Building Healthy Communities from the Ground up

Staff

Denise Glaze

Co-Executive Director for Operations & Development

Read Denise’s bio
Contact Denise: denise [at] caleja.org

Tiffany Eng

Land Use Director

Read Tiffany’s bio
Contact Tiffany: tiffany [at] caleja.org

Mabel Tsang

Political Director

Read Mabel’s bio
Contact Mabel: mabel [at] caleja.org

Lilia Escalante

Finance and Administration Director

Read Lilia’s bio
Contact Lilia: Lilia [at] caleja.org

Denise Glaze

Development Director

Read Denise’s bio
Contact Denise: denise [at] caleja.org

Mari Rose Taruc

Energy Justice Director

Read Mari Rose’s bio

Contact Mari Rose: marirose [at] caleja.org

Liam Fitzpatrick

Communications Director

Read Liam’s bio

Contact Liam: Liam [at] caleja.org

Nile Malloy

Climate Justice Director

Read Nile’s bio

Contact Nile: Nile [at] caleja.org

Raquel Mason

Senior Legislative Manager

Read Raquel’s bio
Contact Raquel: raquel [at] caleja.org

Ravahn Samati

Civic Engagement Manager

Read Ravahn’s bio
Contact Ravahn: ravahn [at] caleja.org

Jonathan Pruitt

Land Use Manager

Read Jonathan’s bio
Contact Jonathan: jonathan [at] caleja.org

Brittny Anya

Senior Operations Manager

Read Brittny’s bio
Contact Brittny: brittny [at] caleja.org

Maribel Carrazco Padilla

Administrative Associate

Read Maribel’s bio
Contact Maribel: maribel [at] caleja.org

Tyler Valdes

Energy Justice Manager

Read Tyler’s bio
Contact Tyler: tyler [at] caleja.org

Sibel Güner

Communications Manager

Read Sibel’s bio
Contact Sibel: Sibel [at] caleja.org

Leonela Leon

Civic Engagement Manager

Read Leonela’s bio
Contact Leonela: leonela [at] caleja.org

Mia Lopez-Zubiri

Development Manager

Read Mia’s bio
Contact Valeria: mia [at] caleja.org

Valeria Paredes

Development Manager

Read Valeria’s bio
Contact Valeria: valeria [at] caleja.org

Neena Mohan

Grant Writer

Read Neena’s bio
Contact Neena: grants [at] caleja.org

Denise Glaze, Co-Executive Director for Operations & Development (she/her)

As Co-Executive Director for Operations & Development, Denise leads diverse aspects of CEJA’s operations, finance, development, communications, and human resources programs with the goal of nurturing CEJA’s sustainable growth and amplifying the impacts of our policy work. Denise is responsible for working closely with the Co-Executive Director of Programs to guide the vision for CEJA, CEJA Action, and the CEJA Action PAC.

Denise has nearly two decades of experience working in multiracial social justice movement spaces as an organizer, advocate, and fundraiser dedicated to transformative justice, advancing grassroots solutions to systems change, and the movement for collective liberation from capitalism and white supremacy. Denise joined CEJA in 2019 and has served as CEJA’s Development Director, during which time she fostered the consistent growth of CEJA’s annual budget, grew the robust grants and re-grants programs, and launched CEJA’s first ever individual donor program. She has also served as a former Interim Co-Executive Director at CEJA, supporting the stability, sustainability, and strategic growth of CEJA as a powerful and essential movement institution successfully through transition.

Denise was raised in southeast Pennsylvania by a working-class family and was politicized among multiracial queer communities and sex worker advocates in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Having spent most of her life living in EJ communities in both urban and rural areas, Denise has a lifelong commitment to combating the environmental racism experienced across these geographies.

Denise holds a MES in Environmental Policy and a MS in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Certified Healing-Centered Coach through the Blooming Willow Coaching program and earned the CFRE (Certified Fund-Raising Executive) credential in 2023. She is currently based in Los Angeles on unceded Tongva land.Contact Denise: denise [at] caleja.org

Tiffany Eng, Land Use Director (she/they)


Tiffany Eng (she/they) is a community organizer and policy advocate from Oakland, CA who has worked alongside youth and families across California for over twenty years. As CEJA’s Land Use Director who provides strategic leadership to the alliance’s Green Zones Initiative, Tiffany partners with CEJA organizations who are engaging in groundbreaking work to transform polluted and divested neighborhoods into healthy and vibrant communities. In addition to serving as an Interim Co-Director and a Program Director from 2021-2023, Tiffany first began her work with the alliance as CEJA’s Green Zones Program Manager in 2016.

Prior to her time at CEJA, Tiffany was a youth organizer, a policy director, and a Co-Director at AYPAL: Building API Community Power, where she organized alongside Asian American and Pacific Islander youth to win campaigns for education justice and racial justice in Oakland and beyond. She has also worked with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, PolicyLink, Community Youth Center – San Francisco, and Community Bridges Beacon.

