Washington, DC - Elizabeth J. Reynoso believes that social justice thrives because of healthy people and healthy environments. In 1994, Elizabeth began promoting human rights worldwide as a media liaison for Human Rights Watch. After the execution of Nigerian activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, she was inspired to tell stories of injustice to large audiences and pursued a career in documentary film with ABC News and PBS/Frontline. When she traveled to pursue her own film project on Basque political prisoners she became enamored of life as farm worker when she worked on community-supported agriculture farms and family-owned organic orchards throughout the Basque Country and Spain. Returning to the U.S. in 2003, Elizabeth focused on US drug policy and the reentry journey of former prisoners on film projects, which then led to her direct service work with families and communities beleaguered by the criminal justice system in Newark, NJ. From 2006-2010 Elizabeth worked with the NJ Institute for Social Justice where she created a green transitional jobs program for men and women returning home from prison. A package of prisoner reentry bills hailed as “a model for the nation” based on her on-the-ground work was passed by the NJ State Legislature in 2010. Elizabeth was a co-chair for the City of Newark's Green Futures Summit, a member of the Leadership Newark class of 2010. She currently resides in Washington, D.C. and is implementing a Pathways Out of Poverty green job-training grant in six cities nationwide with Goodwill Industries International.
Las Vegas, NV - Marco Rauda was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. He immigrated to Southern California in 1988. In 1995, Marco moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. Marco has been a local Las Vegas activist the past few years working on immigration and civic engagement issues in the Hispanic Community. In 2008 Marco helped organize the presidential caucus in Nevada which was the first caucus where the Hispanic Community had a chance to pick the presidential nominee. Hispanics were responsible for 18% of the electorate in the Nevada presidential caucus. Marco joined Democracia USA as their Nevada Coordinator in March of 2008.
Miami, FL - Joe Naroditsky is executive director and co-founder of Faiths United for Sustainable Energy (FUSE), a non-profit organization that works to educate and mobilize faith communities to act on the harmful effects of our society's dependence on fossil fuels. Joe's professional career has been dedicated to community development, serving as Director of Neighborhood Initiatives and Public Policy Coordinator for SCOPE in Sarasota, FL, as an evaluator for the HOPE VI federal housing program, and as a mentor for several local leadership development programs. Joe enjoyed a diverse upbringing, with the sights, sounds, and tastes of Spanish, Russian, Israeli, and Arab culture -- a childhood that molded his broad approach to understanding differences among people as a way to resolve conflict and build community.
Kansas City, KS - If Barack Obama hadn't already written the book, Richard Mabion might have called his memoir The Audacity of Hope. Here's a guy who lives in a neglected corridor of a struggling city in the poorest county in the state of Kansas. A guy who got inspired about economic and environmental activism by author David Korten but found so few people of color speaking at national conferences that he was compelled to detour into prickly territory: how progressive organizations aren't reaching out to minority communities. For months, as Mabion started to advocate for locally driven economic development in Kansas City, Kansas, he hit nothing but bureaucratic walls and deaf ears. But over the past year, Mabion has started to grease the wheels of change with his persistence and enthusiasm, whether it has been pushing for better restoration of the Quindaro slave-town ruins or throwing a neighborhood party such as the Quindaro Community Unity Festival. The group he created, Building a Sustainable Earth Community, has done the dirty work of discussing race and activism and also has connected like-minded people who have gone on to work together on projects, including an organic garden at Wyandotte High School. Mabion's audacity might have pissed some people off, but his doggedness has inspired hope in his long- suffering neighborhood.
New Orleans, LA - John Moore attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Arts in May of 2005. In college, Moore was very active in environmental issues through an environmental studies fellowship program through the Associated Colleges of the South. After college, Moore worked for Southface Energy Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. Here he was educated in green building rating systems and eco friendly design methods. He is a certified energy rater, and a green building consultant. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Moore worked with Global Green helping to rebuild his home town of New Orleans. Through this work, he was instrumental in building environmentally sustainable homes in the storm ravaged lower ninth ward. Following his work with Global Green, Moore worked for the City of New Orleans as an Energy and Environmental Policy Analyst. He was successful in raising over $5 million in grant funding from the Department of Energy and implemented a number of projects, including a citywide energy loan program called the NOLA W.I.S.E. He is a proud member of the first class of Tulane University's master's degree in sustainable real estate development program, and is now pursuing a Master's Degree in Architecture at Tulane University. He also consults for various companies through his company Moore Sustainable Consulting.
Camden, NJ - Cop Lieu grew up in Camden City and, after leaving the traditional school system, enrolled at The Work Group as a student in 2005. He completed the program with honors and received his high school diploma. After his exceptional success in the program, Cop became a Peer Support Worker at The Work Group, offering counseling and other support services to other young adults. In February 2007, Cop joined The Staff of The Work Group as a Community Service Supervisor. Cop councils, motivates, and trains young people during their transition to a more positive life. In February of 2007, Cop was recognized by The Corps Network as Corpsmember of the Year.
Albuquerque, NM - Keegan King is from Acoma Pueblo and brings several years of experience in political and public policy strategy to his work with Atsaya. Originally getting involved in politics through social justice organizing, Keegan gained valuable experience working in the Petroglyph struggle in Albuquerque. He also served as campaign organizer and manager to several campaigns as a part of the Albuquerque based company Soltari Inc. In 2005, Keegan became the Executive Director of the League of Young Voters New Mexico. Later as the League NM transitioned to New Mexico Youth Organized (NMYO), Keegan continued to build his knowledge in nonprofit management and civic engagement strategies. In 2009, Keegan founded Atsaya Consulting a 100% Native-owned political consulting company.
Fresno, CA - Arthur Jacuinde has been working with the Fresno Local Conservation Corps for two years. Recently, at the age of 21, he was elected to serve as president of the Corpsmember Council. He works with young people, some of whom have been involved with the justice system, to learn job skills related to clean energy and conservation. He has participated in solar panel installations and materials reuse and recycling at constructions sites. By his own account his leadership in the Corps has made him more responsible and has inspired him to get more active in his community. He sees the green economy as a way to create more jobs for the people he works with every day.
New Orleans, LA - Nicole Godfrey, is a Social Justice Activist dedicated to empowering youth in her community. Ms. Godfrey has worked for over nine years for The New Orleans Council for Community and Justice. She began her career with NOCCJ as a Program Coordinator and eventually arose to Director of Programs. She has participated in numerous community activities including working as a counselor of Anytown USA Camp for five years, Youth Ministry Volunteer for three years at St. Raymond/St. Leo the Great Catholic Church Cluster and a volunteer of the Peoples Community Organization for four years.
Boone, NC – Sandra Diaz is a Campaign Coordinator for Appalachian Voices. She started her career in environmental advocacy as a grassroots organizer in Florida for organizations such as Humane Society of the United States, League of Conservation Voters and the Alaska Coalition. She then moved to Boone in 2007 as the national field coordinator for Appalachian Voices’ Mountaintop Removal Campaign, then moved into Communications and Development work in 2009. Sandra assumed her current position in late 2010.