Kendyl Crawley Crawford is excited to be at the forefront of congregational organizing efforts taking place in Virginia around the issue of climate change, which has far-reaching justice and moral implications, as the Director of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light.
As the former Richmond Conservation Program Coordinator for the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, she worked on community organizing around climate change and toxic pollution. She has spent time closely organizing with faith communities around the state. She received a bachelor’s degree in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University in 2012 and has a Master’s of Science in Environment, Science and Society from University College London where she conducted research on social movement organizations mobilizing around air pollution in London on a Marshall Scholarship. In 2015, she successfully completed the Midwest Academy Organizing for Social Change Training. In 2018, she received a Master’s of Nonprofit Studies degree at the University of Richmond and was chosen to be Student Commencement Speaker representing her class.
Kendyl is also a member of the NAACP and has volunteered for several organizations including Chesapeake Climate Action Network and the City of Hampton Clean City Commission. She has received a Creating a Climate for Change Certificate of Recognition, National Hampton Alumni Association Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, a Proclamation from the City of Hampton, VA and also was declared a Young Futurist by theRoot.com. She currently serves on the board of the Virginia Conservation Network.
Leah Jones: Baptist
Leah Jones joined VAIPL as Faith Community Outreach Coordinator in 2020. Graduating from William and Mary with a degree in Biology and Environmental Science and Policy in 2019, she is an enthusiastic advocate for environmental and racial activism. During her college career, she developed a passion for intersectional environmental issues, specifically those pertaining to food security and climate justice. After her experience with Environment Virginia as an intern in 2016, she made it a priority to be an environmental educator and activist for her community. In 2020, she worked as a Garden Educator for Greater Richmond’s Fit4Kids program during the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching children in low-income communities about agricultural and nutritional empowerment. Leah believes her purpose is to shed light on existing issues of environmental racism and do anything she can to reclaim green space for Black people and other marginalized communities!
Rev. Dr. Faith B. Harris is Assistant Professor, Theological Studies for The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University (STVU). She teaches courses in the study of systematic, eco-theology, and womanist/feminist theologies employing activism and community engagement in ministry. She is the Director for Johnson A. Edosomwan Center for Faith, Leadership and Public Life for STVU. which convenes workshops, panel discussions, town halls among other events to facilitate deeper and meaningful student and community engagement and dialogue related to theology and public and civic policy.
In addition to her academic and administrative work, Dr. Harris is highly active in the Richmond community for more than ten years and has served a number of interfaith and grassroots organizations among them, Organizing for Action (OFA), recent Vice-Chair for Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP), and recent Chair for Virginia Interfaith Power & Light (VAIPL) where she is now Interim Co-Director and is a new member of the Standing Together steering committee of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. She is passionate about serving the faith community advocating for racial, gender and environmental justice and sustainability. She is a member of the Governor’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council for both Governor Terry McAuliffe’s and Ralph Northam.
As a womanist and community activist, she demonstrates her passion and faith through the diverse activities of community organizing, teaching, public speaking, and serving the university, the community, and the church.
She has earned the Doctor of Ministry Degree and the Master of Divinity degree, from Virginia Union University and a Masters of Sacred Theology, with an emphasis in Practical Theology, Christian Social Ethics, and Ecclesiology from Boston University School of Theology.
A member of First Unitarian Universalist Church in Richmond, Virginia where she serves as a Committee on Mission member and Share the Plate. She has a variety of interests including reading, gardening, cooking/baking, canning, and camping.
Communications and Organizing Coordinator
Kidest grew up in a small city in Ethiopia and moved to D.C. nine years ago. She is a recent graduate of the University of Richmond majoring in Geography and the Environment with minors in Women Gender and Sexuality Studies and Visual Arts. She was introduced to VAIPL as the Abby Brown Ayers Civic Fellow in the summer of 2018. The Ayers fellowship supports one student a year working at the intersections of environmental justice and education. Growing up in Ethiopia, faith and religion were a part of every aspect of social life. However, faith communities oftentimes failed to address important issues such as climate change. Since VAIPL stresses environmental education and awareness in faith communities, she’s interested in being a part of a movement to encourage faith communities to act on climate. Kidest is motivated to fight against climate change by upligiting environmnetal justice for communities of color.
Kim Bobo: United Methodist
Co-Executive Director VICPP
Kim Bobo is a nationally known promoter of social justice who leads Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy’s advocacy, outreach, and development work. She literally wrote the book on faith-based organizing. Kim joined Virginia Interfaith Center in 2016, where she mobilized a historic faith advocacy campaign and played a leadership role in the statewide Healthcare for All Virginians coalition advocating Medicaid expansion, which passed in 2018. She moved to Virginia from Chicago, where she founded and served as executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, the nation’s largest network of people of faith engaging in local and national actions to improve wages, benefits, and conditions for workers.
Prior to that Kim was a national organizing director for Bread for the World and an instructor at the Midwest Academy. Born in Cincinnati, Kim has a B.A. in religion from Barnard College and an M.A. in economics from the New School for Social Research. She was married for 31 years to Stephen Coats, who died unexpectedly in 2013. Their twin sons, Benjamin and Eric, are organizing for economic justice in Illinois and Ohio. Kim married David Duvall Orr, a long-time Chicago reform politician, in 2017. She is a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, where she sings in the choir. Kim served as the choir director at her previous church for more than 25 years.
