Young, Gifted & Green Alumni Network

Provides an incredible opportunity to interact with other like-minded Black and Latinx leaders. Our alumni network consists of Lead Prevention Ambassador Alumni as well as Black and Latinx professionals from our local, state, and national partners who share our mission to create a #LeadFreeUSA. Our members lead and serve in many different ways as educators, government officials, nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, public health professionals, STEM professionals, Legal/Law, legislators/policymakers, and more.

Our alumni work as lifelong advocates for better outcomes relating to environmental justice for disproportionately impacted–Black and Latinx Americans.

Participants will be connected to opportunities to:

  • Grow their professional networks with exposure to major influencers in the environmental justice movement
  • Gain support with personal environmental justice projects and/or research
  • Access to the YGG leadership pipeline
  • Opportunities to speak at local, regional, and national events
  • Join Boards for Environmental Justice and/or Civil Rights Organizations
  • Impact public policy with direct connections to legislators (federal, state, and local)

EJ Griot Project

The EJ (Environmental Justice) Griot Project is a robust leadership communications initiative that will specifically center the voices of African American and Latinx American Gen Z and Millennials surrounding the climate crisis and energy sustainability. The namesake “Griots” is important to the purpose of the project. Griots originated from the West African Mande empire of Mali. Griots are storytellers and oral historians of their communities. Griots help to shape and maintain their tribe’s narrative.

The EJ Griot Program is currently available in the following cities:

  • Flint, Michigan
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Washington, DC

Programmatic Overview

The EJ Griot Project consists of intensive training that builds Millennial and Generation Z leaders’ capacity to become environmental justice ambassadors through political advocacy, activism, and organizing. The knowledge and skills obtained in the program are transferable and will be applicable in a plethora of ways.

The intensive training covers the following key learning objectives:

  • Analyze and draft federal legislative policy recommendations focused on health equity, climate justice, and energy sustainability
  • Use social media to garner public support of federal legislative policy
  • Networking and coalition building with like-minded organizations and community leaders
  • Build knowledge and skills to testify before elected officials
  • Community engagement & outreach (i.e., virtual panel, workshop series, community canvassing training).

At the end of the project period, EJ Griots engage in a rites of passage celebration and are invited to attend our annual Young, Gifted & Green Community Action Summit, which takes place during the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus taking place concurrently in September.  As a part of our rites of passage model, adult EJ Griots (18+) are invited to move forward into the Lead Prevention Ambassador Program and join the Young Gifted and Green Alumni Network.

Application Requirements and  Process

  • Application Deadline: TBA
  • Notification of Virtual Interview: TBA
  • Brief Virtual Interviews (only for those who received notice): TBA
  • Announcement of Youth EJ Griot Project Cohort: TBA
  • Project Timeline: TBA

Additional requirements and application information:

  • Applicants should be of African, Latinx, and/or Indigenous Descent
  • Applicants should be between 22-40 years old
  • Applicants must reside in Baltimore, Flint, Memphis, or Washington, DC
  • Tennessee applicants must reside in Shelby County, TN (Priority given to individuals living in: South Memphis, North Memphis, Whitehaven and Orange Mound)
  • One professional reference letter is required


Contact LaTricea D. Adams at for any questions.

Young, Gifted & Green Environmental Justice (EJ) Camp

Application Requirements

  • Applicants MUST be in grades 8-12.
  • Black, Latinx, and/or Indigenous youth are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants must reside in Flint and/or Genesee County.
  • Parents/Guardians must complete and sign a youth waiver.



For more information about the Young, Gifted, & Green EJ Academy, contact Dionna Brown at


Flint Youth Environmental Justice Council

The Flint Environmental Justice (EJ) Council is a youth-centered, 12-month leadership development program for youth in middle & high school and college (undergraduate).  The council members focus on civic engagement and community service grounded in the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice. Council members either reside or have a permanent address in Flint (Genesee County), Michigan. The youth leaders are paid a stipend to honor their work and service at the local, state, and national levels. After youth complete the 12 month program, they become members of the Young, Gifted & Green Alumni Network. 

For more information about the Flint Youth EJ Academy, contact Dionna Brown at

2024 Flint EJ Council Members

  • Clarissa “Rosie” Ruffin
  • Clarence Ruffin II
  • Jeremiah Chapman
  • Melodie Marsh
  • Kameron “Kam” Motley

2023 Flint EJ Council Members (Past)

  • Kayla Shannon
  • Isaiah Grays
  • Nevaeh Dixon



40 Under 40 Awards 

Young, Gifted & Green 40 Under 40 is an annual list of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous environmental justice leaders under the age of 40 from across the U.S. who are grappling with complex solutions to solve the Climate Crisis and dismantle Environmental Racism.

Nominees can include any individual making a major difference in environmental justice. Our past nominees have included educators, scientists, artists, policymakers, healthcare/public health professionals, faith-based leaders, mental health professionals, birthworkers, farmers, social-justice advocates/activists, storytellers, journalists, entrepreneurs, technologists, chefs, clean-energy gurus, social media influencers, and more.

Contact Us to learn more about this program.

Lead Prevention Ambassador Program

The YGG Lead Prevention Ambassador Program is an award-winning & nationally recognized rite of passage leadership program designed for African American & Latinx Millennials & Generation Z college students, young professionals, community leaders and parents.

The program builds millennial and Generation Z leaders’ capacity to become advocates for the eradication of lead and environmental justice through political advocacy, activism, and organizing. The knowledge and skills obtained in the program are transferable and can be applied in a plethora of ways.

Our core training model includes:

  • Analyzing and drafting recommendations for local legislation
  • Using social media to garner public support of recommendations for local legislation
  • Networking and coalition building with like-minded organizations and community leaders
  • Attending public meetings to testify before elected officials
  • Community engagement & outreach (i.e., canvassing)
  • Fundraising and fund development

Contact Us to learn more about this program.

Shop Talk: Environmental Education In America’s Black Barbershops

Shop Talk is a DOPE concept that brings environmental justice content to the Barbershop–a sacred place for Black brotherhood where some of the most intimate and life-changing conversations occur.  Young, Gifted & Green has partnered with national experts and organizations to create progressive educational models to deliver practical and actionable environmental justice content.

Baltimore, MD Partners

  • Presentable Cutz, 117 W Saratoga St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Flint, MI Partners

  • Magnificlips, 134 W 2nd St, Flint, MI 48502
  • Big Daddy’s Barbershop, 3725 Saginaw St # 109, Flint, MI 48507
  • 1st Class Cutz, 3601 Beecher Rd, Flint, MI 48503

Memphis, TN Partners

  • Shop Open 3513 Ramill Road, Memphis, TN 38128
  • Xplicit CUTZ & Stylez 1380 Airways Blvd, Memphis, TN 38114
  • N Da Game Cutz 5510 E Shelby Dr, Memphis, TN 38141

New Orleans, LA Partners

  • Park Place Premier Barber School 3024 Gentilly Blvd New Orleans, LA 70122

Washington, DC Partners

  • Wanda’s on 7th 1851 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Our partner list is growing. Contact Us to learn more about this program or become one of our partners.