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Emerging Leaders Cohort


Launched in the Fall of 2020, the Emerging Leaders Cohort is a CFE equity initiative designed to identify and support early-career Black, Brown, Indigenous & People of Color (BIPOC) leaders from member organizations and provide them with mentorship and skills-building opportunities so that they can take on increasing leadership within the network, in the broader movement for environmental health, and in the communities that they serve. 


Cultivating a diverse and inclusive group of emerging leaders is critical to the life blood of CFE and the organizations represented. This initiative seeks to develop leadership among emerging leaders from member organizations, with special focus on early-career staff who are BIPOC, are staff at POC-led organizations, from Community-Based Organizations, and/or from organizations that work in/with environmentally overburdened communities.

Through a combination of mentorship, training, and service learning, participants receive targeted mentorship and skills-building opportunities. The program runs from September to August, during which mentees work with their mentor and CFE leads to implement a project of their choice. Mentees are paired with experienced mentors and meet regularly throughout the program. Curriculum in the program is geared towards providing mentees with the skills needed to lead within a collaborative systems-change network. To support their participation in the program, mentees receive a stipend of $1,500 and mentors receive a stipend of $1,000. 

As a result of the ELC previous mentees have taken on leadership roles within their home organizations and within the Network. They’ve also taken the tools and training from the program back to their organizations to implement.

If you’re not currently affiliated with a CFE member organization and would like to explore whether membership and the ELC are right for you, please contact us!

Examples of past projects led by mentees

  • Healthy Spaces Project
  • Network Evaluation
  • Cross-Node PFAS Initiative Resource Building
  • PFAS Disposal Symposium
  • Climate, Toxics, Equity, and Health
  • Children’s Environmental Health Education landscape analysis

For a full list of potential projects, see our proposed menu of projects for Cohort 3. 

Now Accepting applications for Cohort 3

Apply Now!


Word cloud created by Cohort 1 mentees and mentors
Cohort 2 Participants


Simeon Brown

Environmental Justice Clinic, Vermont Law School

Caron Fajardo

Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center

Veronica Ung-Kono

Environmental Justice Clinic, Vermont Law School

Roxana Amaya-Fuentes

Children’s Environmental Health Network

Dominique Flores

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

Tammy Davis

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

Jazmine Johnson

Physician’s for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles

Amanda Hernandez

Individual Member

Summer-Solstice Thomas

Silent Spring Institute


Walter Lewis

Homewood Children’s Village

Fred Brown

The Forbes Funds

Polly Hoppin

Lowell Center for Sustainable Production

Ruth Rominger

Individual Member

Motaz Attalla

Individual Member

Nse Obot Witherspoon

Children’s Environmental Health Network

Katie Huffling

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

Sandra Curtis

Individual Member

Debra Erenberg

CFE Strategic Director

If you're not currently affiliated with a CFE member organization and would like to explore whether membership and the ELC are right for you

we invite you to contact us.


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