First there was one hip hop professional on the Heartwood podcast, then there were two. Miles Braxton is a Business Development Analyst for Sol Customer Solutions, an energy solutions firm in Washington DC. In his work, Miles helps to investigate and engage potential clients in emerging solar markets, in addition to creating preliminary solar array designs for proposals. Miles graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Environmental Science. At U.Va., he founded and led an organization, Black Leaders for Environmental Sustainability (BLES), that works to install interactive solar charging stations around campus grounds and encourages minority students to increase their sustainability awareness and efforts. Miles came to FES this fall with a presentation called “Young, Gifted and Black” where he talked about building inspiration by combining entrepreneurship and sustainability. He talks in this episode about his own origin story in the energy space, future directions in the field, and drops some bars to wrap it all together.
Category Archives: Heartwood
Recorded live on site at Yale-Myers Forest in northeastern Connecticut, Thomas Easley sits down with Rachel Reyna, chief of Rural and Community Forestry at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry, and recent recipient of the Mira Lloyd Dock Outstanding Woman Conservationist Award. Rachel discusses adaptive management and the necessity for awareness of the different constraints and histories among certain stakeholder groups in her work. As a forestry professional, Reyna works to create a vision of forestry that connects and appeals to a broad constituency.
CJ Goulding, Partner at the Avarna Group and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) professional, joins Heartwood to share reflections on his work spent fostering discomfort for personal and community growth in both traditional and outdoor-oriented communities. In his work with the Children & Nature Network and Fresh Tracks, CJ trains, mentors and supports a national network of over 330 leaders who are changing systems and creating equitable access to nature in their communities. This work draws from experience leading outdoor trips, conservation crews, and youth internship programs for the National Park Service. CJ has a deep reservoir of self-awareness and shares insights on opportunities and barriers to understanding when it comes to inclusion work, and is committed to helping his clients and community break through their own perceptions in order to grow.
Thomas Easley sits down with Terry Baker, CEO of the Society of American Foresters, and an alumnus of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Terry lives by a mantra–give people the ability to see the foresters for the trees. By that, he means, help folks recognize how much around them is made possible by dedicated forestry professionals who are doing work to make our world more liveable. In Terry’s words, “A professional forester was easily defined 100 years ago. Nowadays, as a profession, we’re extremely fragmented and highly specific.” Terry has a reputation for being a leader who values relationships, a leader who listens, and a leader who takes action. He has experience in building partnerships and strategic alliances to leverage outcomes and is expanding relationships with key partners and stakeholders to strengthen SAF’s voice and advance the profession as well as the members. In this conversation, Terry shares insights on providing a space for every forester who manages vegetation in both urban and rural locations without diluting the historic mission of the organization.
The second season of Heartwood kicks off with a conversation that reminds us that everything starts with the next generation. Dr. Thomas Easley sits with participants and leadership at Solar Youth, a local nonprofit that engages young people in New Haven to explore their neighborhoods and local environments with an emphasis on leadership. First, you’ll hear from Yexandra Diaz, Site Coordinator at Solar Youth, who has lived in New Haven for much of her life, and leads the students through programming. Listen to every word Yexandra says, particularly her words about New Haven, Connecticut. Whether it’s about white fragility, savior mentality, or pitfalls in nonprofit leadership, Yex speaks truth to power about what New Haven needs to succeed. If you stick around to the end, you’ll hear from the youth who benefit from this program, and all these qualities that make them so brilliant, from their jokes to their insights about why these programs matter.
Taryn Wolf is the Director of Academic Administration at the Yale School of Art. Taryn joined the Yale School of Art in February, coming from the New School where she was senior director of recruitment and outreach. Before that she held positions at MICA, CalArts, and the School of Visual Arts. Taryn also holds a BFA from MICA. In her new role, Taryn will provide strategic leadership for the Office of Academic Administration—working with the directors of the school’s graduate and undergraduate program areas and the director of finance and administration in order to coordinate the administrative activities relating to the academic policies, procedures, and programs of the School of Art, including alumni relations and student career services.
