Building Healthy Communities from the Ground up


Lovisa Stannow

Interim Executive Director

Read Lovisa’s bio

Contact Lovisa: lovisa [at]

Tiffany Eng

Program Director

Read Tiffany’s bio
Contact Tiffany: tiffany [at]

Mabel Tsang

Political Director

Read Mabel’s bio
Contact Mabel: mabel [at]

Lilia Escalante

Finance and Administration Director

Read Lilia’s bio
Contact Lilia: Lilia [at]

Denise Forrest

Development Director

Read Denise’s bio
Contact Denise: denise [at]

Mari Rose Taruc

Energy Director

Read Mari Rose’s bio

Contact Mari Rose: marirose [at]

Liam Fitzpatrick

Communications Director

Read Liam’s bio

Contact Liam: Liam [at]

Raquel Mason

Policy Manager

Read Raquel’s bio
Contact Raquel: raquel [at]

Jonathan Pruitt

Green Zones Program Manager

Read Jonathan’s bio
Contact Jonathan: jonathan [at]

Brittny Anya

Operations Manager

Read Brittny’s bio
Contact Brittny: brittny [at]

Maribel Carrazco Padilla

Administrative Associate

Read Maribel’s bio
Contact Maribel: maribel [at]

Alexis Sutterman

Energy Equity Manager

Read Alexis’ bio
Contact Alexis: alexis [at]

Tyler Valdes

Energy Equity Manager

Read Tyler’s bio
Contact Tyler: tyler [at]

Sibel Güner

Communications Manager

Read Sibel’s bio
Contact Sibel: Sibel [at]

Leonela Leon

Senior Civic Engagement Associate

Read Leonela’s bio
Contact Leonela: leonela [at]

Valeria Paredes

Senior Development Associate

Read Valeria’s bio
Contact Valeria: valeria [at]

Neena Mohan

Grant Writer

Read Neena’s bio
Contact Neena: grants [at]

Ari Eisenstadt

Energy Equity Manager

Read Ari’s bio
Contact Ari: ari [at]

Lovisa Stannow, Interim Executive Director (she/her)

Lovisa is the Interim Executive Director of CEJA. She has spent the past three decades working as a social justice advocate, leading nonprofit organizations in the United States and internationally. A graduate of Third Sector Company’s Interim Executives Academy, Lovisa specializes in working with organizations in transition.

She is the former long-time Executive Director of Just Detention International. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health and the West Coast Director and Communications Director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières. In the 1990s, Lovisa served as a Press Officer for Amnesty International, following several years as a journalist in Europe and Latin America.

Lovisa is a well-known commentator on human rights and social justice issues and has appeared on National Public Radio, the BBC, and in other media outlets worldwide. She has published opinion pieces throughout the U.S. and beyond, including in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Toronto Star, and the New York Review of Books.

Lovisa is multilingual and has spent significant parts of her career based in war zones and areas of humanitarian disaster in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She is a trained rape crisis counsellor.

Contact Lovisa: lovisa [at]

Tiffany Eng, Program Director (she/they)

Tiffany Eng was born and raised in Oakland, California. She is a community organizer and policy advocate who has worked alongside youth and families in California for over twenty years. As the Program Director who oversees CEJA’s Green Zones, Energy Equity, and Climate Justice programs, she supports the groundbreaking work that CEJA members are leading to transform polluted and divested neighborhoods into healthy and vibrant communities. Tiffany first joined CEJA in 2016 as CEJA’s Green Zones Program Manager, where she guided the alliance’s advocacy and implementation work on the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) program and SB 1000 (Leyva, 2016). She has co-authored a number of CEJA’s Green Zones reports, including the SB 1000 Implementation Toolkit in partnership with PlaceWorks Inc., CalEnviroScreen: A Critical Tool for Achieving Environmental Justice in California (2018), Rethinking Local Control: Placing Environmental Justice and Civil Rights at the Heart of Land Use Decision-Making (2020), and the Environmental and Housing Justice Platform.

Prior to her time at CEJA, Tiffany served as a youth organizer, a policy director, and a Co-Director at AYPAL: Building API Community Power. At AYPAL, she supported the leadership development and community organizing capacity of Asian and Pacific Islander youth in Oakland, working with young leaders and coalition partners to win community-led campaigns for education justice and racial justice. Tiffany has also worked with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, PolicyLink, Community Youth Center–San Francisco, Community Bridges Beacon, and the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley.

