BEA Steering Committee

Dr. P. Qasimah Boston

Grassroots Representative
Tallahassee Food Network

My name is Dr. P. Qasimah Boston. I am a community advocate, trained in behavior science and public health practices and I have expertise in the National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services standards and in participatory processes. Through the Tallahassee Food Network, I practice my passion of working with people to improve community health and wellbeing and to strengthen community capacity to address food insecurity and mental health challenges which are deeply connected to EJ. My work in collaboration with many helps to ensure justice for all. As a co-founder of the Tallahassee Food Network, and a Moving Forward Network (MFN) Advisory Board member, my efforts to engage youth voices in the movement globally and to build the leadership capacity of young people align. 
Much of my Movement work is in small and rural communities and examples include; engaging community members in urban and rural communities to share perspectives and experiences regarding the impacts of COVID-19 and racism; engaging global youth voices in an annual youth symposium on food & hunger: opportunities for policy and change; engaging community voices in monthly conversations called, “Collards & Cornbread; and implementing a statewide campaign on the National Environmental Policy Act process. I teach West African dance and I actually made my own Kayak. Family is very important to me, and I spend a lot of time connecting to each of my family members. My motto is, “innovation makes it better” and “little by little a bird builds its nest.”

Carlos Marentes

Grassroots Representative
Border Agricultural Workers Project

Carlos Marentes has been a labor organizer and farm worker advocate since 1977. In 1983, he founded Sin Fronteras Organizing Project to support efforts to improve the working and living conditions of the migrant and seasonal farm workers of Southern New Mexico and Far West Texas. Marentes is also the founder and director of the Border Agricultural Workers Project, an effort to organize the farm workers of the US-Mexico border. He participates in many local, state and national organizations that deal with issues of poverty and economic inequality, and coordinates the International Committee on Migration and Rural Workers of La Vía Campesina and has attended many conferences and workshops in U.S. as well as in Mexico, Europe, India, South Africa and Southeast Asia, to advocate for migrant workers rights. 

Melisa Miles photo looking at camera

Melissa Miles

Grassroots Caucus
New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance

Melissa Miles (she/her) is an Environmental and Climate Justice advocate who began her career as a community organizer while living in an Environmental Justice community in Newark, New Jersey. She holds an MA in Anthropology from The New School but maintains that her knowledge of EJ is rooted in her lived experience and her commitment to making sure that people at the frontlines are the protagonists in the struggle for their future. Melissa’s vision is to support environmental and climate justice for communities that are rooted in place, where people can live, work, learn, and play in health. She is the Executive Director of New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, a statewide organization working towards a Just Transition with New Jersey's low-income and Of Color communities overburdened by pollution and climate change impacts. Melissa also serves on NJDEP’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council, the Coalition for Healthy Ports, and the Moving Forward Network Advisory Board.

Photo of Frankie holding a microphone

Frankie Orona

Grassroots Representative
Society of Native Nations
Tongva, Chamash & Borrado

Frankie is a Husband of 22 years, a Father, an Entrepreneur, and an Activist. He is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Society of Native Nations, "an Intertribal Native American Nonprofit" based in Texas and California. Frankie is also a member of the American Indian Movement and the Environmental Liaison for his Tribal Chief, Anthony Morales, of the Gabrieleno Tongva Tribe of the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians.

Entrepreneurship has allowed him to turn his lifelong passion for serving indigenous communities of North and South America into the Society of Native Nations, addressing issues domestically, nationally, and globally focusing on Native American rights, social justice, and environmental justice issues. He sits on many coalition steering committees, nonprofit environmental organizational boards and is part of the UN INC EJ Plastics Treaty Delegation. Frankie lives with his wife and their children in San Antonio, Texas.

Michell McIntyre

Green Caucus
Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists

Michell McIntyre is the policy director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In her role, she coordinates the Center’s policy strategies, and helps align UCS research, supporter and member engagement, and government affairs for the greatest impact on advancing science-based policymaking.

Prior to joining UCS, Ms. McIntyre worked for Earthjustice, leading their campaign on access to justice and directing a team of lobbyists and litigators. Ms. McIntyre has also served as manager for the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards with Public Citizen, working to get quality science-based public protections passed and fighting off attacks on the US regulatory system, and as the Outreach Director for Labor & Workers Rights with the National Consumers League. Before entering the nonprofit sector, Michell was a political consultant for various progressive candidates and organizations including Sierra Club, Women's Voices Women Vote, American Federation of Teachers, and the AFL-CIO.

In loving memory of Cecil Corbin-Mark (1969-2020), champion of environmental justice and inaugural BEA Steering Committee member.