Keynote Speakers

Day 1: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

 

Summit Kick Off

 

Darron Bonaparte


 

Nanci Jimenez, CPF: Founder, and President of the Luna Jiménez Institute for Social Transformation | @lunajimenezist


Nanci Luna Jiménez is regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized for her highly effective and insightful trainings, inclusive facilitation, and dynamic speaking for groups of diverse ages, industries, and cultural backgrounds. In 1994, she founded the Luna Jiménez Institute for Social Transformation (then known as Luna Jiménez Seminars & Associates) to deliver unique programs that guide individual healing and transformation, cultivate initiative and leadership in social change, and create more just and equitable workplaces and communities. She facilitates individuals and groups in understanding how systemic oppression affects their lives, their work, and their relationships with others, then supports them to envision and make revolutionary changes through personal healing, crosscultural communication, group consensus, organizational inclusion, and short- and long-term strategic planning.  She was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised there and in Tucson, Arizona. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

 

Dinner


 

Peggy Shepard: Co-Founder and Executive Director, WE ACT For Environmental Justice | @weact4ej

 

 

Peggy Shepard is co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice and has a long history of organizing and engaging Northern Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally and nationally. She has successfully combined grassroots organizing, environmental advocacy, and environmental health community-based participatory research to become a national leader in advancing environmental policy and the perspective of environmental justice in urban communities — to ensure that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment extends to all. Her work has received broad recognition: the Jane Jacobs Medal from the Rockefeller Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 10th Annual Heinz Award For the Environment, the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and Honorary Doctorates from Smith College and Lawrence University.

 

 


 

Day 2: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

 

Lunch

 

Nanci Jimenez, CPF: Founder & President

Luna Jiménez Institute for Social Transformation | @lunajimenezist



Nanci Luna Jiménez is regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized for her highly effective and insightful trainings, inclusive facilitation, and dynamic speaking for groups of diverse ages, industries, and cultural backgrounds. In 1994, she founded the Luna Jiménez Institute for Social Transformation (then known as Luna Jiménez Seminars & Associates) to deliver unique programs that guide individual healing and transformation, cultivate initiative and leadership in social change, and create more just and equitable workplaces and communities. She facilitates individuals and groups in understanding how systemic oppression affects their lives, their work, and their relationships with others, then supports them to envision and make revolutionary changes through personal healing, crosscultural communication, group consensus, organizational inclusion, and short- and long-term strategic planning.  She was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was raised there and in Tucson, Arizona. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

 

Dinner


 

Elizabeth Yeampierre: Executive Director, UPROSE | @yeampierre

 

Elizabeth Yeampierre is a internationally recognized Puerto Rican attorney and environmental and climate justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in New York City. A national leader in climate justice movement, Elizabeth is the co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance. She is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn's oldest Latino community based organization. Her award winning vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park. Prior to assuming the Executive Director position at UPROSE, she was the Director of Legal Education and Training at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Director of Legal Services for the American Indian law Alliance and Dean of Puerto Rican Student Affairs at Yale University.  She holds a BA from Fordham University, a law degree from Northeastern University.


 

Day 3: Thursday, May 23, 2019

 

Lunch

 

Yvette Arellano: Senior Staff, Policy Research & Grassroots Advocate | @regularisms, @tejasbarrios

Yvette Arellano graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Political Science and is a graduate of the University of Houston’s Pre-Law Institute and Hobby Center for Public Policy (CHIP) program. She believes that through a commitment to community engagement, education and political pressure we can achieve a better standard of living. In 2015, she lead the campaign against H.R 702 concerning exportation of crude and other products. She also represented T.e.j.a.s and the Gulf South Rising Coalition at the United Nations COP21 in Paris. She served as co-chair of the Building Equity and Alignment (BEA) initiative to build equitable relationships and expand the pool of resources for base-building organizations in minority, indigenous and low-income communities on frontlines of the climate and ecological crises. She currently serves as a board member of Backbone Campaign which provides creative strategies, artful action support, and convenes training opportunities for change agents across the United States.

 

Dinner

 

David Vela: Acting Deputy Director of Operations, National Park Service

 

A 28-year career veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), David Vela was recently selected to fill the role of Acting Deputy Director of Operations for the National Park Service. Prior to this role, he was superintendent of Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway, where he managed more than 310,000 acres of park lands, including the spectacular Teton Range that serve as home to iconic wildlife from bison to grizzly bears as well as 51 miles of the wild and scenic Snake River. Before that, he served as associate director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion in the NPS’ Washington headquarters, and before his time in Washington, he served for over four years as director of the NPS’ Southeast Region, where he oversaw 66 national park sites in nine states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In addition, he provided product and leadership support for the Department/NPS National Latino Heritage Initiative, and served on several leadership and advisory committees.

He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in recreation and parks.  He and his wife, Melissa, have two children, Christina and Anthony, and six grandchildren. He is the recipient of numerous awards both within and outside of the National Park Service for leadership and performance excellence.

 

 

Day 4: Friday, May 24, 2019

 

Lunch

 

Rosa Mendez: Director for Environmental Justice, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

 

As director of the Office of Environmental Justice with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Rosa is responsible for promoting and providing cleaner water, flood protection, cleaner air, habitat and recreation spaces in communities across the state. Prior to joining NY DEC, she worked at New York Department of State's Coastal Management Program, where she analyzed federal proposals in coastal areas to ensure consistency with state policies and worked to meaningfully involve impacted communities in local waterfront revitalization programs. Her prior work also includes criminal defense law and a Public Service Fellowship empowering New York's vulnerable homeless population. She hails from New York City's Sunset Park neighborhood and holds an undergraduate degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University, and a Juris Doctorate from Vermont Law School.