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Green For All Fellows - Class 1

Green For All Fellows
Ibrahim Abdul-Matin - New York, NY

Ibrahim abdul-matin is author of the acclaimed book, "Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet." For the past ten years, ibrahim has been a passionate voice for transforming our pollution based way of life to one that prioritizes our planet and its people.

Ibrahim's dedication to the environment is rooted in his Deen - his religion of Islam. ibrahim is an environmental policy consultant and has worked with Green for All, Green City Force, Interfaith Leaders for Environmental Justice, the Prospect Park Alliance, and the New York City Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning & Sustainability.

Ibrahim is also a youth organizer and co-author of "Future 500: Youth Organizing and Activism in the United States." He is the brains behind the blog, Brooklyn Bedouin and media personality on WNYC's nationally syndicated radio show, The Takeaway. Abdul-Matin has also been published in ColorLines, WireTap Magazine, and Left Turn.

Nwamaka Agbo - Oakland, CA

A jock-turned-activist, Nwamaka grew up as a jazz-loving trumpet player who could run really fast. She did not actively begin pursuing her interest in civil rights and social justice issues until college. A first generation Nigerian, Nwamaka double majored in Sociology and African American Studies. While at the university, she realized that her passion is working for social justice issues, and that her future career would be that of a civil rights lawyer. After moving to the Bay Area, Nwamaka began volunteering at the Ella Baker Center because she believed in the organization's commitment to peace, justice and opportunity. Nwamaka is currently the Statewide Organizer for the Ella Baker Center's Soul of the City Campaign Director.

Biko Baker - Milwaukee, WI

Rob 'Biko' Baker is the Executive Director of The League of Young Voters Education Fund (LYVEF), an organization created to empower young people to be players and winners in the democratic process nationwide. Biko has been with the LYVEF since its inception, first as an innovative organizer with Milwaukee's "Campaign Against Violence", and later as national Organizing and Training Director. Biko is a nationally recognized hip-hop organizer, journalist and scholar. Biko also served as the Deputy Publicity Coordinator and Young Voter Organizer for the Brown and Black Presidential Forum (a nationally televised presidential debate which aired on MSNBC). Biko is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA, a frequent contributor to The Source, and serves on Wiretap's editorial board.

Jumaani Bates - Chicago, IL

Jumaani Bates is a community advocate for environmental issues in the city of Chicago. Currently, Jumaani holds a position as Job Developer at Growing Home, a social enterprise / job training program that promotes sustainable urban agriculture in low-income areas. He has been involved in horticulture and urban agriculture for the past six years, dealing with sustainable sites and its affiliation with high performance buildings, with an additional focus on providing job training and the option of organic produce in Englewood and other underserved communities. Jumaani is also a co-recipient of the Chaipan award, an environmental literacy trainer, and a strong proponent of inclusive environmental justice both locally and nationally.

Tem Blessed - New Bedford, MA

Temistocles Ferreira, also know as Tem Blessed, is a socially conscious Hip-Hop Artist who has been making relevant music with a message for over ten years. Born in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa to Cape Verdean parents, he recently released Blessed Energy, an album of sustainable progressive Hip-Hop music (Prog-Hop) like the "Green Anthem" and "Now is the Time" in collaboration with 3rd Eye Unlimited. Tem Blessed graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in Legal Studies and a minor in Sociology and African-American Studies. He currently lives in New Bedford and has been working with youth for over 12 years, using Hip-Hop as a tool to educate, empower and inspire. A father of two, he has been active in "Greening" New Bedford by coordinating youth Energy Audits and retrofitting for YouthBuild New Bedford. P.A.C.E. YouthBuild's Green Solutions Energy Corps trains young people between the ages of 18 and 24 to perform energy audits and weatherize homes, which saves homeowners money, provides green jobs, and helps the environment - a working model of the "green economy" with a win-win outcome for everyone.

Camille Cyprian - St. Paul, MN

Camille Cyprian is currently the Training Organizer for Campus Camp Wellstone. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with an individually designed major of Social Justice and Community Organizing. Camille is currently active in several campaigns and organizations including, Urban Embassy, a newly formed non-profit focused on youth civic engagement & leadership in the African American community; a statewide ex-felon re-enfranchisement campaign; and the rebirth of the Twin Cities League of Young Voters.

