Charles Espedido (commonly known as Charlie -- he/him) is a Program Manager for the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Clean Energy Diversity Fellowship. Charlie is driven by his love for mentorship and increasing diversity in the environmental movement. As a RAY Program Manager, he leads the day-to-day responsibilities of the fellowship which aims to facilitate energy efficiency and renewable energy-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color.
Prior to joining ELP, Charlie was a Program Assistant for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) supporting Midwest environmental justice and safe drinking water efforts through program support, coalition building, research, and mapping. He is passionate about the intersections of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the environmental movement by participating on various DEI committees at NRDC, his involvement with the Environmentalists of Color network, and building up an advocacy group called the Chicago Asian Americans for Environmental Justice (CAAEJ). In his spare time, you’ll find him either taking a hip-hop dance class, working on his aerial/circus skills, or on the quest to find the best iced mocha. Charlie holds a bachelor’s degree from the Loyola University Chicago studying Environmental Science: Public Health and is based in Chicago, Illinois.
Orietta C. Estrada (she/her/ella) is the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Program Director at ELP. Orietta has always been passionate about conservation and the environment. Her experiences on the margins of the mainstream, abroad and in the U.S., has informed the way she travels through life—seeking justice and equity via BIPOC liberation, focused within the conservation and environmental movements.
Orietta is an ELP National Fellow (2021); an ANS Environmental Champion (2022); co-founder of Amplify the Future and the Black and Latinx Birders Scholarship/Birders Fund; and is a trustee at Manoment. She holds a B.A. in Literature from New York Institute of Technology, an M.A. in Postcolonial Literary Theory from Stockholms Universitet, and has both undergraduate and graduate coursework in geographic information systems and environmental biology from Hood College.
In her free time she tinkers with the latest in tech-media, reads, takes courses, spends time with her daughter and their three dogs (Poochies, Princesa, y Frijolita), swims, skates, plays the upright bass, and volunteers in her communities.
Ima (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.
Jeremiah Steen (he/him) is a Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Program Manager at ELP. Jeremiah is a catalyst for ethical leadership, mission-driven fundraising, humanizing experiences and sustainable philanthropy. His goal is to create opportunities to ensure underrepresented communities receive the resources they need to maximize their potential.
Jeremiah is the youngest Jane Goodall Roots and Shoots Fund II National Fellow and is the National Audubon Society’s Development Associate, Institutional Giving working out of Detroit, Michigan. He is the Director of the Steen Foundation, which has the goal of positively impacting the socialization of youth, promoting strong inquisitive thinking and allowing teens to advance their view of community through a creative perspective. Also, Jeremiah serves on the Board of Directors at EEqual and TrashMob.eco.
Outside of work, Jeremiah coaches year-round soccer (ages 8-14) for the SOAR Eagle Sport Program. Also, he enjoys spending time with his family and collecting contemporary paintings.