Tiffany earned a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the UC Berkeley, and holds dual degrees in Art and Asian American Studies from UCLA. In her spare time, you can find Tiffany backpacking through the sierras, reviving her drawing and photography practices, or exploring the world with her daughter.

Contact Tiffany: tiffany [at] caleja.org

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] caleja.org

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] caleja.org

Mari Rose Taruc, Energy Justice Director (she/her)


CEJA’s Energy Justice 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] caleja.org

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 appeared 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. 

Contact Liam: liam [at] caleja.org

Nile Malloy, Climate Justice Director (he/him)


As the Climate Justice Director at CEJA, Nile brings two decades of working on racial, social, climate, and economic justice policy in the non-profit, public, and philanthropic sectors. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, his involvement spans a diverse spectrum of endeavors, encompassing environmental justice, community development, housing, and climate solution initiatives in the United States, Caribbean, and Africa.

He previously worked for a seven-year period as the Northern California Director at Communities for a Better Environment and three years as a senior campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. During these tenures, he supported local, regional, state, and international climate, environmental justice, human rights, transportation, clean energy, fossil fuel reduction, and environmental justice policy and campaigns. 

He served on several committees including the Bay Area Rapid Transit Title VI/Environmental Justice Committee, Oakland Climate Action Coalition, Environmental Protection Agency, National Climate Justice Alliance, Fund for Inclusive California, Oakland Climate Action Committee, Marin Clean Energy Alliance, Richmond Environmental Justice Coalition, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, California Adaptation Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and Eco-Adapt National Climate Adaptation Programs.

He recently worked at the Neighborhood Funders Group, spearheading the Democratizing Development Program organizing funders and seeding collaborative funds including the multi-million dollar Fund for an Inclusive California and the national Amplify Fund. These funds continue to direct investments towards Black, indigenous, immigrant, and low-income communities projects and influencing public policy.

He holds a BA from the University of Michigan in Environmental Sustainability and African American Studies and MA in Anthropology and Social Change with a focus on Gender, Ecology, and Postcolonial Studies. Beyond his professional commitments, he is the father to his lovely daughter and two teenage boys, writer, health and wellness enthusiast, life coach, and entrepreneur.

Contact Nile: nile [at] caleja.org

Raquel Mason, Senior Legislative Manager  (she/her)


As Senior Legislative 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] caleja.org

Ravahn Samati, Civic Engagement Manager  (he/him)

Ravahn is a first generation Oakland-er and recently completed a Master of Public Policy degree from Mills College where he reconnected to CEJA’s work and leadership on the Transformative Climate Communities policy. He comes to CEJA with a decade’s worth of experience running candidate, issue, and union organizing campaigns. They were transformative and fatiguing experiences. He first got stirred up by environmental justice work during the No on Prop 23 campaign in 2010 where he was introduced to coalition work and saw the fomenting community of POC-led organizations flexing their electoral muscles. CEJA’s place-based convening of local member organizations across the state aligns closely with Ravahn’s theory of change.

Faith-based organizing campaigns remain his primary model for organizing as a member of a Quaker community. Their historic commitments to justice and holding community were formative early experiences he grew up around. Oakland is another moniker he holds with pride and is grateful to have been the recipient of education from Black leadership in the public school system.

He enjoys group learning environments and building patience for shared processes. He is interested in creating strong organizations that are conversant in working through conflict and building cultures of learning. Underlying his experience is a recognition that we have one planet and that communities know the answers to their own problems.

Travel has been an important education for him having lived 6 months each in Bolivia, Iran, and Morocco. One of the first intentional choices that he made was to travel to Iran as a high school student to better understand his father’s passion for the culture. It was an important alternative frame of reference to the popular culture of the United States.

Contact Ravahn: ravahn [at] caleja.org

Jonathan Pruitt, Land Use Manager (he/him)

As the Land Use 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] caleja.org

Brittny Anya, Senior 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 ’90s 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] caleja.org

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] caleja.org

Tyler Valdes, Energy Justice Manager (he/him)

As Energy Justice 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] caleja.org.

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] caleja.org.

Leonela Leon, Civic Engagement Manager (she/her)

As CEJA’s Civic Engagement Manager, 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] caleja.org

Mia Lopez-Zubiri, Development Manager (she/her)

Mia joined CEJA in February 2024. As CEJA’s Development Manager, she supports the organization’s individual giving efforts. This includes managing fundraising appeals, developing donor communications, and collaborating with the Development team to sustain and grow CEJA’s funding opportunities.

Mia is originally from Los Angeles and moved to Washington, D.C. to study Government, Sociology, and Justice and Peace Studies at Georgetown University. Prior to joining CEJA, Mia spent four years on Venice Community Housing’s (VCH) Development & Communications team. At VCH, she worked on fundraising events and campaigns, wrote grant proposals and reports, and oversaw community engagement and advocacy efforts with the organization’s supporters and tenant council.

Outside of work, Mia enjoys cooking, traveling, roller skating, and exploring Los Angeles through restaurants, coffee shops, and community events.

Valeria Paredes, Development Manager (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] caleja.org

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] caleja.org