Kresge’s Environment program welcomes two new recruits

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Yeou-Rong Jih and Alejandra Hernandez, two prominent climate change advocates, join Kresge’s environmental program team.

In his new role at Kresge, Jih will assume the role of Program Manager overseeing the Climate Resilient and Equitable Water Systems (CREWS) portfolio, which includes more than 30 organizations working to promote equitable solutions to urban flood related flooding. to the climate.

Jih most recently served as Director of Urban Initiatives at Greenlink Analytics in Atlanta, Georgia. She has co-led Greenlink’s equity mapping efforts, working with cities and community organizations across the United States to develop clean energy strategies that go beyond maximizing home savings. carbon to prioritize the needs of residents for energy equity and justice. Jih also worked with the City of Atlanta as Senior Director of Resilience Policy and Programs. In this role, she contributed to the development and implementation of the Resilient Atlanta strategy and the Clean Energy Atlanta plan. Jih was recognized as one of Grist Magazine’s 50 Fixers 2021 for her work on climate and equity solutions. She holds a master’s degree in psychological research from the University of Oxford; a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology; and a bachelor’s degree in Chinese from Emory University.

“As a former beneficiary of the Kresge Foundation, I have seen firsthand the Foundation’s commitment to racial equity and climate justice, as well as the incredible impacts of its beneficiaries’ initiatives in the fields of ‘water, energy and health,’ Jih said. “I am delighted to join the Kresge team. I hope to bring my passion for environmental justice and community development to my role and look forward to supporting national and local environmental programs and beneficiaries.

Hernandez will serve as a member, supporting the environment agenda’s strategy to help cities tackle and adapt to climate change while advancing racial and economic equity. She will also work with Kresge’s Climate Change, Health and Equity (CCHE) team to mobilize equitable climate action in low-income communities across the country, in collaboration with health facilities, healthcare professionals. health and community advocates.

Prior to joining Kresge, Hernandez was a conservation policy associate at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. Hernandez has researched and promoted legislation for equitable climate resilience in agriculture, food systems and supply chains. She received an MA from the Yale School of the Environment with a specialization in ecosystems and land conservation and management. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Dallas. Prior to his graduate studies, Hernandez worked in the John Bartkowski Environmental Health Department at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, providing health education and social services in multicultural South Milwaukee.

“I am delighted to join the Kresge Environment team and have the opportunity to focus on issues of climate resilience and health equity at the national level,” said Hernandez. “I hope to bring my passion for climate justice to my new role, and look forward to working with Kresge’s inspiring partners across the country.”

Lois R. DeBacker, Executive Director of the Environment Program, added: “We are delighted that Yeou and Alejandra have joined the Environment team. They bring a solid knowledge of climate change, particularly as it relates to racial justice, and a commitment to social change. I know that our recipient partners and other colleagues will enjoy working with them.

Read a recent report published by Grist where Jih explains how data can reveal hidden disparities and give residents a voice in city planning: Too many clean energy programs leave the poor behind. Enter the “equity card”.


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