Seeking Nominations – 5th Annual Environmental Leader in Residence

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 5th Annual Environmental Leader in Residence. The residency takes place during the week of April 2nd or 9th, 2018.

Deadline for nominations is extended to February 12, 2018. Read more below, and then nominate a leader. Self-nominations are welcomed. 

Past leaders in residence have included:

We invite nominations of powerful environmental leaders, who have:

  • Strong facilitative leadership skills with young people, teachers, and environmental education professionals.
  • Strong commitment to and background in social justice, racial justice, equity, and 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.
  • Youth leadership & youth development background, expertise, and commitment.
  • Charismatic, positive, warm presence — able to make connections and build community with young people and adults.
  • Passion, courage, risk-taking, a powerful voice, and a set of experiences that are inspiring and relatable for young people and adults, and a willingness to share those experiences.

We are explicitly committed to building a new, more racially and culturally inclusive 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 April 2 or 9, the Environmental Leader in Residence would:

  • Connect with, inspire, challenge, support, and learn with members of our community in a variety of ways.
  • Sit in on classes, enjoy school lunch, join in after-school programs, 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.
  • Potentially sit in on our senior’s environmental portfolio defenses.
  • 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.

Selection Process

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of staff and students, who will narrow down nominees to create an all-community ballot. This ballot will determine the top 2-3 nominees. The student and staff committee will then conduct Skype or phone interviews of the top candidates, and pick this year’s Environmental Leader in Residence.

Nominate a leader.


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