Apply now to join our next cohort of Community Science Fellows and Community Leads!

Meet the March 2023 Cohort of Community Leads

Category: Uncategorized

Thriving Earth Exchange is pleased to announce the March 2023 cohort of Community Leads! They will work with Community Science Fellows to launch 14 community science projects in the United States, Brazil and Jamaica! Stay tuned for more information about the impactful projects to come and the communities who lead and inspire them!


Braco, Jamaica


Guayama, Puerto Rico

Kevin Shockey is the Executive Director of Ahora, a registered 501(3)(c) in Puerto Rico. Ahora’s mission is to conduct research on sustainable and resilient agriculture. You can find their lab, Finca Kaleli (Kaleli Farm), alongside the Carite State Park. The lab and many neighbors suffered major flooding and landslides during Fiona in 2022. Defensores de Carite focuses on conservation and protection of the Carite State Forest. Barrio Carite is principally Black and Latinx and has been underfunded for decades. The community and the state forest have not received any rebuilding since hurricane Maria. The organization’s goal is to help unify the community and study the La Plata watershed.


Houston, Texas

Brittney Stredic is with the Southwest Crossing Community Initiative Volunteer Committee in the Southwest Houston, Texas area, which has organized to fight against the environmental racism and injustice that has threatened their community’s safety. The initative’s goal is to support, educate, and inform communities about environmental injustice and advocate and support legislation to protect communities from environmental hazards introduced by big oil and energy companies in Texas.

Since June 2021, The Southwest Crossing Community has fought against the installation of a 300,000 gallon propane storage facility being placed in the community by Houston company, CenterPoint Energy. Our experience with environmental injustice has allowed for us to raise awareness locally and nationally and to support other communities in the Houston area to fight against environmental threats to communities.

Britteny and her community are looking forward to the work they will do with Thriving Earth Exchange to help achieve better environmental safety for children and families in the community and contribute to safeguarding the longevity of the environment. Find out more about their story here at


Little Rock, Arkansas

Lennie Massanelli (Sustainability Officer) and Brittany Nichols (Sustainability Educator) at the City of Little Rock “Sustain the Rock Awards,” 2022.

The Little Rock Sustainability Office (LRSO) provides education, leadership and vision for current and future citizens, organizations and departments of the City of Little Rock to sustain our environment, enhance our economy, and achieve social equity. Over the last year, Lennie and Brittany have made great strides in advancing sustainable policies and programs within the Public Works Department of Little Rock. The TEX project will be centered around developing a Sustainability Action Plan for City Operations that has strong focus on biodiversity, equity, and clean energy. The LRSO will engage a broad team of City stakeholders while it works with TEX to identify achievable, science-based targets with high impact actions that re-envisions sustainability for the Capital City of the Natural State.


Paden City, West Virginia


Richmond, California

Aleta Alston – Toure, Parable of the Sower Intentional Community Cooperative (Richmond, CA)
The mission of the Parable of the Sower Intentional Community Cooperative is to develop the cooperative as a housing model for Black organizers and activists, and Black worker-owned intentional communities. The cooperative will provide holistic services through community organizing, housing, and health services. Simultaneously, it will assist in alleviating social stigmas through reparation database collection, community support systems, sustainable economics, political education, and natural healing practices under a transformational feminist economy through Mpito Tu, Just Transition.

The cooperative began through mobilization campaign wins that use People’s Movement Assemblies (PMA), Universidad Sin Fronteras/ University Without Walls, and Black Radical Tradition (BRT) political education. Aleta and her community are most looking forward to showing the legacy of Black and Indigenous communities that are from land-based cooperation and science-driven. “utakaitfu Mfumo wa ikolojia” Sacredness of Ecosystems.


Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Elaine Cimino is a dedicated community advocate and activist who has worked for 30 years in land use, environmental protection and social justice. She is the co-founder and director for Common Ground Community Trust/Common Ground Rising whose mission is to educate, organize, and implement community grassroots committees to take action that protects our environment against the drivers of climate change, which impacts watershed, air, public health and safety.

Currently, Elaine is a strong advocate for the adoption of the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Index (WHO AQI) in Bernalillo County and Albuquerque. She is working with 12 environmental justice (EJ) organizations and non-profits to raise the voices of marginalized communities and create more equitable and sustainable policies for the protection of air and water. With her passion, commitment, and leadership, Elaine is making a positive difference in her community raising awareness for adaptive capacity and resilience in face of global warming.


Sulphur, Louisiana


Travis County, Texas

Bill Gibbs, M.A., is the Executive Director of the Clean Air Force of Central Texas. The Clean Air Force is a non-profit organization based in Austin with one mission: “Clean Air For All in Central Texas!”

Central Texas—from San Antonio to Austin to Waco—is one of the fastest-growing regions of the country. With rapid growth comes much construction. Our goal with this project is to help make sure the growth does not come at the cost of polluting emissions or health issues for our citizens.


Tucson, Arizona


Wasatch County, Utah


Wellsburg, West Virginia

Blake McGhghy subscriber

Leave a Reply