendly…

Matt Kirchman

Matt Kirchman

President/ Creative Director, ObjectIDEA

Matt (he/him) loves museums. So much, that his Community Action Project aims to create a Community of Practice comprising museum professionals eager to radically transform the way museums approach environmental education. Together he and his colleagues will assess how the museum field is doing and where it needs to go to foster a more environmentally literate museum audience. 

Interpretation and design are important to Matt—he loves organized and beautiful exhibitions and envisions that museum exhibits will be a particular focus of the Community Action Project. Matt would love to travel to the Galapagos Islands. In his time outside of work he enjoys hiking and paddling. 

 

Benchmarks for Environmental Literacy in Museums

The Project
I am intending to work in partnership with museum professionals across the United States to develop and disseminate a suite of resources that support…

Sandra Luna

Sandra Luna

Educator, Occidental College

Sandra (she/her) surrounds herself with plants. Not only is she an avid gardener, but she enjoys guiding others in the process of starting their own home gardens. Sandra Luna is an educator, photographer, social entrepreneur, world traveler, gardener, school garden advocate, food justice advocate, and environmentalist living in Los Angeles. She is an immigrant from Guatemala and she grew up in Pico Union/Mid City. 

She has taught and managed various horticulture programs at various inner city high schools in Los Angeles for the last 15 years. She is currently the garden educator at two elementary schools in North East LA through a partnership with Occidental College and Sprouts.  

The plant love continues through her passions of hiking in national and local parks, and taking photographs of nature. 

Sandra’s community action project will be part of an effort in Northeast LA to green this community and campus by…

Judith Morales

Judith Morales

Regional Manager, Mexico Program, Parley for the Oceans

When Judith is passionate about something, she dives in headfirst. Whether she’s working on conservation projects at the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, or traveling the globe to find great diving locations, or developing her community action project, Judith is committed to being a voice for the environment.

Two places Judith would like to visit are Iceland and the Patagonia glaciers.

Plastic Pollution Awareness Program

The Project
The Plastic Pollution Awareness is an ongoing program that has been implemented since 2019 by Parley for the Oceans in Mexico. The program is targeted to university students from Cancun, Mexico. Each group participates for at least 3 months. The project goal is to create awareness of the excessive consumption of plastic at home and activate youth and their families to change habits. Last year results showed us that students from Cancun identified options to avoid…

Kevin O'Connor

Kevin O'Connor

Associate Professor and Chair, Mount Royal University

Kevin joins the Fellowship from Calgary, Alberta. The skills he brings to the Fellowship are community partnership development and teacher education. Establishing partnerships between and within communities is a skill he intends to capitalize on throughout the duration of the Fellowship. 

Activities that energize Kevin include sea kayaking and canoeing, and skiing (telemark and skijoring). A place he’d like to visit is Glacier Bay, Alaska. 

Keepers of our Place: Community Environmental Monitoring Project

The Project
This community action project will include three distinct communities that neighbor each other in the southwest region of the city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They are: Connect Charter School, Tsuut’ina First Nation Band Middle School, Mount Royal University-Department of Education. A recent developing major transportation route (‘ring road’), which intersects the 3…

Angela Rivera

Angela Rivera

Educator, Prairie View Middle School

Angela (she/her) solves mysteries. Whether she’s tracking down the prize while geocaching or working with her students to audit food waste in their cafeteria, she knows there’s always something new to discover. 

As a 7th grade science and social studies teacher, her community action project will provide the students she teaches with an opportunity to not only dive into the sustainability issue of food waste, but to lead a community event and build partnerships within the community. 

In addition to geocaching, Angela also enjoys scrapbooking. She’d love to re-visit Cinque Terra in Italy. 

 

Natasha Sarkar

Natasha Sarkar

Teacher, Inner City Youth Development Association

Natasha (she/her) chases mountains—no plans, just her and the wildlife that live on them. She enjoys hiking and being with people who feel a connection to nature. It’s no surprise she’d travel to any forest path hidden in an urban landscape that has the sights, smells and sounds of being transported away—think any of the green spaces in Alberta, British Columbia, Texas, Indiana, New York or Washington. She’s also been spotted in rural paddy fields in Eastern India, among Zen gardens in Japan, ancient caves in New Zealand and even in the middle of the Pacific Ocean!

The Four Directions Healing Garden Project

The Project
This student-led project is to design and implement a sustainable garden/healing space with Alberta native plant species in consultation with traditional Indigenous Elders from our community. Medicines and sacred plants such as Cedar, Tobacco, Sage and Sweetgrass may be planted.…

Melanie Schikore

Melanie Schikore

Communicas Collaborative

Melanie (she/her) has an extensive history employing a social justice lens to projects and is especially interested in migration and the environment. Through dialogic learning and hands-on workshops, local funds of knowledge will be surfaced to create a living knowledge base.  

Melanie enjoys papermaking, photography, songwriting, and is an amateur entomologist.  If she could travel anywhere in the world she’d visit Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. She brings JEDI, project design, action research, and conscious leadership skills to her work.