Tiffany earned a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds dual degrees in Art and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She received a Monarch Leadership Award from the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition (PAWBAC) in 2014, graduated from the Dr. Beatriz María Solís Policy Institute program in 2011, and completed the Rockwood Leadership Institute’s California Leaders of Color fellowship program in 2011.  

Contact Tiffany: tiffany [at]

Mabel Tsang, Political Director (she/they)

As Political Director for CEJA and CEJA Action, Mabel works to build the political power, self-governance and self-determination of EJ communities and communities of color burdened by health, economic and environmental impacts. Mabel builds the bridges of accountability between California’s elected leaders and voters, manage ballot measure campaigns, and expand democratic participation for environmental, racial and social justice by centering and including members of our community who have been historically barred from voting. Mabel successfully led the campaign to beat down Proposition 70 which preserved critical public funds to fight climate change.

Mabel became an organizer because of her mom. She found myself in the social justice movement in hopes of making the world a better place for her and others like her. Despite health problems ranging from heart disease to asthma, Mabel’s mother worked as a waitress and a care-taker which brought Mabel into organizing at United Food and Commercial Workers alongside Walmart workers with Organization United for Respect at Walmart, for retail workers’ rights, human dignity and respect in one of the largest commercial global polluters.

This brought Mabel to work for San Francisco Rising, an alliance of six Asian, Black, Latinx grassroots working-class immigrant, youth, and people of color base-building organizations across San Francisco, to build the political power to elect progressive candidates and pass bold ballot measures for necessary resources and changes in our community when elected officials would not or could not. Mabel brought her experiences to Asian Pacific Environmental Network a member of CEJA to lead a campaign to contact 30,000 voters, the largest Asian Pacific American direct voter contact efforts in California. Mabel carries these invaluable lessons forward into CEJA’s Civic Engagement and Electoral programs to build the infrastructure of political power and decision making for the future we are building today.

Outside of electoral politics and organizing, Mabel is a current fellow in LeaderSpring’s LEADStrong women of color cohort. Mabel can be found meditating and teaching yoga, taking trips to some of the most beautiful places, and writing books for children of color so they can see themselves in this world.

Contact Mabel: mabel [at]

Lilia Escalante, Finance and Administration Director (she/her)

​​As the Finance and Administration Director, Lilia is responsible for the day-to-day financial activity, development, and management of the budget and financial operating systems. She comes to CEJA with over 20 years of experience in non-profit financial management. Lilia’s background is in accounting and business management.

Lilia is very passionate about social and environmental justice. She was born in Nayarit, Mexico, and migrated with her family to the United States at age five. As an immigrant, she knows firsthand the challenges environmental justice communities face. At an early age, she was her parents’ interpreter, a skill she continues to perfect, and she never misses an opportunity to translate. She believes that language should not be a barrier for our communities and advocates for language justice.

When Lilia is not crunching numbers or interpreting, she is enjoying time with her children and dog. She loves hiking, kayaking, and paddle boarding. During her free time, Lilia is volunteering with local nonprofits that provide life and leadership opportunities to our youth.

Contact Lilia: lilia [at]

Denise Forrest, Development Director (she/her)

As Development Director, Denise manages and support diverse aspects of CEJA’s development work with the goal of nurturing the sustainable growth of CEJA’s annual budget. Denise is responsible for the day-to-day direction of the grants and individual donor programs, and play an invested role in helping to manage CEJA’s transition to its next phase of executive leadership.

Denise is an antiracist feminist who comes to this work with a sincere belief in the power of grassroots community. In the ongoing human project to liberate all peoples, Denise’s contribution has largely been in grassroots EJ, food justice, and LGBTQ+ community organizing; with complementary academic training in gender/race/economic theory, politics of water justice, and social finance.

Denise is originally from Philadelphia where she earned Master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Environmental Policy and Nonprofit Leadership. In her spare time Denise enjoys hanging out with her brilliant partner Sean, reading everything from philosophy to pulp romance, playing D&D and video games, and snuggling her roommate’s dog, Starla.

Contact Denise: denise [at]

Mari Rose Taruc, Energy Director (she/her)

CEJA’s Energy Director, Mari Rose Taruc is a Filipina immigrant mom of 2 boys. For over 25 years, she has advanced environmental justice campaigns for clean air, affordable housing, renewable energy, and climate solutions in local, state, national, and international arenas.

