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Our 2024 cohort of fellows comes to you from Barbados and 11 states across the US. With 619 years of combined wisdom and counting, please meet our cherished fellows!

Black woman & femme hands holding dandelions making a pinky promise

meet our fellows
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Maya Whalen-Kipp is a native New Yorker, environmental scientist, and energy policy professional working at the US Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. She is thriving at the intersection of decarbonizing the United States, creating equitable jobs, and supporting diverse entrepreneurship in climate tech. Outside of her day job Maya is an E2 fellow where she created Awk Consulting and the Decoding Climate Jobs Podcast to help young, queer and BIPOC folks to launch into clean tech careers. Maya holds a B.S. in Biology, M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy, and previously served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Fiji.

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Cheryl has dedicated the past 7 years to creating a more equitable food system for Black and Brown communities through her food justice work. She has served as Market Manager of Schenectady Greenmarket for 5 years, leading initiatives centered on making the market more accessible and welcoming for Black and Brown communities. In 2023, she transitioned into an Executive Director role with the market to focus on building the market’s fundraising strategies to sustain the growing market’s food access programming and initiatives. Cheryl also serves as Co-ED of Communications and Development at Soul Fire Farm (Grafton, NY), where she cultivates and stewards relationships with foundations, businesses, and individuals to educate and inspire community to take action in dismantling racism in the food system. She is also one of the 12 Black food system leaders who developed the Anti-Racist Farmers Market Toolkit in collaboration with the Farmers Market Coalition.

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Diamond Stylz is one of the leading Black voices in the transgender community. She cut her teeth in activism in a 1999 First Amendment rights case when she was in high school. She was the first openly transgender woman to attend Jackson State University. She is the executive director of Black Trans Women Inc, an advocacy group focused on building strong and effective Black trans leadership and socioeconomic power. Diamond is also a content creator, hosting the Houston based Marsha’s Plate podcast. She has appeared on CNN, ABC, BET and The Root, among others, and has written for a myriad of websites, magazines, and blogs. She is also a board member of Transgender Law Center, Transgender District of San Francisco, and A Call To Men.



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Breonna McCree, a dedicated advocate for social justice, has over twenty years of experience supporting the transgender community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Formerly the Director of Community Engagement at the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health, UCSF, she led initiatives in empowerment, behavioral interventions, and HIV prevention. McCree has made significant contributions to organizations like Walden House Recovery Services, TARC, Public Health Institute, and UCSF. Recognized as a 2023 Grand Marshal by San Francisco Pride and supported by Mayor London Breed, Senator Scott Wiener, and the Bayard Rustin Coalition, McCree now serves as Co-Executive Director of the Transgender District. Focusing on collaboration and partnership, she aims to economically empower transgender individuals in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood through business ownership and community initiatives.



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Santra Denis, a South Florida native, serves as Executive Director of the Miami Workers Center, leading power-building efforts for working-class care workers, tenants, women, and families. Founded in 1999, the center fights against public housing demolition, working-class displacement, and advocates for equitable wages and safer working conditions. In 2020, they secured public benefits for domestic violence survivors and pushed for Miami-Dade County’s Wage Theft Program. Recently, in 2022, they achieved a Tenants Bill of Rights and $2.9 million for Eviction Diversion in 2023. Ms. Denis, a feminist and anti-classism organizer, prioritizes Black and Immigrant working-class leadership, founding Avanse Ansanm to empower South Florida’s Haitian-American communities. As a first-generation Haitian-American, she holds a Bachelor’s in Health Science from the University of Florida and a Master of Public Health in Policy and Management from Florida International University. Dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression, her mission is the liberation of all people.



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Vanessa is a 23 year old trans woman working with We The People Public Health AmeriCorps Fellow @ Damien Ministries, based in Washington, DC.

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Kel Baker is a proud black, queer, non-binary and disabled person that spends their free time with their cats and crocheting. They feel like the climate justice space has allowed for them to be their authentic self while working toward a liberated future. Kel is extremely grateful to be apart of this fellowship and will bring encouragement, care and heart to the co created safe space.



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Adrielle Kwapong is a 20-something, first generation Ghanaian American. She is a textbook eldest daughter, music aficionado, and multifaceted creative. Fueled by her passion for uplifting her community, she has gravitated towards the fields of public health and psychology. Over the past decade, she has dedicated her efforts to collaborative initiatives with Life Givers Missions, spanning both the United States and Ghana, aimed at supporting marginalized individuals within the Black community. With her own nonprofit organization on the horizon, Adrielle’s dream is to advance the global Black population. Whether financially, artistically, mentally, or spiritually— her aspiration is to cultivate an environment where Black people thrive holistically.



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Jilisa Milton is an Birmingham-based attorney and social worker with nearly a decade of experience working on social justice issues at the intersection of racial equity and mental health. Currently, she is Co-director at GASP (Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution), a nonprofit with the mission to enhance the health and wellbeing of Alabamians by reducing air pollution, advancing environmental justice, and promoting climate solutions through education, advocacy, and collaboration. Jilisa was born in New York City during the so-called Wars on Drugs and Poverty – racist policies that targeted and harmed many families of color. After being removed from her mother’s custody at a young age, Ms. Milton was adopted by her grandparents and moved to their hometown of Birmingham, Alabama where she grew up. Her family and community experience remains important as she continues the legacy of her grandparents, who instilled in her a passion for racial justice.



