Environmental Justice Fellows

Martha Armas-Kelly

Martha Armas-Kelly was born in the Central Valley to immigrant parents of Guatemalan and Mexican descent. Currently working in Stanislaus County on environmental issues centered around SB 1000. Martha has a strong background in capacity building and leadership and grassroots efforts in health, social and economic development. Currently serving as a Chair for the Stanislaus Sustainable Communities Coalition, Treasurer for Community Initiatives for Community Impact, Facilitator for ACE Overcomers, a model for resilience against childhood trauma, and Advocate for the United Tribes of California. Martha resides in Merced, CA on MiWuk and Yokuts lands.

Vivian Breckenridge

Vivian lives in Oakland and sees her life’s work as building a future where communities of color are healthy, green, resource-rich and overflowing with opportunity. She currently works as an Environmental Justice consultant devoting her skills and passion to supporting community organizers fighting for justice and organizations who want to center justice. Previously she has supported grassroots justice working for indigenous nonprofits, youth programs, a climate justice documentary, and GAIA – global zero waste and environmental justice alliance.

Vivian received her Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment and her BA in International Relations and Environmental Studies from the University of Southern California.

Adaora Ifebigh

Adaora Ifebigh is Director of Impact at Sol System and leads efforts to execute Sol’s comprehensive Impact and Infrastructure strategy. Ms. Ifebigh has over 15 years of program management and leadership experience across the energy sector with specific experience in energy access and community impact work in rural cooperative territory.

As Program Director for Energy Access at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), she started and led the Advancing Energy Access for All initiative that spotlights cooperatives’ involvement in facilitating healthy communities, explores the innovative ways they do it, and uncovers new directions community assistance programs are taking. The initiative created a sustainable practice around supporting cooperatives as they holistically serve their members, especially low- and moderate-income households and to ensure that rural communities are not left behind in the transition to clean energy. At the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-e), she led a program portfolio of more than 23 energy research and development awards worth $77M with awardees across the education, corporate and non-profit sectors.

Ms. Ifebigh holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the George Mason University in Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

Maya Iñigo-Anderson

Maya Iñigo-Anderson is a community organizer and Social Worker with an interest in environmental justice and air quality. Maya is a fellow at Communities for a Better Environment, working on oil drilling, lead exposure and port pollution issues. Maya has a background in labor organizing, mental health services and leadership development in low-income communities. Maya was a Lead Organizer on the LAX Corridor Living Wage campaign and provided campaign support for the Clean Trucks Campaign which resulted in the Port of Los Angeles’ Clean Trucks Program.

Angela Islas

Angela Islas is a Community Development Specialist with Self-Help Enterprises. Angela has worked extensively on various Environmental Justice efforts across the San Joaquin Valley Region which includes air quality advocacy, energy justice work, groundwater and regional water advocacy, and transportation advocacy. Her work evolved from bringing free asthma prevention services to low-income families in two San Joaquin Valley counties to now working alongside with rural community residents to build their capacities in participating in groundwater policy efforts to elevate the Human Right to Water across beneficial users that are 100% dependent on groundwater as their drinking water resource.

Although Angela’s main focus has been currently water advocacy, she has a strong passion for continuing her involvement in energy justice work, which she actively participates as a founding member of the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group (DACAG) under the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This group was formed under Senate Bill 350 (the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015) to review CEC and CPUC clean energy programs, policies; and ensure that disadvantaged communities, including tribal and rural communities, benefit from proposed clean energy and pollution reduction programs. Furthermore, Angela’s passion to give back to her home region remains a priority to bring the possibilities of having the San Joaquin Valley thrive through these new technology innovations and every community have the quality of life they deserve.

Athena Motavvef

Athena Motavvef is a Legislative Representative on the Policy and Legislation team at Earthjustice. Based out of the Washington, D.C. office, she is a federal advocate working to electrify our transportation system to solve our air pollution problems and protect our climate. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Athena served as the Communications Coordinator for WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Athena received a Bachelor of Arts, Public Policy from the University of California, Riverside; and a Masters of Science, Public Policy and Management – DC Track from Carnegie Mellon University.