She has launched and run major formations under the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity, California Environmental Justice Alliance, and Reclaim Our Power: Utility Justice Campaign, including to ensure that multibillion-dollar California climate programs benefit disadvantaged communities.

Mari Rose has advised multiple agencies on their climate, energy, and environmental justice programs, including the California Air Resources Board’s AB 32 Climate Scoping Plan and SB 535 California Climate Investments Investment Plan, California State Lands Commission’s Environmental Justice Policy, City of Oakland’s Energy and Climate Action Plan, and California Environmental Protection Agency’s CalEnviroScreen.

Setting roots in Oakland CA for two decades, she co-founded Eastlake United for Justice, a neighborhood group fighting gentrification, promoting affordable housing, and redefining community safety. Zen flower arranging is her pleasure activism.

Contact Mari Rose: marirose [at]

Liam Fitzpatrick, Communications Director  (he/him)

In his role as Communications Director, Liam Fitzpatrick oversees all of CEJA’s external communications, as well as its overall narrative message.

Prior to joining CEJA, Liam worked as the Managing Editor for Knock LA, a nonprofit newsroom in Los Angeles focused on progressive coverage of local issues. There, he was also the Project Manager on “A Tradition of Violence: The History of Deputy Gangs in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” a groundbreaking 15-article investigative series detailing more than 50 years of history of gangs within the LASD. Liam also served as a Board Member for Ground Game LA, a Los Angeles civic engagement nonprofit involved in progressive political campaigns across the county and the state, and the parent organization of Knock LA. 

Liam’s work at digital publishers has been viewed by tens of millions of readers. He has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times, sourced by academics in reports from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and helped inspire Department of Justice investigations against corrupt police forces. Liam is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design and is currently learning Spanish at Los Angeles City College.

Contact Liam: liam [at]

Raquel Mason, Policy Manager  (she/her)

As Policy Manager, Raquel works with CEJA members and partners to develop and implement legislative and budget strategies required for the transformational policies our communities require.

Most recently, Raquel worked in the State Assembly where she worked on a variety of bills and  issue areas including natural resources. As an Assembly Fellow, Raquel had the opportunity to staff AB 1232 (Gloria), a CEJA priority bill that sought to combat any displacement impacts associated with the Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP). Before transitioning to Sacramento, Raquel worked at CEJA member organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA).

With PSR-LA, Raquel supported the Air and Climate Justice work and the Toxics program. In this work, she coordinated the Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy (CHANGE) coalition by supporting its membership through a re-grounding process and affirming the coalition’s commitment to community-led work. 

In 2017, Raquel participated in the Dr. Beatriz María Solís Policy Institute where she and the team of CEJA advocates learned the state policy process first-hand and passed AB 523 (Reyes). In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and indulging her sweet tooth.  

Contact Raquel: raquel [at]

Jonathan Pruitt, Green Zones Program Manager (he/him)

As the Green Zones Program Manager, Jonathan will lead CEJA’s Green Zones Program that utilizes a place-based strategy to transform toxic hot spots into healthy, thriving neighborhoods. He will work with CEJA members and partners on the Green Zone committee, implementing and managing the Green Zone program plan, and providing leadership and strategic vision for the Green Zones work.

Jonathan has over 3 years of experience in the environmental justice space and over 5 years in public health. During his time with the Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton, he served as their environmental justice program coordinator building their capacity on regional and state policy advocacy as well as air quality work. As the coordinator, he worked on Senate Bill 1000, land use policy, CEQA, and TCC implementation alongside community members and coalition partners in Stockton and built environmental justice community coalitions across the San Joaquin County region. Jonathan has a knack for mobilizing people on environmental justice issues such as a proposed crematorium in Stockton which was successfully stopped due to a campaign he coordinated. He was also the community lead for Stockton’s AB 617 and was instrumental in getting a Port Outreach Committee from the Port of Stockton to enhance transparency on port operations and emissions. He is committed to redefining Public Health as an institution to prioritize environmental justice as a core component.

Jonathan graduated from CSU Stanislaus with a B.A. in Kinesiology and a Concentration in Health Promotion. Currently, he is a part-time graduate student at Johns Hopkins University getting his master’s in public health. He is a product of Stockton and continues to stay involved with local events and projects. In his free time, he likes to explore new hiking trails, video games, and listen to different podcasts.