Naomi Davis - Chicago, IL

Naomi Davis is an attorney, entrepreneur, activist, and granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers who founded Blacks in Green(TM) to remind generations of our great cultural legacy - which is our stewardship of the land - and to reinvent that legacy in the age of climate change. Naomi serves on the boards of the Illinois League of Conservation Voters and Climate Justice Chicago; the Steering Committees of the Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative, Chicago Green Jobs For All, and Good Greens in Illinois; the Environmental Justice Advisory Group of the Illinois EPA and Economic Justice Committee of BALLE; and the editorial board of Environmental Justice.

David Dix - Philadelphia, PA

David H. Dix has been deeply involved in local, state and national politics since he was a teenager. He has helped lead congressional, gubernatorial, and senatorial campaigns. He has also worked for the Republican National Convention, for the Pennsylvania League of Young Voters and President-elect Barack Obama's campaign. David also has a long history serving leadership capacities for a number of advocacy groups, including the NAACP's youth and college division, the Governor's Advisory Commission on African American Affairs in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Hip Hop Political Convention and the National Hip Hop Political Convention.

Ashel Eldridge - Oakland, CA

Ashel Eldridge aka Seasunz, originally from Chicago, is an educator with the Alliance for Climate Education in Oakland, CA. He is a co-founder of Oakland's Green Youth Arts and Media Center and teaches music and meditation with Art in Action. He is a co-founder of CommuniTree, Oakland Resilience Alliance, and serves on the West Oakland Project Area Committee board. As a frontman emcee and vocalist, he has toured and performed extensively on the West Coast, including joining Bay Area hip-hop/reggae group, Wisdom and has collaborated with and toured with Bay Area breaks DJ and Producer Bassnectar on various recordings and performances. Additionally, Seasunz has either performed with or shared stages with the likes of KRS-One, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Zion I, Dead Prez, Ozomatli, Damien and Stephen Marley, Michael Franti, Midnite, Steel Pulse, and VP Records reggae artists Anthony B., Killah Priest and Warrior King. His second CD release, Earth Amplified, this summer, is a fierce tribute to the earth and peoples' struggles for justice. Download it now:

Vanessa German - Pittsburgh, PA

Vanessa German is a multi disciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh, Pa. As a performance poet and sculptor, she creates found object assemblages that speak to the power of transformation of the ordinary material to the extraordinary. Her performance work speaks to the innate power of the human spirit to transform, transcend and influence change. Most recently she has worked to organize residents of Pittsburgh around the issue of green economic development.

Rob Harman - New Orleans, LA

Rob Harman is a college student currently at Loyola University. Originally from upstate New York, he now calls New Orleans home, and probably will for the better part of his life. Growing up poor, he developed a passion for finding ways for struggling communities to fight the problems that affect them. He is currently works with and for: Loyola University Community Action Program-Special Affairs Chair The Katrina Relief Office

Zakiya Harris - Oakland, CA

Zakiya Harris is a California native, who has been working as an artist, educator and activist for the past 10 years. She received her B.A. in Political Science and History from Rutgers University and attended New College of Law in San Francisco before leaving to pursue her life long passion of teaching. She has taught elementary through collegiate level in a variety of public and private settings. In 2003, she became the lead trainer at the DJ Project where she facilitated job training and entrepreneurship modules using the medium of hip-hop culture. In 2007, she Co-Founded Grind for the Green the largest youth led “green” social marketing and events program in the nation, which is committed to moving young people of color from the margins to the epicenter of the environmental movement using hip-hop, art and culture. The program has been heralded for its innovation and production of the 1st Solar Powered Hip-Hop Music Concert in the Bay Area. In 2008, she became the first African-American Regional Director of the San Francisco Green Festival, the largest sustainability event on the planet, where she served for two years. Named one to watch by, some of her achievements include receiving the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Future Leaders award, serving as a Fellow for Green For All and presenting at Tedx Denver. Recently she co-founded Earthseed LLC and performs nationally as an accomplished dancer and vocalist. She is also the proud mother of a beautiful 5-year old daughter.

Nydria Humphries - Washington, DC

Nydria is the District of Columbia's Wards 7 and 8 Green Jobs Coordinator for a joint project of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light Organization. A native of southeast DC, Nydria brings passion and street sense to her work. One of her main professional and personal goals is to help educate, empower and encourage individuals to support the Green-economy. She is pursuing a Master's degree in Non-profit Management at Trinity University.