Richard Cizik is the President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a faith-based organization committed to an agenda that fosters values consistent with an open and free society. Cizik participated in Climate Forum 2002, at Oxford, England, which produced the “Oxford Declaration” on global warming. He was instrumental in creating the Evangelical Climate Initiative, introduced in 2006. The following year, Cizik formed a group of scientists, including nobel laureate Eric Chivian and Harvard Professor Emeritus Edward O. Wilson, along with leading evangelical pastors and professors, to compose a groundbreaking document entitled “Scientists and Evangelical Call to Action.”
Cizik graduated with a B.A., cum laude, Political Science, Whitworth University (1973); Master of Divinity, Denver Seminary (1979); M.A., Public Affairs, The George Washington University School of Public & International Affairs (1985). In 2005, he was awarded the Ecclesiastical degree of Doctor of Divinity, Honoris causae, The Methodist Episcopal Church, USA. In 2014, Whitworth University awarded him a Doctorate in Humane Letters (D.H.L.) for his pioneering theological work in creation care. Cizik sits on advisory boards of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University, and the Evangelical Environmental Network.
Aliya Farooq has a degree in Business Administration from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She was born in Washington DC and raised in Maryland. Aliya moved to Chester Virginia in 1997, when her husband began his medical practice in Hopewell. She has enjoyed raising her four children in the Richmond area. She served on the Board of Directors at Iqra Academy of Virginia from 2000 to 2015, in the positions of secretary, vice-chair, chair and consultant.
Since then, Aliya has been an active member of several local interfaith organizations such as Richmond Interfaith Climate Justice League and Salaam Shalom. With Richmond Interfaith Climate Justice, she was able to assist in three educational programs regarding urgent climate change issues, held at the Islamic Center of Virginia. She has also contacted other local Mosques and has encouraged them to implement greener practices. Aliya believes that women are the backbone of all societies and have the power to create change within communities.
Monica Flippen is a native of Richmond, VA, and is the youngest of four siblings. She is Vice President of KEi Architects, where she has been employed for over 18 years. She’s a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and Construction Specification Institute.
Monica has a Bachelor’s of Science in Geology and Mathematics, a Master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences and is currently matriculating through the Master of Divinity Program at The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University (STVU).
Monica is passionate about creation care and is an advocate for education and awareness within faith-based organizations. She currently serves as the student representative for the Green Seminary Environmental Certification Program at STVU.
Monica’s goal is to encourage, equip, and enlighten others to grow in the grace and knowledge of creation care.
Mark Hoggard is a disciple of Jesus Christ in the Roman Catholic Christian Tradition. He holds an M.Div. in Theology from St. Meinrad School of Theology, and an M.A. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame. He has over 30 years of experience in parish ministry, currently as a Pastoral Associate at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Norfolk, Virginia. He is passionate about liturgy, peace and justice issues (especially environmental concerns), and helping parishes and individuals discover their God-given talents and use them to spread the Gospel.
Mark serves on the Board of the National Association for Lay Ministry and is a member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. He is trained in group facilitation methods by the Institution for Cultural Affairs USA and is a Level I Strengths Coach with Gallup Faith Practices. He volunteers regularly with the Sierra Club.
He is a life-long resident of Virginia, and a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hampton, where he serves in the choir, and on the Care for Creation Team. He lives in Hampton, Virginia, with his dog, Jake.
Sally Johnston: Presbyterian
Sally Johnston has enjoyed a vocation in educational ministry in a variety of settings: campus ministry, church education, university teaching and administration, and theological education. A graduate of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (MA 1979; EdD 1994), her doctoral dissertation theorized the educational implications of eco-theologian Sallie McFague’s Models of God. Based on that dissertation, Johnston’s ecological model for learning informed her work at Virginia Tech (1993-2004). There she was responsible for curriculum development and administration of an innovative residential learning community. That learning community exists today as Virginia Tech’s Leadership and Social Change Residential College. In the years following Virginia Tech she served a large ecumenical parish at Smith Mountain Lake (2004-2008) and a small Inupiat Congregation in the remote village in Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska (2008-2012).
After returning to Richmond from Alaska, she worked part-time as a theological educator for Yale Divinity School’s Supervised Ministry Program (2013-2018). Since 2013 the urgency of our climate crisis has propelled Sally to devote much of her free time to eco-faith practices in her home, church, and community.
As a volunteer with VAIPL and a member at Second Presbyterian Church she has been engaged in environmental justice advocacy and education. She has led ecojustice workshops and presented papers at national gatherings of religious educators (APCE and REA) and taught eco-theology classes at her church. Her desire is to help religious educators and people of faith discover the biblical and theological foundations for eco-justice and to enjoy the healing gifts of eco-spirituality. Sally recently served as an adjunct professor (2019) for Union Presbyterian Seminary and is currently vlunteering in a project to help green the seminary’s curriculum.
Rosie Snow: Christian
Rosie Snow has been working at the intersection of faith and climate justice for over ten years, mobilizing her home church of St. Paul and St. Andrew to take climate leadership, organizing with Fossil Free UMC, and serving on the steering of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, among other projects. She graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2018 with an M.T.S., writing her thesis on how Christians can draw from biomimicry and theology to partner with the earth for renewal. Rosie now serves as the Director of Christian Discipleship at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, and she is excited to be part of God’s work transforming Central Virginia into a model of ecological regeneration and dignity for all.