Contact Jonathan: jonathan [at]

Brittny Anya, Operations Manager (she/her)

Brittny manages the operations for the amazing work CEJA does across the state. She enjoys managing operational systems because it is the engine that keeps CEJA running. Brittny likes exploring various productivity tools and to-do lists to maximize and increase our productivity. Brittny is passionate about building resilient communities that are most impacted by systematic injustices that plague our world. She came to CEJA because the folks at this organization work tirelessly to promote environmental awareness to improve the health of our communities.

Before joining CEJA, Brittny did some community organizing around social justice during her time at Fresno State with Black Students United and through my sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. Additionally, she has spent a lot of time working in the social work field with youth and families providing direct services, program management, and administrative support.

During her free time, Brittny can be found listening to music. Brittny loves music, especially anything from 90’s R&B, Hip Hop, and Jazz. Music keeps her centered and energized to get through the days whether she’s feeling up or down. When the weather permits, Brittny likes to spend time at the beach on the sand listening and watching the waves because it’s so calming.

Contact Brittny: brittny [at]

Maribel Carrazco Padilla, Administrative Associate (she/her)

CEJA’s Administrative Associate, Maribel is a community-oriented individual who is passionate about reallocating resources to those that have been underserved because of systemic injustices. This passion led her to complete a Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health and Social Behavior in 2022, as the first in her family to do so.

Her public health interests include expanding the collective’s view on health care so that a person’s emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual well-being are considered, especially for communities of color. Along her journey, she has collected five years of work experience in the administrative field. Throughout this time, she has been able to design and support various events and programs to create opportunities: from the First-Generation Book Drive at Willamette University, where textbooks were recycled by being collected from end-of-semester donation bins and then cataloged into a library system so that first-generation college students could borrow them for free, to the Be Bothered Movement Art Scholarship at the Center for Collaborative Planning, Public Health Institute, a chance for youth in Sacramento to share their wisdom about the rise of underage alcohol and marijuana use through an expression of art.

She is excited to be joining CEJA’s efforts in leading an environmental justice movement that centers communities of color and those that are experiencing poverty. Maribel was born and raised in Oakland, giving her first-hand knowledge about the health issues communities face as a result of environmental injustices. With a compassionate, organized and efficient approach to her work, she looks forward to tapping into her administrative skillset to be of service to the communities that CEJA supports.

Contact Maribel: maribel [at]

Alexis Sutterman, Energy Equity Manager (she/they)

As the Energy Equity Manager at the California Environmental Justice Alliance, Alexis supports collaborative and people-powered campaigns to advance toward an energy system that is clean, regenerative, equitable, and just. In other words, a system in the service of people and the planet. In particular, Alexis manages CEJA’s community-scale energy work with a focus on equitable community solar. While climate change may be the biggest threat society faces, Alexis is inspired by the opportunity that it brings—to transform who in society benefits. 

Before arriving at CEJA as a fellow in August of 2019, Alexis was studying political science and broadcast journalism at Chapman University. At Chapman, she supported civic engagement activities on campus and local progressive campaigns in Orange County. In addition, she conducted undergraduate research on international conflicts at Chapman’s Earl Babbie Research Center, and supported professors on their research on development aid in South Sudan and environmental organizing and advocacy by Indigenous peoples in Colombia. Alexis was active in the Olive Tree Initiative program and has traveled to Israel/Palestine to meet with various stakeholders and communities in the conflict region. 

As a student of postcolonial and decolonial scholarship and advocacy, Alexis agrees with the saying by the Zapatistas that: otro mundo es posible (another world is possible). And she is committed to working to achieve it by simultaneously  stopping the bad, building the new, and changing the rules per Movement Generation’s Just Transition framework. In her free time, she enjoys reading, jogging, self and community care, and (probably too much) TikTok scrolling.

Contact Alexis: alexis [at]

Tyler Valdes, Energy Equity Manager (he/him)

As Energy Equity Manager, Tyler works with teams of policy advocates, community organizers, and storytellers to shut down polluting gas-fired power plants in frontline communities while expanding the development and access of renewable energy.

