Michael Kozuch – Lead Organizer and Board President
Michael Kozuch (He/Him) is committed to lifting up the voices of young people and faith communities. As a public high school teacher for the last 23 years and a person of faith, 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. 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 Data Analyst and Scheduler for Newton South High School. In spare time, she is interested in traveling, global education, and getting people to try veganism/vegetarianism!
Sarah Marie Saydun – Board Member
Sarah Marie (she/her) is a youth worker, participatory action researcher, and a firm believer in the transformative power of relationships. She recently completed her Masters in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University where she read, wrote, and made maps about the intersections of housing, climate, and community control over planning. Sarah Marie began her popular education and community organizing journey over 8 years ago, when she started working with youth in the Boston Area. She most recently managed ZUMIX’s Pathways Program, providing wrap-around academic, emotional, and professional support to ZUMIX’s teens. She is passionate about building youth power and excited to work with ECO in the fight for environmental justice in Chelsea and East Boston. In her spare time, you can find her tending lovingly to her plants, attempting to roller skate, or devouring urban fantasy novels like N.K. Jemisin’s The City We Became.
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.
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 be in touch.