WASHINGTON DC, October 31, 2019 — Rachel’s Network today announced six recipients of its inaugural Catalyst Award. The award provides women leaders of color support and recognition for their commitment to a healthy planet, along with a $10,000 prize, networking opportunities, and national recognition for their work. The winners will be recognized at an invitation-only ceremony in Washington, DC in March 2020.
The 2019 winners are:
Annel Hernandez, New York
As associate director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance and member of the NY Renews coalition, Annel was one of the key players in the passage of New York’s ambitious new climate law passed in July 2019, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
Maria Gallegos Herrera, California
Maria has devoted her career to addressing drinking water challenges in disadvantaged and rural farmworker communities. As the manager of community engagement and planning at Self-Help Enterprises, she and her team pioneered the Rural Communities Water Managers Leadership Institute, a program that helps communities in the San Joaquin Valley engage with and influence regional water planning and sustainability programs.
Tara Houska, Minnesota
Tara (Couchiching First Nation Anishinaabe) is founder of Ginew Collective and Not Your Mascots. She is an attorney and former national campaigns director of Honor the Earth, and spent six months living and working in North Dakota fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Brionté McCorkle, Georgia
Brionté is executive director of Georgia Conservation Voters, where she works to elect pro-environment candidates and hold elected officials accountable. In 2014, she led the Georgia Sierra Club’s involvement in the successful effort to expand transit service to underserved communities in Metro-Atlanta.
Juliana Pino, Illinois
Juliana is policy director at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) where she analyzes, researches, and advocates for environmental justice in local, state, and federal policy. She was a lead negotiator for low-income programs in Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act.
Heather Toney, Mississippi
Heather is the national field director for Moms Clean Air Force, an organization of over one million moms and dads committed to fighting air pollution and climate change. Among her accomplishments, Heather developed a program to engage the African American faith-based community on environmental health, and one to connect mothers with mayors on climate solutions.