Grassroots Fellowship Program
Friends of the Earth's mission is to defend the environment and champion a more healthy and just world. To accomplish that mission, we are working at the nexus of environmental protection, economic justice and social justice to fundamentally transform the way our country and the world values people and the environment.
Within the past year we have seen the dismantling of critical environmental protections through the gutting of the EPA and blatant attacks on our public lands for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry. And this administration is just getting started. Coupled together, these attacks leave the environment more vulnerable than it has been in over two decades and threaten decades of hard-fought victories for people and the planet.
Friends of the Earth was made for this fight. We are tough, scrappy, and aren’t afraid to stand up and speak truth to power. We pull no punches, and neither do our members. We are organizing at the grassroots to expand FOE’s political power and stop many of the Trump administration’s environmental attacks by developing a diverse base of activists and grassroots leaders who are taking action at a local level to influence key decision-makers in their districts.
In order to help us build a diverse base of activists and grassroots leaders we have launched a grassroots fellowship program aimed at organizing to stand up to Trump and his corrupt administration. This program focuses on Friends of the Earth's flagship campaigns to fight the Trump administration's attacks on people and the environment.
Meet the 2019 Fellows:
Aerielle is the 2019 Grassroots Organizing fellow in Washington. She has always been deeply inspired by nature and people and passionate about helping restore social and environmental justice in this out of balance world. From a young age, she has pursued activism through her personal and social connections. This has translated into action through her current climate justice work as an active member of the Earth Guardians National Youth Council, a group of inspired young people around the country advocating for environmental and social justice. She recently completed her two year degree at Portland Community College and completed an extensive multimedia program. She will be a junior at Seattle University in the fall studying economics and environmental science so she can further her perspective as she continues her lifelong pursuit for a more sustainable and just planet.
Fun Fact: My favorite movie is Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Maryah Lauer is the 2019 Grassroots Organizing fellow in Colorado. Before joining FOE, Maryah lived in the UK for two years, getting an LL.M in Human Rights and the Environment. Maryah grew up primarily in Texas, but the mountains and sunshine pulled her West to Colorado for college, where she worked as Volunteer Coordinator at the UCCS Office of Sustainability. Maryah is passionate about water, democratic control of natural resources, and educating herself and others about environmental justice issues. Maryah has a B.A in Political Science and Communication from University of Colorado.
Fun Fact: My favorite movie is The Princess Bride.
Queens, New York
Amina Majeed is the 2019 Grassroots Organizing Fellow in New York. She recently graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, majoring in International Criminal Justice. While in college, she served as the international criminal justice club president where she organized and raised awareness on issues regarding human rights violations and concerns of the international community. Amina is interested in a wide array of issues from refugees to violence against women and children to environmental justice and crimes. Being a New Yorker and first generation American is core to who she is, and uses that as an anchor in fighting for what she believes in. Amina believes in the power of people and change that can be done if the masses unite.
Fun Fact: My favorite movie is any Disney movie.
Gabrielle is the 2019 Grassroots Organizing Fellow in Oregon. She was Inspired to change her math major to environmental studies after reading Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, introduced in a college English class by professor Karen Brown. The treatment of animals in the industrial food sector, the lack of healthy fruits and vegetables across America, and the long term effects from pesticide exposure to birds, bees, insects, and humans, enraged Gabrielle. She decided to emerge herself in Environmental Justice classes at the University of Oregon (U of O). Professors Sarah Wald, Peter Walker and Alexandra Rempel, brought awareness to issues of migrant farm worker conditions and the lack of access to their basic human rights of healthcare, food security, home security and environmental racism stemming from Croney politics,
Gabrielle has over 20 years experience in customer service and is passionate about social and environmental justice issues. Gabrielle is a single mother of two who enjoys family outings at Oregon State Parks with her son Jiovanni, 13, and daughter Sophia, 8. She enjoys her family community at U of O, gardening, cooking, and throwing Disco and birthday parties for her friends and family. Gabrielle is currently a senior at U of O finishing up her undergraduate degree in environmental studies. She hopes to bring awareness to her community about issues our society faces today and the attacks from our current administration on equal rights, access to healthcare, and protection of public lands.
Gabrielle is currently a community assistant in the family housing community at U of O. Her duties include ensuring the safety of all residents and establishing a sense of community through connectivity, compassion, empathy, and culture. She also works in the BEST Afterschool Program, teaching middle schoolers about environmental and social issues through recycling, gardening, team sports, and cooking.
Fun Fact: I have a musical answer for just about any question.
Abigayle Reese is the 2019 Grassroots Organizing Fellow in Minnesota. Abigayle is a Junior at Concordia College double majoring in Global Studies (Development) and Business Marketing. Abigayle is a member of various organizations on campus and holds multiple leadership positions, she also started the group Minority Cobbers for Change which volunteers with marginalized individuals and hosts events for justice and equity. Abigayle cares deeply for environmental, social, and racial justice and uses her skills from her position on the Concordia Forensics team to educate about these issues and how they are connected. Abigayle has worked heavily on issues of racial and environmental justice and is excited to continue this work as a Grassroots Fellow.
Fun Fact: I have been hit by a car multiple times yet I managed to never suffer any major injuries!