Charlie Espedido

RAY Clean Energy Manager

Charles Espedido (commonly known as Charlie -- he/him) is the 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.

Steven King

RAY Program Director

Steven is an experienced educator and thought leader in the intersectionality of Sustainability, Education, Workforce Development and Entrepreneurship with a focus on Social Justice and Youth Development. He has over 15 years in the field of sustainability and education; developing sustainability focused educational programs, youth development and creating pathways for leadership. He is a leading consultant in the areas of Sustainability, Leadership Coaching, K-12 education, Strategic Planning and Systems Thinking.

Steven served as a Visiting Scholar at The Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School University which fosters the integration of bold design, policy and social justice approaches to environmental issues to advance just and sustainable outcomes in collaboration with communities. Steven is the lead founder, former CEO, and School leader of the Barack Obama Green Charter High School, New Jersey’s first charter high school focused on sustainability. The school’s mission is to develop independent critical thinkers and leaders in the area of sustainable development. He was a member of the graduate research team that help to develop the infrastructure of the India China Institute at The New School. He interned for the Hong Kong Transport Department on sustainable transport practices and participated in a think-tank project looking at increased commercial use of the Pearl River Delta in China. 

Steven served as a researcher at the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations (ILR). His research on Green Jobs and the development of a Low Carbon Green Economy led him to work closely with national and international labor leaders strategizing emerging changes in the global workforce and economy in the use of sustainable practices.  He also served as a co-program designer and facilitator for the Black Trade Union Leadership Program which concentrated on developing the leadership skill of local union leaders. 

Steven holds a Bachelor of Arts from Pace University in Anthropology and a Masters of Arts from The New School in International Affairs. He served as a mentor for the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative, a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, member of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences and Committee Member of the NAACP, Environmental and Climate Justice Committee.

April M Yi

RAY Partnerships Manager

April (she/her/hers) has recently joined the team as the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Partnerships Manager. In this role, she supports hosting and non-hosting organizations as well as ELP retreats. April brings 19 years of experience in business development, fundraising, and nonprofit management to ELP.  

As a nonprofit executive at regional and national organizations she has partnered with numerous academic, environmental, and youth-centered organizations on the design and implementation of business strategies and funding models that support sustainability and support healthy growth.

Working collaboratively with large and small teams she has developed and led projects from start-up, full implementation, to scale-up. As an enterprise leader April has developed and cultivated staff, created and implemented development strategies, designed and analyzed SWOT research, formulated a competitive market analysis and evaluated outcomes to determine the next steps.

April has a deep passion for social impact work that directly affects marginalized communities and engages stakeholders in a meaningful stewardship that leads to long-term impact and partnership.

April is a 1999 graduate of Notre Dame of Maryland University. She earned a Masters from Johns Hopkins University in 2002 and is an ELP alumnus, 2013. 

Guilu Murphy

RAY Conservation Manager

Guilu (she/her) is the Conservation Program Manager for the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship. She is passionate about supporting underrepresented and marginalized voices in the environmental field with the ultimate goal of supporting healthy, equitable, and accessible environments for all. As the RAY Program Manager, she leads the day-to-day functions of the fellowship which aims to support young leaders of color in conservation-related career pathways. She cultivates supportive environments for the Fellows with resources to learn and lead.

Guilu received her BA in East Asian Studies and Environmental Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. She is also an alum of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program (DDCSP) at the University of Michigan. She’s learned to love mentorship through her own incredible mentors, and of the many younger students she’s had the joy of working with through DDCSP and beyond. When not working she enjoys listening to NPR/podcasts, embroidering, reading, dancing, and sharing food with friends.