Winners in 2023
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
Getting Black and Brown girls outdoors
Advocating for mangrove restoration in coastal areas
Speaking up for orcas
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Promoting food sovereignty and mutual aid
Salt Lake City, Utah
Ushering in a clean energy transition in Utah schools
Tackling food waste at schools
Tiauna George is the senior director of grants management at Energy Foundation where she leads grantmaking and contracting operations, systems, and data. She is responsible for creating and executing the policies and procedures to ensure the efficient processing of grants and contracts, ensuring timeliness, quality, and compliance. Prior this position, Tiauna served as Philanthropic Operations/Grants Manager for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, managing grantmaking for the Justice and Opportunity initiative, and before that the Education grantmaking program. She led and managed the design of the Salesforce grant database, served as a member of the legal team, assisted with strategic planning, advising, special projects, created policies, and provided grantmaking training for a staff of 100+.
Michael MItrani has a long history in business consulting and corporate sales management working for Deloitte & Touch, Harris, Johnson and Johnson and Bristol Myers Squibb. Upon retirement, he earned graduate degrees in Science and Environmental Management and worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists as a citizen scientist. Michael is committed to philanthropy, supporting numerous environmental organizations with an emphasis on youth and women lead projects. He sits on numerous boards including 9 years with Earth Island Institute. For Michael, the art of storytelling is one of the most powerful tools in an activist’s tool box and a critical element in moving people to action. He currently serves on the board of the Video Project supporting and promoting films about the environment and social justice with particular focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Michael has been supporting the Brower Youth Awards for two decades, and as an elder activist believes the future is in their hands and it’s our job to support them.
Kahea Pacheco (Kanaka ‘Ōiwi) is a passionate advocate for Indigenous people’s rights and climate justice that puts aloha ʻāina at the heart of solutions. She is a Co-Director at Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA), a 17-year global initiative that empowers women’s leadership to protect the environment, end the climate crisis, and ensure a just, thriving world. With WEA, Kahea has facilitated legal advocacy partnerships for indigenous women-led environmental campaigns to protect lands, water, and sacred spaces. She also co-led a the development of the “Violence on the Land, Violence on our Bodies” report and toolkit, which provides a critical perspective from Indigenous women and young people on the health and social impacts of extractive industry within their territories, as well as community-developed tools to address environmental violence. Kahea has a background in law, critical theory and human rights. She serves on the Advisory Councils for Daughters for Earth and 1t.org—the trillion trees platform of the World Economic Forum—and is on the Board of Directors of Planet Women.
Danny Thiemann is a senior associate attorney with the International Program at Earthjustice. Prior to going to Earthjustice, Danny worked for four years as a staff attorney for migrant and seasonal farmworkers at the Oregon Law Center. He was lead counsel on two class actions for wage theft affecting nearly 1,000 workers. He also represented nearly 200 individuals with administrative challenges and lawsuits regarding pesticide exposure, sexual harassment in the fields, and retaliation for workers invoking their rights. Danny has also partnered with Intel and Boeing to co-design devices that would collect data on ergonomic stresses for cannery workers along the Pacific coast and heat stress for workers picking in the fields. Danny has a B.A. in International Relations from New York University, a J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and enjoys building open-source software and hardware.
Hamid Torabzadeh is an A.B./M.D. student at Brown University studying Public Health in the Program in Liberal Medical Education. Born and raised in Long Beach, CA, a coastal city home to one of the largest ports in North America, Hamid is deeply passionate about the link between environmental justice and health. In 2022, he was recognized with a Brower Youth Award for his work leading the American Red Cross Los Angeles READYteens Program, an effort to educate youth on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in the face of increasing climate and public health disasters. Hamid is also involved with environmental justice, health, and humanitarian work as Vice Chair of the American Red Cross National Youth Council, Board Member for American Lung Association Rhode Island, and Researcher at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Lifespan Health System. In his free time, he enjoys gardening, taking walks in the outdoors, and fitness.