Uplift Organizing Fellows
Alex Jaramillo was born in New Mexico along the Rio Grande River. Making mud pies in the river grew her love for animals and the Earth and helped her find her calling to aid in climate and racial justice. She lives in Espanola, New Mexico—a small community with farming roots. She is currently working on her Master’s in Art Therapy. She is also working on a project with her community to create a curbside recycling and compost program with a K-12 Environmental Education Program in Northern New Mexico. Alex finds strength and beauty in community. She hopes that by looking at the connections we have and the relationships we form, we can view all life as sacred.
Andrea was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ to an indigenous mother (Dine/Acoma Pueblo) and an immigrant father from Honduras. Her love for nature, farming, and seed saving comes from her Native culture, while her passion for social justice derives from her father empowering her to use her voice. She has worked in a variety of roles in the conservation/restoration field since 2012, as an assistant native plant nursery manager with Borderlands Restoration and for the Native American conservation corps Ancestral Lands. Andrea currently lives in Northern New Mexico where she has been working for Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute and Tewa Women United for over a year. She is also starting her journey into birthwork with Tewa Women United’s Yiya Vi Kangingdi community doula training program and will be certified this coming Fall. She enjoys cooking, fiber arts, hiking, and supporting the local indigenous music/art scene.
Kinyaa’áanii nishłį́, Bilagáana bashishchiin, Tł’ízílání dahshicheii, doo Naakai Dine’é dashinalí. Hello, this is Cody Fetty from Big Mountain, AZ, but currently reside in Flagstaff, AZ.
Cody identifies as a gender non-conforming, queer, Bíla’ashla’ii Dine’é. They enjoy writing, reading, beading & the smell of lavender. Their past work includes Indigenous Feminism and how it holds different goals & teachings from mainstream white feminism, as well as learning from others that carry knowledge about the concept of feminism and are willing to vocalize their skills and stories. She became more involved with community organizing in high school, both back home on Navajo and in Flagstaff. They focused on building relationships with elders & youth. They would visit different home sites and help families, mainly elders, and help with whatever they needed assistance with, including water hauling, chopping wood, hauling wood, herding sheep, shearing sheep, etc.
Denae Shanidiin, Diné and Korean artist, is born to the Diné (Navajo) Nation. She is Honágháahnii, One-Walks-Around Clan, born to the Korean race on her Father’s side. Kinłichíi’nii, the Red House People is her Maternal Grandfather’s Clan and the Bilagáana, White People, is her Paternal Grandfather’s Clan. Shanidiin’s work responds to her own identity as an Indigenous woman and artist. Her photography work reveals her Diné ancestry through intimate family portraits in urban settings and on her homeland. Shanidiin’s projects reveal the importance of Indigenous spirituality and sovereignty. Her work brings awareness to many contemporary First Nation issues including Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.
Irene Franco Rubio is a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication / Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Arizona. Growing up in the West Valley and recognizing the social and racial injustices present within economically distressed communities, Franco made it her mission to advocate for not only her Latinx community but for systematically oppressed populations on an all-encompassing standard. Franco hopes to shift today’s media landscape towards becoming more diverse and all-inclusive by accurately representing the beliefs, issues, and perspectives of disenfranchised communities as a content creator, change-maker, intersectional thinker, advocate, and media professional.
Kelly Baker was born in Silver Spring, Maryland but has lived and grown up in Phoenix, Arizona for the last 16 years. She is currently a senior at Arizona State University pursuing a degree in Sustainability and hopes to pursue justice studies through graduate school. Through her love for sustainability and social justice, she has fostered a deep passion for environmental justice. Her mission statement is to give those without a voice representation and to uplift those whose voices have been silenced by systems of oppression. Kelly has interned for the USDA, is currently a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar, and has forged an abundance of love for the Colorado Plateau through her conservation studies. Her future plans are to serve in the Peace Corps either in the Environmental or Agricultural Sector. Kelly is currently focused on dedicating her passion to the creation of an intersectional movement for climate justice and to aid in uplifting the youth and community as they have uplifted her.