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Destiny Hodges is a Black queer organizer, multimedia director/producer, and senior communications major at Howard University from Birmingham, Alabama. Co-founder of Generation Green, Destiny champions "environmental liberation" as a movement. Their storytelling methods, rooted in cultural experience, advocate for climate and environmental justice as essential components of Black liberation. They focus on building community and solidarity across the Global Black Diaspora to foster collective power for systems change. Exploring African traditional religions' role in movements as a practitioner in the Yoruba tradition, they also produce the award-winning climate and culture-focused podcast, The Coolest Show presented by Hip Hop Caucus.



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Elize Rostant is a creative professional with a background in design, management and arts administration. Her collaborative approach has led to her successful management of public, private and civil sector teams in the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. She has also worked on transnational projects in the creative and cultural industries with partners from around the world. Over the past several years, Elize has delved more deeply into sustainable development initiatives in the Caribbean as the Festival Director of NEW FIRE Festival; integrating eco-tourism, the arts and regenerative environmental practices as a means of achieving positive cultural transformation. In her current role as Managing Director of WIRRED, Elize works with a team of experts in stewarding the largest regeneration project in the Caribbean where 277 acres of mined lands in Barbados are being transformed into a nature reserve and living laboratory for climate resilience. Elize believes in the power of harnessing the region’s potential through the development of our people and strives to be a catalyst for positive change by applying her skills and talents to building communities nationally, regionally and internationally.



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Tianna Renee-Arredondo is a environmental justice consultant, researcher, mind-body life coach, facilitator and trans-disciplinary artist. the projects and commitments they maintain meet at the intersections of climate change, psycho-somatic education, black femme informatics, and narrative strategy. their main vocational focus have been fossil fuel divestment and transformative leadership. they support social change makers, communities and organizations to create curriculums, databases, metrics, organizational change plans, programs, art projects and campaign strategies that focus on resource redistribution and relational healing.



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Jaelynn Scott, M.Div., is the Executive Director of the Lavender Rights Project, a Seattle-based Black trans advocacy organization. With roots in Mississippi, Jaelynn's work centers on racial justice, LGBT inclusion, and gender expansive organizing, blending intersectional approaches. She offers guidance and leadership development for faith-based and nonprofit organizations, bridging spirituality and activism. An ordained Buddhist minister, Jaelynn's leadership reflects her southern Christian upbringing, emphasizing maternal care and mindfulness. Recognized as a Local Pride Hero by Rep. Pramila Jayapal and recipient of several advocacy awards, Jaelynn brings a unique perspective to her organizing, rooted in Black queer and trans southern experiences. Residing in Tacoma, WA, she shares her life with her partner and their two fur babies, Bodhi and Shabba.



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Multifaceted Nakisa Glover is a climate and environmental justice practitioner, tech advocate, cultural consultant, and community engagement expert. She crafts strategies across activism, films, music, and podcasts to engage millennials, Gen Z, artists, entertainers, leaders, entrepreneurs, and politicians. Nakisa founded Sol Nation, advocating for real SOLutions, worked with Girls Who Code to close gender gaps in technology, and served as a Think 100% Campaigner for Hip Hop Caucus, addressing climate change and environmental injustices. She shares expertise on race, climate, gender, technology, and justice with various media outlets and has been featured as a speaker at numerous events. Nakisa, a 2019 Grist 50 Fixer, hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, with a biology degree from UNC Charlotte. She serves as Community Engagement Chair for UNC Charlotte Black Alumni Chapter and Environmental Justice Consultant to UNC Charlotte Africana Studies & Honors Students. Explore more at



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Zelalem Adefris is the CEO of Catalyst Miami. Before being named CEO in April 2023, Zelalem was Catalyst Miami’s deputy CEO where she oversaw the implementation of the organization’s critical programs, policy agenda, and strategic plan. Zelalem joined Catalyst Miami in 2016, and has a deep passion for achieving climate, social, and racial justice. In addition to her role at Catalyst Miami, Zelalem serves as a co-chair of the Miami Climate Alliance and as a philanthropic trustee of the Solutions Project. She has been recognized as a 2023 Rockwood Leadership Institute Fellow, 2020 Grist 50 Fixer, 2020 Florida International University Emerging Leader Finalist, and 2017 Miami Times New Generation of Dreamers awardee. Zelalem holds an MPH in Global Environmental Health from Emory University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Health from Brown University.



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Mariama Williams, Ph.D. in Economics, is the managing partner of the Integrated Policy Research Institute (IPRI Syntrophy)/FromtheOutside2theInside LLC and Senior Advisor for the Global Afro-descendant Collaborative for Climate Justice (GADCJC). She authored "Gender and Climate Finance," "Gender Issues in the Multilateral Trading System," and co-authored "Trading Stories: Experiences with Gender and Trade" and "Gender and Trade Action Guide." Mariama served as lead author for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and on the United Nations High-Level Task Force on Financing for Gender Equality. She's a former Board member of the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation and AWID and is currently involved with the Caribbean Action Network, Gender and Trade Coalition, and Institute of Law and Economics. Additionally, Mariama is a certified yoga and meditation teacher.

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