Neighbor2Neighbor

The Project
Neighbor2Neighbor builds learning and engagement scaffolds from resident’s lawns to the surrounding social structures of community. Dialogic learning and hands-on practice for changemaking surfaces tacit funds of CEE knowledge that neighbors and community leaders can use to build “permaculture precincts,” naming and overcoming…

David Silverman

David Silverman

CEE-Change Fellow

David (he/him/co) is a sustainability, communications and community learning professional  whose work in policy, science journalism, education and public health focuses on the prospects for scaling participatory, multi-sectoral, whole systems transitions.

David’s CEE community action project, Neighbor2Neighbor, focuses on the power and limits of dialogue and storytelling between neighbors and their community institutions. Starting with basic questions about community and institutional relationships, the project’s civic engagement with neighbors, leaders and experts in diverse communities will document emergent cultural and institutional sustainability action/learning strategies. What happens when residents convert lawns to gardens, when neighbors commit to share community solar, or parks become food forests? What can community institutions do to support rather than impede the creation of new, sustainability commons? How might…

Kimi Waite

Kimi Waite

Educator & Ph.D. Candidate, NAAEE CEE Change Fellow

Kimi (she/her), educator and Ph.D. student and 2019 30 Under 30 alum, brings a wealth of experience as a K–12 educator to the Fellowship. Her professional practice lies in the intersections of social justice education, social studies, environmental literacy, and climate change education. She is on the Board of Directors of NAAEE’s state affiliate, the California Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. Kimi serves on the National Council for the Social Studies Notable Trade Books Selection Committee, and is the 2021 California Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year. Kimi is also a Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis with The OpEd Project and The Yale Program for Climate Change Communication. 

Kimi is a global educator and has taught in South Los Angeles, South Korea, and Guyana. As a former expat and the daughter of a flight attendant, she’s traveled to over…

Olivia Walton

Olivia Walton

Education Coordinator, St. Croix Environmental Association

CEE-Change Fellow

Olivia Walton (she/her), brings her mission as an educator to this fellowship: "to foster a passion for celebrating and protecting the natural world through interdisciplinary, exploratory, and inspirational opportunities for kids of all ages and backgrounds; particularly the most underrepresented and at-risk members of our global community." Olivia’s experiences of creating equitable and engaging environmental education (EE) content and connecting with communities in a culturally respectful and relevant way will be integral for a project prioritizing both civics and environmental education.

In her time outside of work, Olivia loves cooking—mostly Italian food because she’s half Italian—and enjoys reading Tarot Cards. If Olivia could travel to any place in the world, she’d travel to Caño Cristales, nature's rainbow river!

 

Sustainable Food for Freedom City

The…

Danny Woolums

Danny Woolums

Environmental Education Coordinator, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government

Danny (he/him), environmental education coordinator for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), knows the value of local government engaging with residents. He has a strong understanding of how city and state governments work, and knows how environmental education can meet the goals of those entities. Danny has previously served on the board of directors of his state affiliate, the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education, and currently serves as the Chair of the LFUCG Environmental Commission. His passion for environmental education first started when he was overseeing waste education outreach to his fellow undergraduate students in college.

Danny enjoys kayaking and hiking with friends. He’d love to one day scuba dive along the coral reefs off the northern coast of Honduras, the country where his mother’s family is from.

Lexington’s Youth Environmental Academy (YEA)

Project Background…

Lisa Yeager

Lisa Yeager

Miami University

Graduate student Lisa (she/they) of Seattle, Washington, welcomes good news. More importantly, she creates it. No obstacles are too high (or too deep) for Lisa—she’d visit the Mariana Trench if she had the opportunity. Aside from her interest in exploring the deep sea, she loves  hiking, riding her bike, and learning dry-land mushing with her husky Loki—yes, that’s a real thing! 

She’s currently pursuing a second master’s degree through Miami University’s Project Dragonfly and brings with her a breadth of skills and experience including  in program and project management, consulting, and applied improvisation, all of which she is excited to share with the rest of the fellows. 

Lisa’s mission is to broaden the community of people talking about climate change, especially through the arts. She believes that when we diversity when, where and how we talk about climate, we create new pathways to civic engagement and co-…

Zee Zetino

Zee Zetino

Program Coordinator,

Zee (they/them) is a Program Coordinator at Community Nature Connection, a non-profit that focuses on increasing access to the outdoors for communities most impacted by racial, socio-economic, and disability injustices.

Outside of work, Zee leads Rootin’ 4 Us, a land-based collective where they empower communities through land liberation, community food networks, and ancestral knowledge and practices. Drawing inspiration from Fannie Lou Hamer and many other Black radical ancestors, Zee brings 10 years of community organizing and popular political education, alongside their profound commitment to reciprocal healing between soil and self.

Zee heads into nature as often as they can. This interest lends itself easily to birding, hiking, and nature journaling—a few activities that energize Zee. At a young age, Zee’s interest in growing food stemmed from their grandma tending to her fruit trees in South Central LA. Now, Zee…