The Frontline Organizing Program centers on the Jemez Principles of Democratic Organizing and a foundation of the Environmental and Climate Justice Principles. Mothers Out Front believes we need center Frontline and Fenceline communities in work that we do. We are currently working in several “frontline communities,” ones where historically marginalized populations are already being harmed by climate change impacts (like extreme weather, flooding, worsening air quality) and/or fossil fuel industry activities (like fracking, coal mining, oil drilling). And we are committed to expanding our frontline organizing.
We have 4 Climate Justice Organizers who will build community teams of Mothers in communities impacted by Climate Injustices and Energy Extraction.
Meet the Frontline Organizing Team:
Marnese Jackson, Frontline Organizing Manager (Pontiac, Michigan)
Marnese Jackson joined Mothers Out Front in December 2018 as the Frontline Organizing Manager. She is an advocate, organizer and mother from Pontiac, Michigan, where she lives with her two children, London and Dawson. Marnese has been organizing since high school and brings a breadth of experience in the Environmental and Climate Justice movement. She is the former NAACP Regional Environmental and Climate Justice Organizer for the Midwest and Great Plain States, where she built capacity within the NAACP membership to engage in energy-related projects across 17 states, and created the ECJ Live Podcast talk show. Prior to that, she served as the Weatherization Program Coordinator for Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency and Energy Services Outreach Specialist and Project Coordinator for the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office.
Marnese is a skilled presenter and trainer, having spoken at numerous conferences on human rights, environmental justice, and race. She helped organize the 2018 Michigan Environmental Justice Summit and the 2017 Detroit Climate Justice March. And she is a member of Al Gore's 2017 Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition’s Clean Air Council, the nonprofits Soulardarity and Mothering Justice, Pontiac City Policy Council, and her local Parent Teacher Organization. Marnese holds a Master’s Degree in Social Justice from Marygrove College and a Bachelor’s in Public Relations and African American Studies from Eastern Michigan University. Marnese is passionate about the environment, energy, climate, education, and racial, economic, and gender justice. Her passion for Environmental Justice comes from her extended family members being impacted by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and her children having asthma due to poor air quality. Marnese enjoys kayaking, dancing, going to the movies, creating science experiments and crafts with the kids, baking and facilitating workshops.
Stephanie Bowman, Climate Justice Organizer (Colorado Springs & Pueblo, Colorado)
Before joining Mothers Out Front, Stephanie was a battleground state activist with various gubernatorial and presidential campaigns. From age 14, she knew that a life in activism was her calling. As a young person, she had been active in community work, including delivering freshly picked vegetables to neighbors’ doors, canvassing with AFSCME, and starting her own organization to help high school students in working to pay for college. After receiving her degree in Political Science from Hampton University, she began organizing in states from Virginia to Wisconsin and Kansas. Six states later, she decided to further her training by going to graduate school at Cornell in Marketing Strategy. Her increased knowledge in marketing reinforced her frustration with politics-as-usual and the intentional failure to utilize proven methodologies to engage people of color. Her passion is in building relationships, managing teams, and moving towards measurable change. Colorado Springs is her paradise -- as a Kansas native, she always admired the natural beauty that Colorado fought hard to protect. Now she is prepared to continue the fight in her work at Mothers Out Front.
Lyndsey Cooper, Climate Justice Organizer (Brooklyn & Bronx, New York)
Lyndsey is a native New Yorker. She comes to Mothers Out Front with a deep passion for protecting both the environment and the people within it. After completing several internships in marine science and environmental education, she recognized a desperate need for more discussion about race, class, gender, and ability in the environmental world. Since then, she has spent several years studying environmental sociology, interning with non-profit organizations including NYPIRG, and organizing for climate justice. She holds a degree in sociology from SUNY New Paltz. She believes that powerful changes can be made by small groups of mobilized and passionate individuals. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, pet-sitting for friends, cooking vegan food, and roller-skating.
P: (347) 494-1548
New York Page:http://ny.mothersoutfront.org
LaTisha Harris, Climate Justice Organizer (Fresno, California)
LaTisha Harris a Fresno native. She knows firsthand the effects that the environment can have on our health, as mother of three beautiful, intelligent and gifted children, two of whom suffer from asthma. Living in a community that has been rated as having some of the worst air quality and highest poverty rates in the nation, LaTisha has been very active in her community, trying to facilitate positive change. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in Social Work, LaTisha was employed by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521, where she gained valuable tools, partnerships and resources to fight for working-class families. After that, she began working for the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Climate Protection, advocating for change for Fresno’s residents. LaTisha is committed to "finding the need and meeting it; finding the hurt and healing it.”
P: (559) 825-1498
Desiree Flores, Climate Justice Organizer (Roanoke & New River Valley, Virginia)
Desiree, originally from Baltimore, MD, spent time visiting Central and Southwest Virginia over the years and fell in love with the natural beauty of Virginia’s Blue Ridge and Appalachia. Eventually she and her family moved to the Roanoke area in 2017. Desiree graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Natural Resources Management and a Minor in Spanish Language. After, college she worked in the fields of environmental education, natural resource management and environmental restoration in Baltimore City. Working in the non-profit sector and city government, she helped design and implement conservation education and service-learning programs for city schools, and she trained and supported community volunteers to undertake restoration projects in local city parks. After moving to Roanoke, Desiree became concerned with the devastating social and environmental impacts of fossil fuel development in her community. As a result, she has shifted her focus toward advocacy and community organizing around climate justice and action initiatives in her region. In her free time, Desiree enjoys hiking with her husband and two daughters, camping, canoeing/kayaking, landscaping and gardening. She also loves pursuing creative interests such as sewing, beading, drawing, painting and practicing various forms of yoga and dance including dancing at powwows.
Virginia Page: http://va.mothersoutfront.org
About Frontline Organizing Program:
- Trainings: We will offer a range of in-person and remote trainings on community organizing basics relevant across the organization, such as relationship-building and strategy development, in which we will include Frontline organizers alongside staff organizers. In doing so, we will foster a “community of practice,” with staff learning together, putting their learning into practice, reflecting, and sharing new learnings in a continuous process. Trainings that focus on Environmental and Climate Justice, Eco-Feminism, Eco-Womanism, Community Resiliency, The Green Economy, Energy Democracy, Addressing False Solutions, Organizing Faith-Based and Eco-Theology and many more.
- Convenings: The Frontline Organizers will be involved in our regional and statewide gatherings, not just as participants but, like staff, as facilitators in areas of strength and interest, as part of their leadership development.
- Storytelling: Via our website, Facebook pages, and other communications, we will highlight stories about mothers in frontline communities and the work they are doing, alongside stories from other communities, another mechanism for shared learning and connection.
- National campaigns: We are increasingly functioning as a national organization, which will have national gatherings and, ultimately, national campaigns. When we get there, Organizers and their team members will work alongside other team members to hammer out positions and campaign strategies, offering opportunities for all to learn, engage, and connect. The Frontline Organizing Program will lift up Climate and Environmental implications and solutions that benefit the communities.
- The growth of “climate-active” communities: more frontline communities with organized groups of women taking action on climate and energy issues, with campaigns underway that are already having an impact;
- The growth of leadership within these communities: measurable growth in the leadership skills of our organizers as well as others within the community with whom they have been working;
- Impact on Mothers Out Front: concrete ways that the Frontlines program has strengthened and benefited Mothers Out Front overall.