Ashara Ekundayo is an Oakland-based cultural worker of the urban landscape and has served as catalyst, curator, educator, and producer for more than 20 years. Through her company BluBlak Media Consulting, she has worked with local and national organizations to build capacity for increased community engagement through the uses of creative practice, exhibition, strategic communications design and project management. She is a serial entrepreneur and activist committed to social change, and has supported individuals and grassroots companies in the redesign of their brand strategy through permaculture principles and is an expert at negotiating collaborative space within the intersections of the public and private sector. In 2009 Ashara was selected by the Ashoka Foundation and the City of Denver in the U.S. launch of the “Change Your City” Campaign as a social innovator “stimulating the green economy” being manifested through her local programmatic work in food justice and green jobs design, and has held Fellowship positions with the U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs and Green For All. She currently serves as the Marketing Director for the San Francisco Green Festival, is a member of the "Future of Soul Think Tank" at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, is the STEAM Curriculum Developer for BlackGirlsCode.com, and is a burgeoning food blogger at "Grits & Greens." Ashara is a member of the Founding Team for Hub Oakland opening in Fall 2013. Follow her on Twitter @BluBlakwomyn Blog Entry 1 | Blog Entry 2
Detroit, MI - Roshani Dantas is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Master’s degree in Toxicology. Her work focuses on health and policy disparities in Environmental Health for environmental justice communities. Roshani worked on environmental policy issues in Lansing for two years with the focus of increasing measures in policy that address race/income disparities as well as environmental justice. In addition, Ms. Dantas lobbied in Lansing on a variety of environmental issues and worked on energy policy with the Michigan Black Legislative Caucus. Ms. Dantas also worked as an environmental justice community advocate and trainer in Detroit on a variety of issues from lead to asthma to energy conservation. She served on Detroit Councilwoman Jo-Ann Watson’s Green Task Force providing expertise on solid waste/recycling options for Detroit. Roshani presently is the Program Manager for Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice’s Green Jobs Training Program. This is a comprehensive program that focuses on finding quality employment in the green jobs arena for underemployed or unemployed Detroit residents. She also provides training to the Detroit community and other agencies on asthma and other environmental health issues.
Little Rock, AR - Mina Collins is a native Californian, relocating to Arkansas in the summer of 2006. Currently , CEO of Grow Up Green, a non-profit organization that teaches children leadership skills; incorporated Green Initiatives and activities; and educates leaders in the private industry, community, legislature, and State Agencies on the importance of environmental issues. She has co-authored a Policy Brief featuring the importance of Green Schools in Arkansas. Ms. Collins co-host’s the Clean Green Hour and Educational Prospectives Talk Radio Shows. She is a registered Lobbyist in the State of Arkansas. Since relocating to Arkansas, she has volunteered with numerous community service organizations. She restored and reopened the Children’s Library in a small rural town, and started a Summer Reading Club. She facilitated funding for the library and due to this effort, secured employment for a senior worker in the town. Ms. Collins helped to re-establish the Ouachita/Calhoun counties Literacy Council and helped to secure funding. Her current projects include planning three Green Conferences in the State of Arkansas; and facilitating dialog between the EPA and state officials and school districts on the importance of recognizing environmental issues in schools throughout the state.
Philadelphia, PA - Miguel A. Concepción Thomas is the State Director for Democracia USA and Democracia Ahora. Miguel’s work has been focused on the Latino community of Pennsylvania where he sits on three Boards, focused on the improvement of the Latino community around the state. Miguel currently is completing his degree at Rosemont College where he is focusing on Organizational Development and Leadership. His involvement in the Green movement came when he was asked to educate Latinos about green jobs and a green economy, and he helped Democracia earn second place during a National petition campaign for the National Day of Action in Pennsylvania (www.Latinogogreen.com).
Dallas, TX - Meamya Christi is a mother, student, teacher, visionary, and entrepreneur who has a sincere passion for healing and inspiring women and inner city communities. She is currently developing unique programs to bring awareness and consciousness to inner city women and communities. Her programs will be the first of their kind to introduce a platform for healing arts, life coping, holistic/alternative wellness, and green initiatives in South Dallas communities. She is dedicated and committed to becoming a spokesperson for Green For All initiatives to help create a green collar economy that will empower and lift the future of our communities. She feels that if inner city women and communities are made aware of what is being marketed to them, they will be in a better position to make better choices on the services and products they consume and will be in a better position to help the earth healing efforts of the nation.
