Wednesday, April 6th 6:30 p.m. (EST) Online and Free to All
Register to receive a link to view the event at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ella-baker-day-building-a-racially-just-green-movement-tickets-301714565387
Tonya Gayle Executive Director of Green City Force Tonya Gayle is Executive Director of Green City Force (GCF). Prior to this, she led GCF’s development team from July 2014 to September 2020. She is a board member of The Corps Network focused on national service, and Environmental Advocates of NY focused on environmental justice. Prior to joining GCF, Tonya served in public-private partnerships at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Career Program. She has spent most of her career in nonprofit organizations focused on economic justice for young people of color. Tonya is a member of The New York Women’s Foundation Circle of Sisters for Social Change, a graduate of Wesleyan University, and a native Brooklynite. She is an associate producer of the 2006 documentary The Perfect Life featuring young adults from Harlem. Tonya is passionate about providing young people with viable paths to create and lead a just and equitable world.
Credit: Kate Albright
L.L. Sontag Journalist, Essayist, and Science Fiction Writer L.L. Sontag is a New York-based and Los Angeles-born and bred essayist, freelance journalist, and science fiction writer with a neo-futurist utopian purview. In her poetry and fiction, she explores capitalism, using satire, her journalism and essays are in the tradition of social criticism. Her writing can be found in the LA Weekly, ROAR Magazine (UK), LA City Beat, Time, USA Today, CounterPunch, Truth Dig, The Pensive Quill (Ireland), and the Annares Project for Alternative Futures. In her interview project Utopian Urbanism and her essay project Public Intellectuals she unsheathes the relationship between land, slavery, capitalism & the present-day economic policy, and ultimately how it impacts the future of climate change. As an undergrad, she studied philosophy and poetry at Mount St Mary’s University in Los Angeles. As a graduate student, she explored the areas of urban planning, human development, and economics. She is currently an Ethics and Equity Fellow with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the incoming inaugural Sadie Alexander Fellow at the New School in the School for Social Research’s Economic Department.
Social media: Twitter: @willstartsmall & @LaBlackestEye
"The Earth is My Employer" Pandora Thomas is a passionate global citizen who works as a caregiver, teacher, farmer, designer and speaker. Her work emphasizes the benefits of applying ecological principles to social design and reconnecting humans to our non-human kin. As a presenter both domestically and internationally, she has given keynotes and lectures on topics ranging from designing mutually beneficial diversity strategies, collaborative design for community driven planning, social justice, youth and women's leadership, social entrepreneurship, permaculture and sustainability. She has designed curriculum for and taught groups all over the world as diverse as Iraqi and Indonesian youth to men serving in San Quentin and men and women returning home from incarceration. For the last 10 years her earth service has included being a carepartner for her mother who was diagnosed with alzheimers; co-founding the Black Permaculture Network; working for 6 years with Toyota to design and serve as a coalition member of the Toyota Green Initiative, which supported African Americans in understanding the benefits of adopting sustainable lifestyles; co-designing, teaching with and directing Pathways to Resilience-a permaculture and social entrepreneur training program that worked with men and women returning home after incarceration; working with the Urban Permaculture Institute in Marin City supporting a People’s Planning Process, which supports community members to assess and design strategies for their own resilience; and working as an advisor, co-designer and facilitator with Women’s Earth Alliance’s Grassroots Accelerator Program. Her lifelong commitment to honoring ancestral legacies of earth stewardship and centering the contributions of people of African Ancestry in reclaiming our shared earth care journeys is culminating in her most recent gift to the planet, founding EARTHseed Permaculture Center and Farm, the first all Black owned and run farm in Sonoma County. EARTHseed’s farming and centers programming will elevate the earth stewarding contributions and legacy of peoples of African ancestry throughout the Diaspora. She is currently a co-owner of the collectively run permaculture design firm The Urban Permaculture Institute and a Senior Climate Innovation Fellow with the Movement Strategy Centers Climate Innovation Team. Thomas has studied four languages and lived and worked in over twelve countries and her other achievements include being featured in the films The Future of Energy and Inhabit, presenting at Tedx Denver and SF, and being awarded internships and fellowships to the Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, Green For All, the Bronx Zoo and the Applied Research Center. Her writing includes a children’s book, various curricula and a manual entitled "Shades of Green" for individuals wanting to teach green building to youth. Pandora studied at Columbia and Tufts University and with several permaculture and ecological design programs. When she is not working you can find her spending time with her beloved mother and cats, thrifting, watching her favorite movies, learning how to transform orchards into food forests or in the redwoods frolicking!
Opening Artist: Neima Patterson Choreographer, Writer & Producer, Filmmaker Neima is a comedy writer, filmmaker, and choreographer who loves skating, dance, and her hometown: South of the 10 Los Angeles. She earned a BA in World Arts and Cultures/Dance from UCLA and MFA from USC in Film and Television Production. She co-created the web series Sad-Ass Black Folk which was ranked #1 web series to watch by Shadow and Act in March 2020 and has been sponsored by Headspace. She has also worked as a Showrunner’s Assistant & Writers' Assistant on Netflix and Amazon shows. She is most passionate about mental health and wellness within the entertainment industry and South LA community. www.neima-patterson.com
Opening Artist: Tula B. Strong Performance Artist & Lecturer of Black Dance and Performance Studies Tula is a Liberian-American performance artist focused on weaving dance, storytelling through music, and spirituality. She creates multidisciplinary performances that deal with the everyday experience of BIPOC individuals throughout the U.S. & beyond, and the interweaving stories of love, wellness, and radical encounters with the Spirit of God. Portions of her most recent work TESTIMONY, which highlights Black women in particular, have been featured on popular platforms such as Blavity’s BlavityTV. Tula has also been honored to have her work receive support and recognition from the National Black Arts’Artist Project Fund, Arts Connection Micro-Grant, Artists as Second Responders Award, the CCCADI’s DEAR Artist Retreat, & Princeton University’s The Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. As a first generation college student, she has earned her MFA in Dance from UCLA, her Masters in Educational Studies from Loyola Marymount University, and her Bachelors from Princeton University. Tula currently serves as a lecturer at Cal State University, Fullerton where she teaches courses on Black Dance & Performance Studies. www.tulabstrong.com
Emcee: Bethany Rolón Manhattanville College: Sociology and Education Major Graduating 2022 Growing up in Carmel, NY, I learned to grow through many different adversities and overcome challenges that helped shape my character. Now, as a senior at Manhattanville College, I learn everyday to how distinguish bias and advocate for myself and others. Through the obstacles I've encountered, I've discovered a love for social justice and the ability to teach about equity and equality. In my eyes, it's important that we acknowledge and understand the hardships that others face. Using empathy as a weapon helps us grow and battle bias. Instagram: @bethanyrolon
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Sign the petition to create an Ella Baker Day in South Carolina at bit.ly/EBD-SC
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