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Educating the Next Generation of Environmental Stewards in Southern California

Thursday, June 28, 2018
10:00am - 12:30pm PDT
La Kretz Innovation Campus, Training Room 402
525 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $0.00
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In the last decade, numerous innovative and engaging environmental education programs have emerged that are building Southern California’s next generation of sustainability stewards. But with climate change expected to bring increasing temperatures, extreme weather and rising sea levels, will we have the capacity, knowledge and determination to reduce carbon pollution, including the development of clean energy, stormwater capture, local food production, community engagement, transit oriented communities and low-carbon transportation options such as transit, bicycling and walking? 

This convening will bring together leaders from environmental education programs to discuss the state of environmental education in the region. You will also have an opportunity to connect and learn from other funders supporting this work. After the program, we invite you to continue the conversations over lunch, which will be served.




Alison Suffet Diaz, Founder and Executive Director, Environmental Charter Schools (ECS)

Alison Suffet Diaz is the Founder and Executive Director of Environmental Charter Schools (ECS), a growing network of schools that provides a meaningful education for youth in the underserved communities of South Los Angeles. A teacher and lawyer by training, and mother at heart, Alison set out to create a different kind of educational experience for students, which has evolved into a model for schools across the country. Steps from Los Angeles’ major freeways, Environmental Charter Schools campuses are oases in an urban landscape and incorporate sustainable green features in their designs. Alison holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the State University of New York, Albany and a Juris Doctorate from Temple University Law School.


Reanne Estrada, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Public Matters 

Reanne Estrada is the Co-Founder & Creative Director of Public Matters, a creative studio for civic engagement. Founded in 2007, it is an award-winning, Los Angeles-based social enterprise that grows leadership capacity in our most vulnerable communities of color through collaborative creative acts for public good. Public Matters brings imagination, cultural competencies and systems-thinking to community-centered, equity-driven work for social change. It cultivates interdisciplinary and cross-sector partnerships that deepen the scale and impact of the work, connecting large institutions, small grassroots organizations, schools, businesses and individuals to achieve and sustain shared goals. Its diverse portfolio includes the design and implementation of public engagement efforts in healthy food access, tobacco control, education, arts and equitable development, public humanities, multimodal transportation and traffic safety. Its clients have included: USC Price School of Policy, UCLA Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD), Truth Initiative (formerly Legacy Foundation), East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy (ELARA) at Torres High School, The California Endowment’s South Los Angeles Healthy Eating Active Communities Initiative (HEAC), LA Freewaves, and Los Angeles Vision Zero.


Ashley Hernandez, Wilmington Youth Organizer, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE)

Raised in Wilmington, Ashley first became involved with CBE during her junior year of high school. As a member of CBE’s youth program (Youth EJ), she worked on the Clean Up Green Up campaign. She was then selected to be a CBE Youth EJ organizing intern. Ashley is very passionate about Clean Up Green Up because it is the first program of its kind in Los Angeles.







Lila Higgins, Community Science Office, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (NHMLA) County

Lila Higgins is a museum educator with 15 years of experience in environmental education, exhibit development and community science. In late 2008, she joined the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles (NHMLA) County working in the Education & Exhibits department. She currently oversees the Museum’s Community Science office and focuses on bringing community science to the public in novel ways. She created the @NatureinLA social media accounts, innovative programming such as Citizen Science + Cocktails and interactive museum exhibits. Lila was the lead educator for the museum’s Nature Lab and Nature Gardens exhibits which both focus on sharing community science stories and data, and inspiring community-based urban nature research. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Entomology from the University of California, Riverside and a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from California State University, San Bernardino.



Will Parish, Founder and President, Ten Strands

Will Parish is a credentialed public high school science educator with a 30-year record of innovative accomplishments in the environmental and educational fields. He taught environmental science and civics at Gateway High School in San Francisco, and now serves on their board. He served on the California State Board of Education’s Curriculum Commission and then founded Ten Strands as a nonprofit organization to support California’s efforts to achieve statewide penetration of high-quality environment-based education into schools.






Brad Rumble, Principal, Esperanza Elementary School

Brad Rumble is the principal of Esperanza Elementary School in Los Angeles, California and a Board Member of the Los Angeles Audubon Society. A former upper elementary teacher, he brings his love of reading and science to this leadership role. Currently, Rumble is creating an outdoor classroom where students will be able to study native plants, and pretty soon, birding. He believes birding strengthens students’ power of observation and the social skills it takes them to interact with each other is a perfect complement for today’s more rigorous standards.






The SCG Environmental Funders Group meets quarterly to educate prospective and current environmental funders about environmental challenges and opportunities in Southern California as well as fostering collaboration and to share successes and challenges. Please contact Dave Sheldon at [email protected] for more information.


No cost to participate

Who May Attend
SCG members and eligible non-members

SCG members: register online (you must log in to your SCG account)


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