Arlie Schardt Memorial Fellowship

Arlie Schardt Memorial Fellowship

Arlie Schardt Memorial Fellowship

Our Fellowship program is designed to increase the long-term effectiveness of FOE and the environmental movement by operating an inspiring and fulfilling fellowship program that builds skills and relevant job experience for people of color and members of underrepresented communities.

Arlie W. Schardt was a pioneering voice for the environment and witness to some of the most seminal events in American history as a Time magazine correspondent traveling with Martin Luther King while covering the civil rights movement. Throughout his peripatetic 50-year career, Schardt reported on and acted on behalf of social justice. Al Gore states, “Through his remarkably diverse career, Arlie Schardt lived a life of purpose and impact,” said the former Vice President. “He was a champion for civil rights and an early pioneer of the environmental movement. I valued greatly his commitment to public service and will always be grateful for the invaluable roles he played on my Presidential campaign.” Schardt joined Friends of the Earth (FOE), serving as Chairman of the Board from 2009 until June 2019 when he was named chair emeritus in honor of his service. According to Erich Pica, president of FOE, “Arlie was instrumental in tripling the size of the organization and broadening its mandate to combine his concerns for social and racial justice with environmentalism.”

Friends of the Earth is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups who will contribute to the diversity of our staff and our movement.

Meet our 2022 Fellows

Autumn Burton, Pesticides and Pollinators Fellow

Autumn Burton is an Arlie Schardt Memorial Fellow at Friends of the Earth, where she works on the Food and Agriculture department’s Pesticides and Pollinators team. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, she has had multiple unique experiences reflecting her passions for environmental and social justice, such as her time as a Second Day Impact fellow, a Clean Energy Leadership Institute EDICT fellow, and an intern for Student Action with Farmworkers. Autumn also has conducted sustainable agriculture research in Ethiopia and Madagascar, and clean energy justice research in North Carolina through Duke University’s Nicholas School for the Environment. A native of Maryland, Autumn is a 2022 Bachelors of Environmental science policy graduate from Duke University. When not advocating for environmental justice, you can find her gardening, exploring nature, or listening to music.  


Joshua Phillips, Climate-Friendly Food Fellow

Joshua Phillips is an Arlie Schardt Memorial Fellow with the Friends of the Earth Climate-Friendly food team. As a fellow, Joshua assists with research projects and correspondence to other organizations. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, Joshua worked with the personal injury firm May Lightfoot PLLC, in Washington, DC. Although born and raised in Hackensack, NJ, Joshua considers DC a second home. He received his BA in Political Science from Howard University. While at Howard, Joshua served as President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Chapter prioritizing social justice issues and engagement with the DC community. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys playing with his cat Terra and making Spotify playlists for his friends.


Say Sánchez, Legislative and Political Fellow

Say Sánchez Osorio is the Legislative and Political ASM Fellow at Friends of the Earth. She works within the Political Department providing electoral support, engaging in advocacy campaigns, and helping to advance progressive and transformational federal environmental policy. Say’s past experiences have included working as a Conservation Policy intern with the Center for American Progress, a Grove Fellow at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, and as an Ecology Teacher within the Westchester County Government, all advancing her commitment to environment + policy. Born in Mexico and raised in New York’s Lower Hudson Valley, Say holds a B.A. in Political Science and Environmental Studies: Policy & Management from Hunter College, The City University of New York. Outside of work, you’re likely to find her buried in a book, birdwatching, or baking. 


Leo Vo, Communications Fellow

Leo Vo (he/him) is the 2022 Communications Fellow for the Arlie Schardt Memorial Fellowship program. He will support Communications’ press team through news tracking, reporter research and outreach, developing press materials and furthering strategic efforts. Leo has fundraised for human rights with Amnesty International, helped elect Senators Warnock and Ossoff as a ballot curer fighting voter suppression in the South, and served in AmeriCorps as a Land Conservation Corpsmember alongside fellow Zillennials to mitigate the climate crisis. Leo is a New American from a Vietnamese refugee background. He firmly believes that, “The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”


Valerie Zundel, Oceans and Vessels Fellow

Valerie Zundel is Friend of the Earth’s Oceans & Vessels Fellow for 2022. She assists the Oceans team with their campaigns, like combatting vessel-related pollution and advocating against offshore oil and gas development. Before FoE, Valerie worked as the science outreach and social media manager for the Shark Research and Conservation (SRC) team at the University of Miami while obtaining her professional master’s degree in Marine Conservation. Here, she gave educational talks to school children about the importance of marine conservation, grew SRC’s social media engagement, and assisted with shark research. Valerie was born in Bogota, Colombia and was raised in Miami, Florida. When she isn’t campaigning for the ocean or swimming with sharks, Valerie is hanging out with her cats, Luna and Zevi, or planning new places to visit.

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