April 2024
see. hear. act.


Our Team

Michael Kozuch – Lead Organizer and Board President

Michael Kozuch (He/Him) is committed to lifting up the voices of young people.  As a public high school teacher for the last 26 years, he understands how important it is to listen to young people, nature and the facts. Mr. Kozuch has been a community activist, educator and organizer for educational equity, social justice and sustainability for more than 30 years.  He started his career working for LGBT civil rights and has grown into seeing the interconnectedness among all social justice issues. He is a graduate of Northeastern University, BS ’93 and Harvard University, M. Ed. ’98 and has worked for the Massachusetts Department of Education, the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Newton Public Schools. Much of his education work is drawn from his experience working as a research participant with Harvard’s Project Zero, where he helped to develop models for interdisciplinary teaching and learning. In addition to teaching full-time, he is a curriculum developer with MIT’s Climate Action Through Education program, President of Earth Day Boston and a member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association Climate Action Network. He has been a guest lecture at Boston College, the International Baccalaureate Asia Pacific Conference, and Harvard’s Project Zero Classroom. Michael is a world traveler, participating in a four-month exchange in Beijing, China, as well as shorter programs in South Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Morocco, Ecuador, Iceland and the Czech Republic.  

Mina Willet – Clerk of the Board

A Boston native, Mina joins the Earth Day Boston team as the Clerk of the Board. Mina graduated from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, with a Bachelor of Commerce focusing on Human Resources and Organizational Behavior. After moving back to Boston from Vancouver, where she was able to travel and see the increasing impact of climate change on the environment around her, Mina is eager to join the Earth Day 2020 Team. She joins with energy for creating space for communities to come together for conversation and action. Mina works in Learning & Development and brings a passion for people and organizing.

Reverend Vernon K. Walker – Board of Directors

Rev. Vernon K. Walker is originally born and raised in Philadelphia, the west side. Rev. Walker attended Penn State University for college where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership and a minor in Psychology in 2012. During his time in college, Rev. Walker was also elected to become the President of the Abington Christian Fellowship at Penn State Abington’s campus, which is the campus Christian Organization.

After graduating from Penn State University, Rev. Walker attended Boston University’s School of Theology and earned a master’s degree in Theological Studies (M.T.S) in 2016. During this time, Rev. Walker also crossed registered to take courses at Harvard University’ Divinity School on non-profit leadership. Rev. Walker also took classes at the School of Social Work at Boston University that focused on social justice and macro social work practice.

Currently Rev. Walker is the program manager over the Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), which is a program under the Better Future Project Organization in Cambridge, MA. The CREW program helps communities become climate resilience by building social resilience. 

Throughout his time in Boston, Rev. Walker has appeared in several different newspapers such as the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Bay State Banner, Commonwealth Magazine, and other newspapers for his work related to social justice. Rev. Walker has also made TV appearances on Fox 25, New England Cable News, Boston Neighborhood Network, CBS Boston, and NBC 10 Boston.

Faye Cassell  – Board Member

Faye Cassell (she/her) was born in Singapore and raised in rural Kansas.  She received her BA in Middle Eastern Studies and History from Fordham University (’08) before spending two years in Morocco as a Peace Corps Volunteer, where she worked in the Youth Development sector.  As a Youth Development volunteer, she taught students of all ages and a range of subjects, including English, History and Modern Standard Arabic. After her Peace Corps service, she completed her MAT in Social Studies Education (’12).  For the past decade, she has worked at Newton South High School.  As a World History teacher, she taught Ancient and Modern World History.  Faye is a strong advocate for global education and has led student study tours to China, Czech Republic, Germany, and Portugal.  She was a 2018 Transatlantic Outreach TOP Fellow and a 2019 NEA Foundation Global Educators Fellow. She is currently the Director of Partnerships, Data, and Accountability at Charlestown High School.  In spare time, she is interested in traveling, global education, and getting people to try veganism/vegetarianism! 

Michele Brooks  – Board Member

Michele is the Boston Lead Organizer for the Massachusetts Chapter of Sierra Club. She graduated from Westfield State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science and Regional Planning, and a minor in Geographic Information Systems. Michele has enjoyed spending time in nature since she was a child, with fond memories going on hikes in the mountains of Maine with her family. She grew up in Ashland, Massachusetts – a community that contains one of the largest superfund sites in the country, and became involved with a citizen’s activist group after graduating college to demand that remaining contamination from this site be fully remediated. These experiences contributed to her passion for environmental and climate advocacy. 

In her role as a community organizer for climate justice in Boston, she has focused on achieving key victories to decarbonize the city while advancing a just transition to a clean energy economy which prioritizes the most vulnerable communities; these include the city’s Community Choice Electricity program in addition to many policies and programs which seek to reduce building emissions. Her favorite part of the work is getting to collaborate with so many community partners in coalition space.
Michele is a proud member of the Progressive Workers Union, and has served as a union representative for chapter staff of Sierra Club. She has also volunteered on electoral and ballot initiative campaigns including Michelle Wu’s mayoral campaign and the Fair Share Amendment. In her free time, Michele enjoys practicing yoga and dance, learning to roller skate, and spending time outside soaking in the healing benefits of nature. 

Venessa Hernandez – Board Member

Vanessa, 18, is a senior at Excel High School. She participates in Green Roots ECO because of her desire to make a change in the environment. She is eager to learn more about environmental justice in order to help build a safer community for others.

Joe Hawley – Treasurer

Joe Hawley is very concerned about climate change awareness and action and thus pleased to serve as Treasurer for Earth Day Boston.  Recently retired, Joe has been a financial professional for his entire career.  He served as Vice President, Controller for two of Boston’s largest advertising agencies (Hill Holliday and MullenLowe) for over 25 years in total and spent the final 10 years of his career as Assistant VP, Fiscal & Regulatory Management for the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Joe’s experience includes managing departments that performed the entire array of accounting and finance responsibilities including financial reporting and analysis, revenue recognition and forecasting, expense reporting and budgeting, billing and accounts payable, cash management, managements of audits by external auditors, and contract management.  Additional management responsibilities at Dana-Farber specific to non-profit included gift processing, data integrity, donor services, and event compliance.  Joe graduated in 1978 with a BS in Accounting from Wake Forest University and was certified in North Carolina in 1981 as a C.P.A.  Joe enjoys playing tennis and travel, having traveled to 35 countries with hopes of visiting more countries in the coming years.

Join us!

We welcome any individual regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran or active military status, marital status, national origin/ethnicity, citizenship or alienage to participate in our volunteer organization. If you are interested in joining our effort, please get in touch with us!