Lyrica was born in Flagstaff, AZ but calls many places home, including her ancestral lands of western Guatemala. As a person raised in the southwest but with roots in other lands, she would like to use this time to advocate for environmental and climate justice through an indigenous and migrant justice lens. A graduating senior at Northern Arizona University in the fields of political science and international affairs, and also influenced by Applied Indigenous Studies, she hopes to use her combined knowledge taken from formal education, cultural teachings, and personal experience to advocate for bodies, land, and water on the Colorado Plateau. She is further influenced and motivated by her love of ecosystems, non-human companionship, and both human and non-human landscapes. Lyrica believes that intersectionality is key to our movements and that climate justice needs to be focused on grassroots communities, and that communities hold the solutions to environmental injustice.
Maria grew up on the banks of North Carolina’s Eno River, where her passion for environmental justice was ignited. Since then, she has earned a degree in environmental science from the University of North Carolina–Asheville and has worked as an educator in Maine, Colorado, and California. She now lives in Flagstaff, AZ where she coordinates the youth leadership program at the Grand Canyon Trust. She is grateful to the land and communities of the Colorado Plateau for nurturing her passion for climate justice, and she is devoted to creating space within this work for young people to be heard. Maria believes deeply in our collective power to enact change and is endlessly inspired by the creativity, dynamism, and resilience that young leaders bring to the movement.
Mishka Banuri is an 18 year old organizer in Salt Lake City, Utah. After moving to Utah from a suburb in Chicago, she fell in love with the Colorado Plateau’s mountains and red rock. She has been politically active since 7th grade, holding statewide organizations, institutions, and politicians accountable for their actions on climate and social issues. She was an organizer and emcee for the Utah People's Climate March, co-organized the first Utah Youth Environmental Summit, and continues to work with Utah Youth Environmental Solutions. Mishka is also passionate about reproductive justice, particularly centering marginalized voices. She is a peer educator with Teen Council, a program run by Planned Parenthood that provides sexual education to young people. As a Pakistani-American Muslim, Mishka seeks to build bridges and empower Muslim youth and youth of color in Utah. She is the Director of the Ambassador Program for the Emerald Project, which fights the misinterpretation of Islam. She is also the co-founder of the Utah Muslim Women's Alliance, an organization that fights sexist Islamophobia.
Loloma! Nu Humevensi yan ma'tsiwa, pu nu Noelle Kooyahoema yan pahan ma'tsiwa. Nu Qalwunga Sipoulovi ep kii'ta. Greetings! My name is Humevensi (which means different color kernels on one ear of corn), My English name is Noelle Kooyahoema. I am Sunforhead clan from the village of Sipoulovi, located on the Hopi Reservation.
Noelle is currently the Field Coordinator for the Ancestral Lands Hopi Conservation Corps, an organization that provides opportunity to youth and young adults on the reservation, empowering individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities, and the environment. She enjoys hiking/canyoneering with her dog Greyson, taking road trips with friends, and volunteering at her local radio station. Her favorite podcasts are She Explores and Sasquatch Chronicles. She loves poetry written my Reyna Biddy, and enjoys heaping cups of coffee!
Penny Trunzo was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and now lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. Growing up in the desert fostered an appreciation for nature’s resiliency, and a drive to protect our land and resources. With the 2016 election being her first chance at voting, the corruption present in our government became quickly obvious, which sparked motivation to fight for a better world. She is currently finishing a degree focusing on Civic Engagement, Ethnic Studies, and English at Northern Arizona University. Penny has also dedicated much of her time outside of class to social and environmental justice projects. Central to her organizing practice, is democracy and intersectionality as they are necessary for just transitions. Nature and Community are life joys which drive Penny to do the work to create a better world for her generation and those which come after.
Brooke grew up learning from the Wasatch Mountains and red rock country surrounding her home in Salt Lake City, Utah. She recently received her MA from the University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities Program, where she researched the role of story in social movements. When not organizing, she enjoys writing, bikepacking, and listening to people’s stories. As one of the founding organizers of Uplift, Brooke finds hope in the youth-led movement for climate justice on the Colorado Plateau.