During Black History Month this year, I have read several articles about the iconic environmental breakthroughs of George Washington Carver, or the conservationist mindset of Charles Young. However, I found myself seeking more information about today’s Black environmentalists, the spaces they are working in, and how the Alliance can unite and uplift their messages. I’m excited to share just a few of the faces of modern intersectional environmentalism within the Chesapeake Bay and beyond!

Christopher Bradshaw

Christopher is the Founder and Executive Director of Dreaming Out Loud Inc., a food hub committed to creating a healthy and equitable food system as a means of economic development for DC Metro Area marginalized communities. He’s also the longest-serving member of the DC Food Policy Council and serves as the co-chair of the Urban Agriculture Working Group. His sustainable and entrepreneurial approach to advancing food equity means he has brought healthy, fresh food as well as economic empowerment and workforce development opportunities to low-income residents. He has been recognized by the Washington Post, Georgetown University, the Atlantic, etc.

Instagram: @doldc @abronsgrandson

Photo Credit: Dreaming Out Loud, Inc.

Atiya Wells

Atiya is a pediatric nurse and passionate environmental educator based in Baltimore, MD. She is the Founder of Backyard Basecamp, an initiative to connect Baltimore residents with local wildlife and nature through nature walks, habitat discovery, and other educational programming. She also operates a 10-acre land reclamation project called BLISS Meadows. This formerly vacant lot is being redeveloped into a community garden, where Atiya envisions promoting food equity and culturally-driven environmental education for children and adults alike.

Instagram: @backyard_basecamp

Photo Credit: Bay Journal

Leah Thomas 

Although not from the Chesapeake Bay area, it would be a disservice to limit Leah’s work by geographic bounds. She is a proud environmentalist and founder of the wildly popular @intersectionalenvironmentalist social media resource hub. With over 250,000 followers, her content blends environmental justice and inclusivity within modern sustainability movements. Her work has been featured in publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Buzzfeed, and on the Instagram page @impact, which has over 1.2 million followers. She may be based in California, but her modern take on environmental education reaches nationwide. 

Instagram: @greengirlleah 

Photo Credit: Green Girl Leah

Jerome Foster II

Jerome is the 18-year-old climate change activist behind the DC Climate Strike (you know, the one with Jane Fonda). He was inspired by and worked with Greta Thunberg to quickly become the face of youth environmental advocacy in the Capitol region. In addition, Jerome is the founder of OneMillionOfUs, a youth-led organization focused on empowering and engaging young people to advocate for issues they are passionate about. Even further, he works as Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Climate Reporter, an environmental news platform. At such a young age, Jerome has influenced an incredible amount of environmental action thus far, including the Clean Energy DC Act.

Instagram: @onemillionofus @jeromefosterii 

Photo Credit: OneMillionOfUs


Majora Carter 

Majora is the innovative and groundbreaking mind behind the nonprofit Sustainable South Bronx. The organization addresses environmental injustices that have been ever-present in the community with programs like NYC CoolRoofs, where they partner with the City to train jobseekers to install energy-saving reflective rooftops. They provide more green jobs training through a partnership with The HOPE Program to help people maintain and invest in their own environmental practices, like residential green infrastructure. In 2008, Majora started her own real estate and consulting firm called Majora Carter Group, where her clients include Whole Foods, Nike, Etsy, Cisco, and more. 

Instagram: @the_hope_program 

Photo Credit: Majora Carter Group

Ron Griswell

Ron is a self-proclaimed adventurer and environmental enthusiast. While in college in North Carolina, he started a nonprofit called HBCUs Outside to promote diversity in the outdoor industry. He leads virtual courses as well as hiking and kayaking expeditions in the Smoky Mountains, Adirondacks, and many more for students who don’t have that opportunity presented at their schools. The organization also works with outdoor brands, like Columbia, to encourage investment in Black educational institutions. After truly falling in love with outdoor recreation, Ron hopes he can inspire others to do the same by creating the space and safe meetup platforms for more young people to get exploring.

Instagram: @hbcusoutside @rongriswell

Photo Credit: HBCUs Outside