Anahi Naranjo is an environmental justice advocate and oral historian from Quito, Ecuador. Uprooted from Ecuador to New York City in 2002, she began to see the social and environmental inequalities her communities faced, prompting her to pursue a career in environmental advocacy. Anahi is interested in exploring how narratives can empower communities to become agents of change and highlight their connection to the natural world. She has experience working with environmental and community organizations in the fields of outdoor inclusion, community empowerment, and communications. She’s a Latino Outdoors volunteer leader. Anahi holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Oral History from Columbia University. Her thesis, the Pachamama Oral History Project, documents the impacts of climate change on the physical and cultural landscapes of Andean communities.
Working in collaboration with grassroots communities, policy makers and researchers, CEED conducts research and provides community education on climate, energy and the environment – so that all members of society may effectively participate in public decision-making.
We provide tools and information for communities and policy makers in an effort to create just, climate, and environmental policy.
We strategically work to:
Build a deeper body of climate and energy research/analysis that fundamentally addresses racial and class justice.
Provide climate and policy technical assistance based on CEED research to support the environmental justice movement.
Promote strategies for cross learning and sharing of information around environmental justice, energy, and climate issues.
We affirm our interconnectedness of the human and natural world and take responsibility for inspiring change to create a society that equitably protects and promotes a healthy and vibrant environment for all people in current and future generations.
Grounded in our values of self-determination in Indigenous, low income communities and communities of color, we gear our work toward the creation of a fully informed economic and political democracy.
The Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) was founded by a group of researchers, educators and community activists who saw the need to affirm and revitalize principles of democracy and social justice in energy and environmental policy. Our founders, Shalini Gupta and Dr. Cecilia Martinez, saw the need for quality policy research and education to create a more honest and accountable system for preserving our social and environmental heritage. CEED proudly joins with a long tradition of individuals and communities who have actively worked to keep the Earth healthy for future generations.
CEED grew from discussions around the need for broader participation and inclusion of the needs and realities of all communities into energy and environmental policy solutions. After decades of an active Environmental Justice movement, solutions to 21st century energy and environmental problems such as climate change and clean energy transitions continue to be developed without attention to, or participation from, the most vulnerable in our society.
CEED is an impassioned team with a mission of environmental justice and community.
Ansha Zaman is the Federal Policy Director for Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED). She works on developing training and resource hubs for communities and community organizers to help them stay informed about their energy systems and advance their fight for more equitable policy frameworks. Her research work at CEED includes building community energy models that center the decision-making agency of the most energy burdened communities. Ansha has an MS in Environmental Policy and Planning from the University of Michigan and a BS in Environmental Engineering from Smith College. In her free time, she likes to read, write, swim, listen to podcasts, and practice baking.
Natalya (she/her/ella) is the Local Program Coordinator at CEED. She works on developing CEED’s Popular Education curricula and expanding our community education resources and opportunities. Her goal is to support, guide, and expand opportunities for low-income and BIPOC communities to access and engage with information, education, networks, and resources.
Natalya has work experience in government, non-profits, and higher education; she specializes in research, curriculum development, teaching, and facilitating. She currently serves as an Ignite Afterschool Board Member working to unite Minnesota’s afterschool community through partnership, education, and advocacy. Prior to her role as the Local Program Coordinator with CEED, she was the Coordinator for a Latine youth program: Youth in Action (YA!) at CLUES. In efforts to engage her students to connect more deeply with themes and discussions, she redesigned the program’s curriculum to follow our ever-changing socio-political contexts.
Natalya holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Political Science from Augsburg University and is a certified ELL teacher– hoping to one day live in Ecuador and teach. In her free time, Natalya enjoys creating colorful beaded jewelry, decorating her home with unique second-hand finds, making tea, and spending quality time with her friends, family, and cats.
Sofia Sainz is a nonprofit professional committed to the intersection of environmental protection and social justice. She has over five years of experience working in nonprofit administration focused on conservation, in addition to nearly three years of program management experience in the for-profit world. Some of her specialities include global and national programmatic support, grant management, fundraising, and marketing. In her spare time, she serves as an Outings Leader for Latino Outdoors, a national organization focused on connecting the Latinx community to nature and outdoor experiences. Sofia earned an M.A. in Environmental Stewardship through the Advanced Inquiry Program at Miami University, Ohio and a B.S. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Sociology from Binghamton University. Outside of work and volunteering she can be found hiking with her pandemic pup, trying out new recipes, propagating her many plant children, and spending time with family and friends.
Abigail Dillen is an environmental lawyer with over 20 years of litigation experience. She joined Earthjustice in 2000 and became President of the organization in 2018. Before stepping into her current role, she served as the Vice President of Litigation for Climate and Energy. She has been privileged to work closely with CEED in the development of the Just and Equitable National Climate Platform. She graduated from the Berkeley School of Law and Yale University.
