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Meet the February 2024 Cohort of Community Science Leads

Category: TEXnews

Join us in welcoming our February 2024 Cohort of Community Science Leads! From Mexico to New York to North Carolina, Illinois, and California this cohort is going to do amazing things with community science.

Ana Karen Novoa

Coatepec, Veracruz Mexico 

Ana Karen Novoa is an environmental lawyer with a master degree in environmental and ecological economy, currently serving as the General Manager of FIDECOAGUA. FIDECOAGUA is the first Environmental Public Policy in Mexico to apply a Payment for Environmental Services Program (PES). It is a financial mechanism that promotes rainforest ecosystem conservation and combats land degradation- the first scheme of its type in the country.

With community engagement and a sustainable perspective, Ana is making significant strides to positively impact environmental initiatives and projects within the academy, private businesses and the community of Coatepec, Veracruz, México. She works closely with 179 land owners of rainforest that are part of the PES, to ensure the conservation of rivers, forests, biodiversity and the ecosystem services of the region. All together they preserve a total of 1,332.83 hectares of rainforest. Ana firmly believes that transdisciplinary cooperation is the answer to specific environmental problems.


Delia Barajas

Cicero, IL

Delia Barajas is inspired by the voices and humility of people who have been forgotten by those of institutional wealth and power.  The years of abuse of the silent, most vulnerable individuals has given her heart and soul the inspiration to create a more humane and just world. The lavish lifestyles of consumption with no regard for human life, or for our common home, has devastated the Earth.  

We have forgotten our ways of compassion and humility for those who seek a better life. We go about our lives as though we have forgotten that we are all interconnected by our Creator. In her transformational years, she will work with others sharing our gifts of talents, wisdom, respect, dignity, justice, to save our future generations of children and earth the Creator has given us. 

Her community, Cicero, Illinois, experienced urban flooding, with community members inundated  in raw sewage and waterborne, industrial waste that includes lead and asbestos. Cicero, has a high probability Flood Susceptibility Index for future urban flooding with Climate Crisis. With the absence of public health assistance during the flooding, and in the absence of assistance from elected officials, she am organizing a response. 


Dr. Edidiong Mendie

Leimert Park in Los Angeles, CA 

Dr. Edidiong Mendie is the Executive Director of Ezrach Brain Trust Association, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit focusing on environmental justice, social justice, and economic justice. A leader in the field of Environmental Justice, she brings extensive experience working with marginalized communities, policymakers, and clean energy stakeholders. 

She is also an Adjunct Professor/Lecturer of criminal justice at California State University Sacramento and Texas Southern University, and began her career as a licensed attorney in Nigeria specializing in Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) initiatives. Dr. Mendie is a published author and has presented at 20+ international and local conferences. 

Dr. Mendie holds a Ph.D. in Administration of Justice from Texas Southern University, an LL.M. in Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Law from the University of Houston, Texas, a B.L. from The Nigerian Law School, and a LL.B. from the University of Benin, Nigeria. 



Sherri White-Williamson 

Sampson County in Clinton, NC 

Sherri White-Williamson resides in Sampson County, North Carolina where she co-founded the Environmental Justice Community Action Network (EJCAN) to address environmental injustices experienced by rural communities. In addition to her passion for environmental justice in Sampson County, she is the Director of Environmental Justice Strategy at the North Carolina Conservation Network (NCCN) where she focuses on overall strategy to assure that consideration of environmental justice is incorporated in NCCN’s policy and outreach efforts. She also teaches a graduate-level Environmental Justice course at Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment. 


Andrew Yeung

Oakland, CA

Andrew Yeung (he/they) is a community-based educator and organizer learning and laboring at the intersections of gender, race, class; power, violence, hegemony; and education as freedom struggle. Andrew was born in San Gabriel, California – the unceded territories of Kizh and Tongva peoples – and raised by East Asian working class immigrant parents. They now work to be a good guest and neighbor on unceded Lisjan Ohlone land. For over ten years, Andrew has labored to de-center and dismantle the school-prison nexus; to co-create, mentor, and steward the agency and emancipatory spirit of Black, Indigenous, youth of color; and alongside youth leaders, reclaim the dignity of education as a practice of freedom. He is the educational director with Mycelium Youth Network and in previous capacities has served as a writing mentor with the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, the board secretary of Richmond LAND, and as Economic Justice Program Manager at the RYSE Youth Center.


Andrea Scarborough

Southeast Queens in  Jamaica, NY

Andrea Scarborough has for decades fought on behalf of her Southeast Queens community in a variety of posts, including as President of Addisleigh Park Civic Organization and Vice Chair of the Queens Solid Waste Advisory Board, which advises the Queens Borough President on policy and initiatives pertaining to solid waste issues. Mrs. Scarborough was a leader in the fight to protect the St. Albans Veteran Administration hospital, and has led advocacy on waste legislation to reduce waste traffic and pollution in Southeast Queens as well as seeking solutions to the decades long issue of chronic flooding in her community. Ms. Scarborough sits on the board of the Southeast Queens Residents Environmental Justice Coalition (SQREJC) an organization that is committed to improving the quality of life of


Liz Crocker editor

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