Jennifer Johns - Brooklyn, NY

“It is not every day that an artist achieves the ability to stir the heart and soul through song and vibration. My heart has not yet stopped stirring since I have heard Jennifer Johns." KRS-One This standout songstress has toured with and opened shows for some of the most internationally respected names in the music industry including Ms. Lauryn Hill, Black Eyed Peas, Mos Def, Common, KRS-1, Ziggy Marley, De La Sol, Zap Mama, Bebel Gilberto, and Black Thought of The Roots, to name a few. She has also graced the stages of both the NFL Hall of Fame Induction and NFL World Bowl, not to mention a historic performance at the first 2008 Presidential Debates in Oxford Mississippi. In addition to amplifying her singing voice for the masses, Johns true passion is lending her voice to bring attention to issues of food justice and sustainable living. She is apart of the first class of Green For All Fellows and the co-founder of an initiative called GO LIVE: REAL FOOD alongside partner Erwin E.A. Thomas. Through this project Johns has found a way to weave her performance talents and multimedia production skills with her passion for change in historically oppressed communities. The Go Live mission is to harness the creative energy and buying power of communities and invest both in poverty obliterating programs, projects and

Richard Merritt - Atlanta, GA

Richard D. Merritt is a senior at Morehouse College majoring in International Studies. He is a strong leader on environmental issues at Morehouse, and devotes much of his time to the recently developed urban ecological project Let's Raise a Million. This student-led, policy-driven and community-centered initiative connects underrepresented communities with leading environmental and climate justice organizations. Outside of his campus-based work, Richard also serves on the Southern Energy Networks steering committee and interns for the 1Sky Campaign in their field and outreach department.

Karen Monahan - Minneapolis, MN

Karen completed the Wellstone Fellows Program and began working with Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota (EJAM) in the summer of 2006 and served as the EJAM community organizer. Karen received a B.A. in Social Science/Urban Teacher Program from Metropolitan State University. She is currently an Environmental Justice statewide organizer with the Sierra Club and advocates for fair treatment and meaningful involvement of communities of color and low-income communities in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulation, and policies for the purpose of eliminating minority health disparities.

Khari Mosley - Pittsburgh, PA

Khari Mosley, is the Director of Green Economy Initiatives for G-Tech Strategies. Khari has received a number of awards from various organizations and institutions including: Pittsburgh Magazine, the Pittsburgh League of Women Voters and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. Khari sits on the boards of The Pittsburgh Chapter of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, The Pittsburgh ACLU, Pittsburgh Chapter Americans for Democratic Action, WQED's Community Advisory Board and The Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum. He attended Indiana Univ of PA where studied political-science. Khari lives in Pittsburgh, with his wife Chelsa and their son Thaddeus.

Khepra Ptah - Seattle, WA

Keprah Ptah has been an activist for more than 16 years starting out as an organizer for social justice. He co-founded an organization called 360 which worked on the cause social justice and at a time when police brutality was at an all time high in his hometown of Seattle Washington. Kepra now works as an organizer for "Got Green." Got Green is a grassroots organization dedicated to lifting People of Color out of poverty while striving for social and environmental justice.

LaDonna Redmond - Chicago, IL

LaDonna Redmond was a resident of the West Garfield Community. Born and raised on the south side of Chicago. Ms. Redmond grew up volunteering at Operation PUSH and has worked for her community ever since. Currently, Ms. Redmond and her husband Tracey are involved in developing an urban farm in partnership with the University of Illinois. As a national speaker, Ms. Redmond has presented to food industry leaders, the policy makers and heads of state concerning issues of community safety and food access. Ms. Redmond has also spoken at a number of colleges and universities which include University of Chicago, University of Illinois, DePaul, Stanford, University of California, Occidental College.

Juan Reynosa - Albuquerque, NM

Juan Reynosa is a born and raised New Mexican who enjoys working on social justice issues, working with youth to develop their skills, and working on pieces of policy to help lift up his community. He has been involved in a variety of organizing work in his lifetime and plans to use this experience to continue to work with the people in his community to bring more positive projects to his state. Juan is also interested in blogging, helping with the local arts and music scene, and helping to spread organizing work to smaller communities in New Mexico. Juan has his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and plans on going back for his graduate degree soon in a social justice related field.