Motivated by his experience of growing up with energy insecurity, Tyler is a mission-driven leader dedicated to the advancement of energy justice. He is a proud queer person of color and son of immigrants. Before joining CEJA, Tyler developed and delivered project-based sustainability curricula that educated tens of thousands of students across California. He also supported the recruitment and training of hundreds of fellows who lead climate action projects throughout the state.

Originally from the Inland Empire, Tyler is a first-generation college graduate who earned his bachelor’s degree in Earth System Science from UC Irvine and his master’s degree in Climate Science and Policy from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. In his free time, Tyler enjoys practicing yoga, sunbathing at the beach, and trying new foods.

Contact Tyler: tyler [at]

Sibel Güner, Communications Manager (she/they)

As Communications Manager, Sibel operates CEJA’s outward-facing communications and works with program staff, coalition members, and allies to grow its digital community.

Prior to joining CEJA, Sibel worked as the David Brower Center’s Communications and Development Manager leading the fundraising and communications of a community institution with a public gallery featuring art used for environmental activism. Her preceding role as Give2Asia’s Senior Marketing Associate advanced a decolonial vision of philanthropy by directing funds toward hyperlocal organizers across the Asia Pacific region. Having lived on four continents and participated in a range of social movements, she is humbled by the complexities of intersectional politics and works to decenter her voice as a western passport-holder in the midst of stark global cultural imperialism.

Sibel graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in International Relations and Cultural Anthropology before moving to Washington, D.C. and becoming disillusioned with state-led politics as a vehicle for change. She acquired her Masters of Social Sciences as a co-batched degree from the University of Freiburg, University of Cape Town, and Jawaharlal Nehru University and wrote her thesis on feminist comedy as a platform for empowerment. Most recently, a COVID-inspired return to academia led her to a second Masters from the University of Cape Town in Environmental and Geographical Sciences, where she studied southern urbanisms. Her thesis “Food, Love, and Resistance: Lessons on Reimagining Social Reproduction from East Bay Housing Cooperatives” examines the power of collective self-governance as a response to urban crisis.

Sibel’s personal projects include facilitating a capitalism course at an autonomous university for political education and building community through book clubs. A California native with relentlessly nomadic tendencies, Sibel is now rooting back in her home context and can be found in the East Bay playing in nature, soaking in her co-op’s hot tub, and hunting for public art.

Contact Sibel: sibel [at]

Leonela Leon, Senior Civic Engagement Associate (she/her)

As CEJA’s Senior Civic Engagement Associate, Leonela supports CEJA’s civic engagement efforts and CEJA Action’s electoral work to build the political power of environmental justice communities.

Leonela graduated from UC Berkeley in 2021 with a B.S. in Society & Environment and minors in Public Policy and Journalism. She studied the intersection of race, class, gender and the environment, as well as public policy and media as tools for achieving justice. Outside of the classroom, she co-led the ASUC Department of Unsustainable Partnerships’ Pour Out Pepsi campaign to pressure UCB to end its partnership with PepsiCo. She was also a member of the Students of Color Environmental Collective (SCEC) where she was a lead organizer of SCECon21, a national conference that re-centers the environmental narrative around justice and BIPOC voices. Leonela is a proud recipient of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability’s 2021 Sustainability Award for her student organizing and commitment to growing the space for BIPOC environmentalists on campus.

In her free time, you can find her thrift shopping or spending time with her many pets.

Contact Leonela: leonela [at]

Valeria Paredes, Senior Development Associate (she/her)

 Valeria received a dual bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Economics and spent much of her undergraduate career working for student retention initiatives such as the American Indian Resource Center and the Chicanx/Latinx Resource Center with the goal to foster community among first generation students of color.

She coordinated the People of Color Sustainability Collective where she contributed to grant proposals, presented to UC administrators about the goals of the collective and engaged students, faculty and community members in programming. PoC

SC designed educational workshops and facilitated reflective spaces to center BIPOC voices, explore environmental justice topics in the U.S. and global South, and highlight resilience in communities that challenged dominant narratives of sustainability.

She had the opportunity to take service-learning trips to cities such as Seattle, WA and New Orleans, LA to learn about local organizing efforts to combat displacement, food insecurity and economic inequality. With a passion for environmental economics and policy, Valeria supported and encouraged peers to think through resource management and city planning challenges.