Bill Gallegos was Executive Director of Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) one of the leading environmental justice organizations in the country from 2006-2014. Bill first became active in the 1960’s with the Crusade for Justice, an outstanding Chicano civil rights organization. Bill has also been a labor, campus, and community organizer. While executive director at CBE, the organization achieved landmark regulation of oil refinery flaring (the highly toxic practice of burning off excess gases into the air), and in leading local campaigns that could have a significant impact in reducing greenhouse gases and co-pollutants, improving public health, and advancing the transformation to clean alternative energy. Bill is currently active with Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEAI) a national initiative to build stronger partnership between grassroots environmental justice organizations, green groups, and the philanthropic community. One of the primary goals of the BEAI is to address the funding disparity between green groups and grassroots organizations. Bill has recently authored a case study entitled “The Perfect Storm That is Taking Down Chevron” a study of an African American, Latino, and Laotian social movement in Richmond, California that successfully challenged a Chevron Oil Company project to refiner dirtier grades of crude oil.
Kate Sinding Daly, Esq., is the executive director of NorthLight Foundation, which is the family foundation of Dan and Sheryl Tishman, and focuses on advancing equitable and enduring solutions for environmental and human health. Prior to her current role, she was senior advisor to the president of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and, before that, a senior attorney and deputy director of NRDC’s New York program. Before she joined NRDC in 2006, she was a partner in the specialty environmental law firm of Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C. She has taught environmental law at Columbia University and Fordham University. She is a graduate of New York University School of Law, the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and Barnard College.
Lena Jones is political science faculty member at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), where she has been teaching since 2002. In addition to teaching, she coordinates the Community Development A.S. Degree Program at MCTC and serves as the Minnesota and Mississippi Site Coordinator of Community Learning Partnership (CLP), a national network that aims to create pathways into community change careers. Since 2006, she has been the Director of Race in America, Then and Now, a summer field study course of the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA). She has participated in research projects exploring racism, immigration, and social movements in Western Europe and South Africa. In 2004, Lena received a fellowship from the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Center to support a residency with the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) where she participated in IDASA’s efforts to institute civic engagement projects in the Gauteng province. Lena has a Master of Arts degree in Political Science with a focus on International Relations and Comparative Politics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Master of Science in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University- Mankato.
Dr. Nicky Sheats is currently the director of the Center for the Urban Environment at the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy of Thomas Edison Sate College. The Center provides support for New Jersey’s environmental justice community. He is also a member of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, the state’s only statewide environmental organization that focuses solely on environmental justice issues. Dr. Sheats works on particulate matter air pollution, climate change, cumulative risk and impacts, the siting of schools on contaminated land, and environmental justice law. Dr. Sheats received his Ph.D. from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. His field of study was biological oceanography and his specialty was stable isotope biogeochemistry. After graduating he worked for Environmental Defense as a science and law fellow, at the College of New Jersey as a visiting scholar and at the Earth Institute of Columbia University as a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Sheats also attended Harvard Law School and worked as a public interest attorney for almost eight years. He served as a law clerk for the Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, a landlord-tenant and housing attorney at Camden Regional Legal Services, a public defender in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a legal instructor at a community legal education and college preparatory program in Harlem.
Dr. Subbu Sastry currently works at the Wikimedia Foundation. He is originally from India and has been active on both domestic and international social justice issues. He volunteered and co-ordinated the Madison Chapter of Asha for education, was a member of Friends of River Narmada, and worked for Environmental Support Group, Bangalore, India. He provided research, campaign, and technical support to these and other organizations. Subbu has a PhD in computer science from UW-Madison.
Yadira Hernandez Herrera has over 15 years of nonprofit management, finance, operations experience. She attended UC Davis, receiving a BA with a double-major in Economic and International Relations. She also received a certificate of Accounting from UCLA extension. She’s currently the Finance and Administration Director, at California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) where she is responsible for overseeing the fiscal management and administration of CEJA’s infrastructure. Yadira brings a broad range of experience in accounting, finance, and human resources. Serving in a wide range of leadership and management positions, she has worked in various nonprofit fields including immigrant rights, fiscal sponsorship, affordable housing and environmental justice. She brings experience in to ensure long-term sustainability, operating efficiency, and build capacity. Yadira is constantly challenging herself to find ways to translate, narrate and socialize finance as an organizing tool. She searches for opportunities to advance organizational culture through innovation, with a passion for building successful and motivated teams that collaborate and contribute to a culture of interconnection. In addition to her finance career she has served on multiple boards of directors for various nonprofits organizations.
We work to create just, sustainable energy and environmental policy through planning, research, and community education.
We partner with environmental justice, grassroots, labor, and national environmental organizations alongside state agencies and local governments to advance our mission and vision. Here are some of the partners we work with:
Equitable and Just National Climate Platform (EJNCP)
CEED, in collaboration with the Center for American Progress, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, co-founded and mobilized an alliance of environmental justice organizations and national environmental organizations to build an Equitable and Just National Climate Platform (EJNCP). The Equitable and Just National Climate Forum (EJNCF), guided by the EJNCP principles, leverages this opportunity to develop and implement a bold national climate agenda and policies that are inclusive and based on equity and justice.
Midwest Environmental Justice Network (MWEJN)
The Midwest Environmental Justice Network (MWEJN) envisions a region that is connected and well resourced to increase the capacity of frontline and grassroots communities. The network hosts learning opportunities; facilitate relationship building across the midwest; collaborate on just policy agenda for the region; and support funding opportunities through small grants programs. CEED is a proud anchor co-founder of the MWEJN and currently serves on the leadership team, along with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) and We The People of Detroit (WPD). To learn more about the MWEJN, please visit the MWEJN.
Support Our Work
Donating to CEED ensures that communities and policy makers have the tools and information they need to create just, sustainable energy and environmental policy.