Shane Paul

Shane Paul first became interested in environmental justice through his involvement with mobility justice. He is the Director of Technology and Research for Shared Mobility Inc., a member of Buffalo’s Bicycle Pedestrian Board, and co-founder of Buffalo’s first bicycle courier service. In his spare time, he is an avid member of the local cycling community organizing and participating in grouprides and events.

Bertha Rodriguez

Bertha Rodriguez (she/her/ella) is an Organizer at Climate Action Campaign, her focus is organizing the San Diego Green New Deal Alliance. The coalition is dedicated to achieving a zero carbon San Diego region by 2035 in a way that creates good union jobs and more just communities.

Bertha graduated from San Diego State University with a Masters in Women’s Studies and an Advanced Certificate in LGBTQ+ Studies. Prior to her work at Climate Action Campaign, she was a Lecturer at San Diego State University’s Women’s Studies Department and a Youth Coordinator at Casa Familiar in San Ysidro.

Ruth Rosas

Ruth Rosas works at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital at the intersection of public health and urban planning, focusing on communities whose health is adversely affected by the built environment. They are also a journalist for a daily news source called Streetsblog Chicago, writing on transportation issues in Latine communities. Ruth has an extensive background in community development, coalition building, and sustainable transportation systems. Ruth advocates inclusive, equitable, and just public engagement to inform public policies and is currently exploring climate change adaptation in the transportation sector.

Christian Torres

Christian Torres is a Special Projects Manager at Comite Civico del Valle. Christian has worked extensively in environmental justice efforts across the Imperial Valley region. Recently, he has served on the leadership team for the Calexico, El Centro, and Heber AB 617 communities, is a member of the People’s Blueprint Writing Group, and provides technical assistance to Community Air Grant recipients implementing air quality monitoring at the community level.

Leadership

Juan C. Garcia Sanchez

  • Environmental Justice Policy Analyst, Policy Institute for Energy, the Economy, and the Environment

J.C. is an Environmental Justice Policy Analyst at the Policy Institute for Energy, the Economy, and the Environment. His work focuses on investigating policy strategies to mitigate adverse environmental conditions, improving access to mobility options for communities of color, and immersing community knowledge into academic research. J.C. came to UC Davis after working as an Adjunct Faculty for several community colleges in southern California, and as a Lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona. J.C. attended Santa Ana College before completing a B.A. and M.A in Geography and the Environment at Cal State University, Fullerton.

Sarah McCullough

  • Director, Environmental Justice Fellows
  • Associate Director, Feminist Research Institute at UC Davis

Sarah Rebolloso McCullough, PhD, is the Director of the Environmental Justice Fellows program. She is also Associate Director at the Feminist Research Institute at UC Davis. She is PI on two NSF studies that integrates justice-oriented frameworks from feminist/critical race science studies into STEM graduate education. She researches mobility justice and applies her expertise in ethnographic methods, cultural analysis, and power dynamics to create community-driven research partnerships that span the disciplines. She earned her PhD in Cultural Studies at UC Davis.

Maya Slade Jacobson

  • Bradshaw Scholar

Maya Jacobson is a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Undergraduate student with an emphasis on food and society. Her vision is a food system in which people have a closer relationship with their food source and farmers are resource abundant.  Since moving to Davis in 2021 she has worked with an indigenous-led nonprofit community farm in Sacramento to provide fresh, organic food to urban food deserts. Her community work has led her to set career goals centered around bridging the gap between academic research and social justice research.

Selika Josiah Talbott

  • Senior Fellow and Facilitator

An attorney by training Selika Josiah Talbott has spent much of her career in the area of transportation.  She has been the Deputy Administrator of the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission and the Senior Advisor to the Administrator for USDOT’s FMCSA.  For over 10 years she has been advocating and educating for the political economy of autonomous vehicles, new mobility and equity in transportation.  As a transportation Executive she makes the case for best in class policy and business strategy.  Her mantra is Transportation is Mobility and Mobility is Freedom.

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