Most recently, Valeria was a food and agriculture fellow at Friends of the Earth where she co-authored a bee-friendly retailer scorecard and toxicity analysis on conventional pesticides to promote pollinator and frontline worker health in our food system. She recently found a work home at CEJA as the new Development Associate and is excited to contribute to the growing, statewide EJ movement. 

Valeria grew up in Southeast LA county and enjoys drinking coffee and tea, hiking, going to the swapmeet and spending time with her younger siblings, David and Victoria. She is always interested in learning about critical race and ethnic studies, food sovereignty and reproductive justice as well, which are all connected to environmental justice!

Contact Valeria: valeria [at]

Neena Mohan, Grant Writer (they/she/he)

As CEJA’s Grant Writer, Neena helped secure critical funding to support our various programmatic and electoral efforts towards environmental justice. Her tenure at CEJA has included serving as the Climate Justice Program Manager and Climate and Air Campaign Manager, ensuring the needs and experiences of environmental justice communities are uplifted and are used to shape California’s climate policies. Neena has also served on the AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EJAC) to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and on the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Clean Transportation Advisory Committee. Her hope is that together we can lead the way in creating an equitable and just transition that addresses historical and current harms to marginalized communities, while also mitigating the impacts of climate change on our planet and its inhabitants.

Neena’s perspective is in part shaped by her experiences growing up in a South Asian immigrant family in a small town in the High Desert/Inland Valley of Southern California (the ancestral home and unceded territory of the Yuhaviatam / Maarenga’yam people). As a graduate of UC Berkeley with Bachelors of Science degrees in Environmental Sciences and in Conservation & Resources Studies, and a minor in LGBT Studies, Neena is also shaped by student organizing experiences in queer/trans people of color and environmental justice spaces. She was also the Conference Manager for the first ever Student of Color Environmental Conference at the university level in the state. During her undergraduate years, Neena had the opportunity to work with Earthjustice and National Parks Conservation Association to uplift diverse voices and share critical narratives. Neena gained exposure to the world of state policy as a Summer Associate on the Environmental Equity team at the Greenlining Institute, and was also a fellow at Alameda County’s Office of Sustainability, where I worked on climate adaptation, resilience, and equity issues in local government. In their free time, Neena likes to create and give workshops on environmental and climate justice issues, and have done so for various conferences, retreats, and trainings.

Outside of work, you can find Neena learning electric guitar, supporting other social justice movements, hiking, and practicing mindfulness & meditation. They also enjoy exploring various decolonial, ecological, feminist and queer of color theories, and am on a journey of (re)discovering and (re)defining their relationship to land, institutions, other beings, and themself. Neena’s guiding light is the interconnectedness of all things, and hopes their efforts in this work help bring about more healing, freedom, and love in these connections.

Contact Neena: grants [at]

Ari Eisenstadt, Energy Equity Manager (he/him)

As Energy Equity Manager, Ari works with CEJA member organizations to build community power towards shutting down gas-fired power plants with the Regenerate California campaign. Ari grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with his parents, who are both teachers, and his brother, Ben. He was raised in a Unitarian Universalist congregation, which helped instill in him the energy to fight for justice and freedom for all peoples.

Ari received his undergraduate degree in geology and master’s degree in chemical oceanography from the University of Rochester in upstate New York. His research focused on measuring the amount of methane and carbon dioxide dissolved in the waters of the Great Lakes, in order to more accurately understand freshwater contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. During graduate school, Ari spent a year as a corps member with City Year New York, supporting and advocating for youth in a Brooklyn public school. This experience informs Ari’s drive to end exploitation in non-profits and to bring trauma-informed practices to educational spaces.

Ari joined CEJA in 2021 after moving to California from Washington, DC. In DC, Ari worked for the Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) as the DC Conservation Advocate. In this role, he led coalitions and campaigns to fight for clean water, air, and equitable climate policies for DC residents. His work with the kind and compassionate people at ANS and throughout DC supported him in learning how to confidently disrupt unjust systems.

Ari is particularly passionate about fighting for environmental justice in a way that works to heal the generational trauma caused by colonialism and white supremacy. In his free time, he loves to do woodworking, play guitar, ukulele, and flute, rock climb, play rugby and soccer, draw, and hang out with his partner and cat. Ari is a proud transgender person, and uses the pronouns he/him/his. Ari lives in the LA area.

Contact Ari: ari [at]