Press Release

Liberty Hill Foundation Announces Inaugural Cohort for New Statewide Environmental Leadership Initiative

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Courtney Kassel, Chief Communications Officer,
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024

(Los Angeles)—Liberty Hill Foundation is proud to announce the inaugural cohort of its new Environmental Leadership Initiative (ELI), a groundbreaking fellowship program that seeks to advance the movement for environmental justice by investing in the development and empowerment of emerging leaders from communities across California.

The program will support the individual and collective growth of an intergenerational cohort of environmental justice leaders as they work to strengthen the influence of their respective organizations and networks—with the goal of building power in communities that have been marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by environmental harms and economic inequities.

Liberty Hill has provided critical training and capacity building support to community activists leading grassroots organizing in Los Angeles for decades through our Wally Marks Leadership Institute. This new Environmental Leadership Initiative expands upon that work and commitment to building power in communities most impacted by systemic oppression, while supporting the fight for all Californians to have access to healthy communities, free of pollution. With a focus on the statewide level, the initiative aims to extend these efforts beyond Los Angeles, addressing environmental challenges and advocating for healthier communities across the entire state.

The twenty-two inaugural fellows were carefully chosen from an applicant pool of nearly 120 individuals through a comprehensive three-part application process, which included input from the program’s community-based Advisory Council. These remarkable fellows, hailing from diverse backgrounds such as BIPOC and immigrant communities, Native California and tribal communities, and geographically diverse regions across the state, are dedicated organizers, activists, artists, and educators leading critical work in their regions.

Click here to view the list of our 2024 Environmental Leadership Initiative Fellows!

By bringing together this talented and diverse group, the Environmental Leadership Initiative seeks to nourish a deeper level of solidarity, advocacy, and collaboration across the state to build a well-resourced and expansive network of environmental justice leaders in California. The Environmental Leadership Initiative program is hosted by Liberty Hill Foundation, through the generous support and investment from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.

To learn more about the Liberty Hill Foundation and the Environmental Leadership Initiative, visit

About Liberty Hill Foundation
Liberty Hill Foundation is a laboratory for social change philanthropy. We leverage the power of community organizers, donor activists, and allies to advance social justice through strategic investment in grants, leadership training, and campaigns. We envision a society in which all people have a powerful voice, including those currently shut out of our democracy, people cut off from opportunities because of their skin color, gender or sexual orientation, where they live, or where they were born. We will not rest until society provides justice and equality for all.