NaTisha and Kelly

NaTisha Washington is an environmental advocate for under-resourced communities in Allegheny County. She’s a part of many environmental groups addressing community needs and has developed many projects to educate youth on a variety of green topics. As a member of the Blackpacking group and Black Environmental Collective she has had many conversations on topics related to the black outdoor experience for people in the county. Outside of her professional ventures, she is an avid gardener and hiker who enjoys doing nature photography, cooking with her garden’s produce, and designing open spaces. She hopes through her ventures that she can make a healthy and just environment for the communities that need it most.

 

NaTisha's experience includes:

  • Created a four year Green Education Curriculum for youth groups

  • Planned and organized a multitude of volunteer events like Redd Up community events, Street tree plantings, and vacant lot build outs.

  • Presented on Community and Youth Engagement at the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group Summit

  • Presented on Collaborative Community Work at the Greater Pittsburgh NonProfit Summit

  • Facilitated Food Access community discussion in East Pittsburgh with the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council

  • Served on several panels, including the Institute for Sustainable Communities summit, the Pitt Community Engagement Center study series, and the Chatham Social Justice and Sustainability Series

  • Presented on local green history at academic institutions like

    • University of Pittsburgh

    • Environmental Charter School

    • Winchester Thurston

    • Penn State - Allegheny

    • Brashear High School

  • Interviewed about Environmental issues for multiple Public Source articles

  • Serve on multiple committees and boards for groups including:

    • Pittsburgh Food Policy Council

    • City of Pittsburgh Clean Commission

    • Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy - Education board

    • Homewood Food Access Working Group

    • Nine Mile Run and Negley Run Watershed Task Force

  • Taught Gardening and produce cooking classes to local youth and residents

  • Planned, financed (through grants), and facilitated collaborative green projects in the Homewood area of Pittsburgh

 

 

Kelly Henderson is a sustainability professional, an outdoor educator, an award-winning advocate for systems change in K-12 education, and a trained dialogue facilitator. She has driven institutional and systems change work around equity and inclusion in different sectors and holds a breadth of experience facilitating conversations across social identities, especially race and gender dialogues. Kelly is a LEED Accredited Professional for Operations and Maintenance and has worked in the green building, and energy fields in various capacities, from science research to communications. She holds a BA from Colgate University, an MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and an MAT in Secondary Science Education from Chatham University. She is also an avid backpacker, mountaineer and bicyclist.

 

Kelly's experience includes:

  • Serves and volunteers on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion subcommittees, task forces and coalitions at multiple higher education institutions. Her work in these groups has centered around research-based best practices for hiring, professional development, purchasing, culture shifting, curriculum and more.

  • Created and directs residential camp for high school students that combines dialogue, outdoor recreation, project development, academic learning around sustainability content and leadership development.

  • Directs, creates, manages and facilitates field trips that connect sustainability and social justice for youth. This includes training staff and facilitating groups through debriefs that deconstruct how intergroup dynamics reproduce themselves in small groups.

  • Organizing a new, regional, youth-led, intergenerational network and working group on “Social Justice and Sustainability.”

  • Trained public school district educators and administrators on understanding their social identities and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy using dialogic practices as a consultant with University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Urban Education.

  • Created, Organized and Facilitated “Growing White Teacher Advocates” 12-hour body-centric and mindful dialogue-while-gardening experience for K-12 educators, connected a common text.

  • Led and directed various outdoor and environmental education programs, including backpacking, caving, survival, low ropes courses and more for higher education, non-profits, and community-based volunteer outing clubs. 

  • Taught dialogue facilitation training and gender dialogue courses undergraduate and graduate-level courses at the higher education level.

  • Facilitated white caucus dialogue experiences, including with higher education faculty and staff using a common text.

  • Coordinated communications and marketing for a start-up energy efficiency company.

  • Led data analysis and accountability tracking for green building renovation projects and solar energy research projects as well as quantitative and qualitative tracking for environmental justice program and office efficacy.

  • Select invited presentations and panels have included:

    • “Leadership, Climate Change and Social Justice” - International Leadership Association

    • “Environmental and Social Impacts of Covid-19” - World Affairs Council

    • “Leading in Sustainability” Carlow University

    • “School-Organization Partnerships for Community Transformation” - Greater Pittsburgh Non-Profit Partnership Summit

    • “Project Based Learning for Youth-Led, Systemic, Community Transformation” - State of Black Learning Conference

    • “Sustainability, Problem Based Learning, and Meaningful Community Partnerships” - Green Schools National Conference

    • “Sustainability and Racial Justice” - Hip Hop Science Genius Battle Educator Workshop

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