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Alumnae Stories

Angelou Ezeilo Encourages Youth to Engage, Connect, and Protect the Environment

February 2020

Angelou EzeiloAngelou Ezeilo, C'92, describes her new book, "Engage, Connect, Protect Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders" as a means of highlighting the need to recognize the work of environmental champions in communities of color. The book features ways businesses, educators, and policymakers can engage with diverse youth as the next generation of environmental stewards through culturally relevant learning and career opportunities.

About the Author

Ezeilo is the founder and CEO of the Greening Youth Foundation, an organization that engages under-represented youth and young adults, while connecting them to the outdoors and careers in conservation. She believes the environmental movement has not been inclusive in its platforms, concerns and cultural perspectives. 

Her love for the environment dates back to her childhood when she had the chance to escape the dense urban streets of Jersey City, New Jersey and spend summers in upstate New York with her family. Graduating from Spelman College in 1992, she pursued a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Florida, College of Law.

Ezeilo began her career as an attorney for the New Jersey State Agriculture and Development Committee. Her environmental focus led her to a position as Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land (TPL) in its New Jersey and Georgia offices. In that capacity, she specialized in acquiring land for preservation, working on the New York/New Jersey Highlands Program; Parks for People-Newark; the New York/New Jersey Harbor Program in New Jersey; the Atlanta Beltline and the 20 County Regional Greenspace Initiative in Georgia.

A leading social entrepreneur, she was a 2016 Ashoka Fellow, is a member of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights’ Women in Solidarity Society and is on the boards of the Atlanta Audubon Society and the South Fork Conservancy. She is also on the Steering Committee for the new Children’s Wellbeing Initiative — a network of 22 changemakers working together to promote children’s wellbeing across the country.

About the Book

"Engage, Connect, Protect Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders" serves as a roadmap for understanding how America is creating environmental leaders in communities that sit far outside the stereotypical upper-middle-class, white liberal enclaves by exploring solutions that are working in communities of color. 

Engage, Connect, Protect Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental LeadersPart eye-opening critique of the cultural divide in environmentalism, part biography of a leading social entrepreneur, and part practical toolkit for engaging diverse youth, Engage, Connect, Protect covers:

  • Why communities of color are largely unrecognized in the environmental movement
  • Bridging the cultural divide and activating a ne generation of environmental stewards
  • A curriculum for engaging diverse youth and young adults through culturally appropriate methods and activities
  • A resource guide for connecting mainstream America to organizations working with diverse youth within environmental projects, training, and employment.