Akiima Price, who "“I use nature as a medium to create social change in urban communities of color,” was Common Ground's 2015 Environmental Leader in Residence.

Akiima Price, who uses nature as a medium to create social change in urban communities of color, was Common Ground’s 2015 Environmental Leader in Residence. Photo credit: Mel Morales.

Common Ground High School, Urban Farm, and Environmental Education Center is seeking nominations for our 4th Annual Environmental Leader in Residence. The residency takes place during the week of May 8 or 15, 2017. Our previous leaders in residence are Edwin Matthews, a key leader in a variety of national and international environmental organizations and projects, and Akiima Price, a national leader who uses nature as a medium to create social change in urban communities of color. Read more about these past leaders. In April 2016, Leah Penniman joined Common Ground as our 3rd Annual Environmental Leader in Residence. Read Leah’s reflections, and a post by Common Ground alumnus Nate Wilson about her residency.

Nominations are due by February 24, 2017. Read more below, and then nominate a leader. Self-nominations are welcomed. 


We invite nominations of powerful environmental leaders, who have:

  • Strong facilitative leadership skills with young people, teachers, and environmental education professionals.
  • Youth leadership & youth development background, expertise, and commitment.
  • Strong commitment to and background in racial and economic justice, and in inclusiveness work.
  • Experience in environmental justice, environmental education, outdoor education, or related fields, with a particular focus on work in multi-racial and urban settings.
  • Charismatic, positive, warm presence — able to make connections and build community with young people and adults.

We are explicitly committed to building a new, more racially and economically diverse generation of environmental leaders — and seek nominees that reflect this commitment.

Leah Penniman,Common Ground’s 2016 Environmental Leader in Residence, is the co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, as well as an environmental science educator. Photo Credit: Mel Morales.

The Leader in Residence’s Role

During the week of May 8 or 15 (based on the leader’s availability), the Environmental Leader in Residence would:

  • Sit in on classes, enjoy school lunch, and participate in life at Common Ground.
  • Help to lead a workshop or professional development opportunity for Common Ground staff.
  • Consult on key Common Ground initiatives — including the re-development of our 9th grade curriculum, and in our work to build a more inclusive and equitable organization.
  • Be the featured speaker at a school-wide POWER assembly at Common Ground.
  • Engage with members from the broader New Haven community through a gathering that the environmental leader in residence helps to define.
  • Meet with small groups of students, board members, staff, community partners informally to share experiences and offer advice — including over meals.
  • Meet informally with Common Ground’s environmental education staff, who run our children’s and community programs.
  • Write a reflection — blog post, letter to Common Ground — providing feedback and observations on the experience of being an environmental leader in residence.

To support the residency, Common Ground can offer a $2500 honorarium, as well as travel, hotel accommodations, and meals while in New Haven.

Nominate a leader.