Staff

|ma Otudor

Partnerships Manager

|ma (she/they), RAY Fellowship Partnerships Manager, is a halfrican and southern(US)-raised, western(US)-born environmental experientialist. Their current skill-set includes roles such as sustainability specialist, waste stream coordinator, program facilitator, and artisanal crafter. Her experiences have given her a well-rounded, socially-minded view of the environmental field -often with a focus on bolstering/involving/increasing the presence and capacity of historically excluded groups. That in mind, Ima seeks to incorporate humanist-naturalist-wholistic environmental awareness, conservation, and sustainability into much of their day-to-day life.

They have a bachelor's in Wildlife Conservation Biology from the Fort Valley State University and a master's in Natural Resources and the Environment with a focus on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan. She also has topics such as sustainable development, food access, and renewable energy "under her belt."

She enjoys reading and listening to a variety of media, dancing around her apartment and sometimes in public, volunteering with local community orgs, catching up on the latest news with family and friends, and trying to get in at least a small bit of nature daily.

Nia Thomas-George

Communications & Outreach Manager

Nia (she/they), RAY Communications & Outreach Manager, is a proud Caribbean woman who calls both St. Thomas, USVI and Atlanta, Georgia home. Growing up with such a strong connection to her people, she always felt moved to fight for sustainable and equitable change in her community.

Her journey in communications began once she realized how the right messaging can move thousands to action. Upon receiving her degree in Communications: Public Relations from Columbus State University she understood where her newfound skills belonged. Nia has gained her experience working to amplify the voices of small business and nonprofits that aim to improve the position of Black people across the diaspora. In addition to her communications knowledge, Nia has spent time leading instruction in youth agricultural education programs in both Michigan and Arizona. This work led her to becoming a part of the RAY Fellowship team.

When she is not so busy, Nia enjoys painting and filling her home with colorful canvases, listening to music or podcasts, and exploring the world around her.

Mona Williams

Program & Grants Manager

Mona (they/them/theirs) is a Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Program & Grants Manager at ELP. They are a proud, black non-binary queer (with roots from Cuba and the Dominican Republic) who was born and raised in the Soundview/Parkchester neighborhood of the boogie-down Bronx. Growing up in a densely populated, urban community exposed them to the realities of inequity when it comes to environmental conditions and how it all ties in together with other socioeconomic realities. Through lots of time, research, and life experience in and outside of The Big Apple, they have discovered not only how to live life authentically but also how to find ways to build community and draw others together who are values-aligned to do the good work.  

Mona has over nine years of professional experience and over five of those years working directly in non-profit organizations that focused on supporting the needs of marginalized communities. They joined ELP's RAY team in summer 2023. They previously helped launch and co-lead the RiseOut Activist-in-Residence fellowship program at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City, supporting the needs of Black LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. This program was created in connection with RiseOut, The Center’s statewide LGBTQ+ advocacy initiative. Now located in Atlanta, Georgia, Mona continues to work in the nonprofit world to help ensure that BIPOC folks feel seen, safe, and empowered to become the next future leaders.

When not thinking of ways to build equity for all, you can find them tending to their three cats–Olivia, Archie, and Rain–and their bearded dragon, Lucy. You will also find them obsessing over the latest Star Trek episode, spending numerous hours farming on Stardew Valley, and most likely singing a song from Grease at karaoke.