Khadijah Robinson - Atlanta, GA

Khadijah Robinson is an English major, Spanish and Political Science double minor at Spelman College, Class of 2011. She is a part of the first Green for All Academy, held in 2008, and has been involved with environmental issues since beginning her college career. She is a member of Spelman College's Environmental Task Force as well as Morehouse College's Students Endeavoring for Enlightened Environmental Decisions. Currently, Khadijah is working as an intern for a non-profit organization based in New York, New York, the Law and Policy Group. She is the senior research intern for the biannual Report on the Status of Black Women and Girls, released 6/20/10. Khadijah spearheaded the Environmental Issues section, which will appear in the report for the first time under her direction. She is committed to the environmental education of her peers and her community, as well as seeking ways to improve the interaction between people and the environment.

Sheila Somashekhar - South Bronx, NY

Sheila Somashekhar is currently the Greenway and Green building Coordinator at Sustainable South Bronx. She recently completed a Master's Degree in Urban Planning and Public Health from the University of Michigan where she collaborated on the development of a sustainability resource center in Detroit with Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, and the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. Her graduate work has involved environmental justice, brownfield redevelopment, the built environment and obesity, and youth recreation needs.

Aaron Tanaka - Boston, MA

Aaron Tanaka is the founding Executive Director of the Boston Workers'Alliance (BWA), a grassroots union of under- and unemployed workers based in Boston's low income communities of color. Aaron has helped develop BWA's Worker Center, organizing campaigns and economic development projects, and supervises a 6-person staff. BWA is nationally recognized for a successful statewide campaign to ban the criminal history "box" from initial job application forms, and for its incubation of the Boston Staffing Alliance, the first non-profit temp agency in the state. BWA also runs a Green Collar Jobs Program, which includes a urban gardening project and a new biofuels worker-cooperative called Roxbury Green Power. Aaron serves on the board for the Asian American Resource Workshop and the Democracy Center, is a former Green For All fellow, and is the Governor's nominee to a Special State Commission on Job Creation. He also serves on the selection committees for the Haymarket People's Fund, an anti-racist foundation supporting over 65 groups throughout New England. Prior to BWA, Aaron interned as an environmental lobbyist in DC, and as a prison reform advocate with families of prisoners in Cambridge, MA. Aaron grew up in the San Francisco East Bay and is a '05 graduate of Harvard College.

Pandora Thomas - San Francisco, CA

Pandora Thomas is Director of the Green Career Program at Global Exchange. This program creates pathways for communities of color, youth and lower income people to access jobs and healing opportunities within environmental fields. Pandora is completing an M.A. in Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. She received her B.A. in Religious Studies from Youngstown State University and a Teaching Credential from the New College of California. Pandora researched and did the initial writing and editing for a collaborative project called Shades of Green, a Green Construction manual for a YouthBuild program that aims to train youth ages 18-24 in Green Construction skills. She received human rights advocacy training as a visiting scholar at the Center for Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, and has created and delivered curriculum to diverse audiences around the themes of human rights, environmental justice, and environmental education. She would one day love to build a home made out of natural materials that do not harm the earth or its creatures, have a garden, and live simply and share this way of being with others.

Chester Thrower - Pittsburgh, PA

Chester Thrower is a champion of the green economy, becoming a Fellow of the Green for All Academy in 2008 and subsequently becoming trained in solar panel installation and repair and continuing his training with SEI (Solar Energy International), the City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority Green Jobs Training Program, and the CCAC Green Institue Weatherization Training. Since July 2010, Chester has worked as the Green Outreach Coordinator at the Kingsley Association: a nonprofit community center that has served the Larimer area for over one hundred years. His role as the Green Outreach Coordinator is to oversee canvassing and outreach efforts within the community, encouraging residents to take advantage of weatherization programs that can provide up to $6,000 of insulation and energy-efficiency measures to low-income residents (the vast majority of the population the Kingsley Association serves). On May 27-28, 2011, Chester successfully completed both the written and field tests to become a Building Performance Analyst (BPI Energy Auditor) with an emphasis on indoor air-quality and safety. Chester is currently working on putting together his business model to be an energy consultant in the Larimer neighborhood. He is starting Project Seal Up with the help of a start-up grant from the Green For All Fellows Fund.

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