Denver, CO - Rev. Dr. Ambrose F. Carroll serves on the steering committee for Denver’s “Green Jobs Interfaith Coalition” and is the Pastor of Denver’s newly formed, “Renewal Worship Center”. This Green church is one of the first in the nation to be environmentally friendly from its inception. A product of Oakland CA, Ambrose has served as a S.F. Urban Service/AmeriCorps Volunteer, as Vice President of San Francisco’s chapter of the NAACP, and also as the Senior Pastor of Denver’s New Hope Baptist Church. Ambrose earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Florida Memorial University in Miami, a Master’s of Divinity from Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta, a Master’s of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in S.F., and a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio.
Recipient of the Fellows Fund micro-grant award for: Green The Church Campaign Renewal Worship Center - Oakland, CA The Green The Church Campaign will engage communities of faith by training faith leaders as instructors in the Roots of Success Curriculum. Once trained, leaders can engage and mobilize their congregations to initiate sustainability projects and form Green Team Ministries. The project was created to help connect the dots for congregants on environmental issues and allow faith communities to embrace the green movement through theology. The project aims to mobilize a sector of the population that is organized and has historically played a significant role in creating change.
Oakland, CA - Ambessa Cantave is a father, musician, activist, educator and dedication to transformational change on the planet. A ten-year veteran of the Bay Area's environmental justice, art activism and non-profit communities Ambessa is the founder of Destined Nation Media which originally produced Grind for the Green. He also sits on the board of Oakland‚Äôs first Green Youth Media Center and he most recently served as a climate change educator for the Alliance for Cimate Education. Using his extensive background in youth leadership and workforce development Ambessa is highly adept at creating informational modules that use hip-hop culture to engage youth of color to empower and educate themselves in areas of ecology, professional development, social justice and mental health. Thus creating a culturally relevant and fully cohesive professional learning atmosphere that assists in the creation of executive level youth leaders. As a local artist Ambessa has served as a vanguard for conscious expression and cultural diversity with his former group FIYAWATA and now with his new band Earth Amplified he continues to spread a message of spiritual liberation and self-awareness. His passion for empowering young people to reach their greatest potential is unrelenting and serves as an inspiration to both his personal and professional colleagues. Ambessa holds a B.A. in Marketing and a BA in Psychology from York College and has also served as a program manager for stellar Bay Area organizations such as Leadership Excellence and Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center. Blog Entry
Orlando, FL - Roberto Gil Cancel Comas was born in Tallahassee Florida after his parents emigrated from Puerto Rico in pursuit of higher education. At 21 he received his Bachelor’s of Science with a double major in Anthropology and International Affairs, after which he moved to China to live, travel, and explore new cultural realities. After two years he returned to the US and became the Central Florida Coordinator for Democracia USA registering over 28,000 Hispanics in the I-4 corridor as well as organizing around immigration and health care reform. Always looking for new horizons Roberto has now decided to continue his education at Clark University in order to help more people in more places.
Pasadena, CA - Chris Campbell is a lean Entrepreneur/Scrum Master with experience creating and growing new businesses. His industry experience includes ventures in guerilla marketing, mobile technology, digital advertising, bottled water, and the recording industry. His most recent venture, www.caligreen.com is an eco-friendly apparel company located in Santa Barbara, California. Prior to Cali Green, Chris was the head of Sales Integration where he developed and lead several high performing teams of developers and designers at GorillaNation.com and AtomicOnline.com that produce revenues of over $8 Million per month. Chris has a Master degree in English Composition from Cal State San Bernardino, a Bachelor’s degree from Cal State University in Long Beach and he is an Executive MBA Candidate at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito School of Management in Claremont, California.
Chicago, IL - Mr. Brown has spent the last 9 years working with OAI to train underserved communities to work in environmental health and safety. His primary function as Senior Instructor is to be responsible for training 80+ individuals per year to meet state requirements to receive licensure in Lead and Asbestos abatement. While at OAI, he has also been integral in the development of new curriculum including mold awareness, Hazardous communication and Hazwoper updates. Other duties include trainer evaluation and coordinating green initiatives within OAI’s 5 training sites nation wide. With a background in construction and lead abatement, Mr. Brown has recently focused on making jobs in the new green economy safe. As the number of green jobs grows and green technology advances it is important to him to keep worker safety at the forefront of this movement. Mr. Brown hopes that by doing such we can avoid the workplace injuries and marginalized health that were characteristic of the last pollution based economy.