Darin Latimore is the Deputy Dean and Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine (General Medicine) at the Yale School of Medicine. Prior to Yale, Darin served as the associate dean for student and resident diversity at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine, where he oversaw medical student and resident diversity programs. He developed initiatives to increase the pipeline of socio-economically disadvantaged students, residents, and faculty and has spearheaded programs to support and empower underrepresented students who are interested in attending medical school.
At UC Davis, Latimore helped expand the definition of diversity beyond African-American, Hispanic, and Native American individuals to include underrepresented Asian-American groups and individuals who are economically disadvantaged. Today, approximately 43% of UC Davis medical students fall into one of these categories. He has served as chair or an active member on numerous committees, task forces, and local, state and national working groups dedicated to diversity, equal opportunity, and medical education. He also maintains a clinical practice caring for patients with HIV/AIDS at the Center of AIDS Research, Education, and Services.
Chantal Rodriguez is the Associate Dean of Yale School of Drama. She served as Assistant Dean of the school for the 2016-2017 academic year. From 2009-2016 she worked as the Programming Director and Literary Manager of the Latino Theater Company, operators of the Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC), a multi-theater complex in downtown L.A. At the LATC, she helped produce many seasons of culturally diverse work including the historic Encuentro 2014 festival. As a scholar with a specialization in U.S. Latinx Theater, she has lectured at the University of California Los Angeles, Emerson College Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, California State University at Northridge, and California Institute for the Arts. Her work has been published in Theatre Journal, Latin American Theatre Review, e-misférica and Theatre Research International. In 2011, the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press published her monograph, “The Latino Theatre Initiative/Center Theatre Group Papers,” which was nominated for three Latino Literacy Now International Book Awards. She is an active member of the Latinx Theatre Commons Steering Committee, a recipient of the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival’s 2016 Rainbow Award, and was recognized as a Young Leader of Color by TCG in 2011. She is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television where she earned a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies, and Santa Clara University where she earned a B.A. in Theater and Spanish Studies.
JENNIFER L. VERDOLIN is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona and an expert in animal behavior. The author of two books, including Wild Connection: What Animal Courtship and Mating Tell Us About Human Relationships and Raised by Animals: The Surprising New Science of Animal Family Dynamics, she draws on animal behavior to reveal how much we can learn from other species to improve our relationships, families, and lives. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, NPR, Slate, The Washington Post, and National Geographic. Jennifer was a featured guest on the D.L. Hughley Show from 2014-2018 and is a frequent media guest on other radio and podcast shows. She enjoys engaging the public and speaks at places like the 92nd St Y and universities around the country. She also consults for television production companies in the US and abroad.
Political Climate is a bipartisan podcast on energy and environmental politics in America, presented by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Political Climate goes beyond the echo chambers to bring you civil conversations, fierce debates and insider perspectives, with hosts and guests from across the political spectrum. Join Democrat and Republican energy experts Brandon Hurlbut and Shane Skelton, along with Greentech Media’s Julia Pyper, as we explore how energy and environment policies get made.
Chris Perkins is a joint-degree M.E.M. and M.B.A. candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale School of Management from Seattle, WA. His professional interests include standards for stewardship of natural resources, supply chain management, green finance, public-private community conservation partnerships, and next-generation environmental leadership. Most recently, he lived in Jackson, WY, where he worked at the Center for Jackson Hole, the nonprofit responsible for the SHIFT Festival, an exploration of outdoor recreation, conservation, and public health. At FES, he is the founder of Outdoor Rec Industry Student Interest Group, and produces the Heartwood Podcast alongside Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Thomas Easley. He also provides logistical support to the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge.
Featured as a 2017 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 emerging leader in sustainable business, Jarami Bond develops strategy, crafts communications, and leverages the power of storytelling to help mission-driven brands unlock business growth opportunities, build brand awareness, cultivate healthy company culture, and maximize positive impact. In his free time, he uses his voice, keyboard, and cameras to tell meaningful stories and better the lives of others.
Currently, Jarami serves as A&D Market Manager at Teknion.
From 2015-2019, Jarami served as the Sustainability Strategy Manager at Interface Americas, a globally-recognized sustainability leader and the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial carpet tile.
Jarami supported the advancement of Interface’s mission through strategic customer engagement and business development. He spoke at customer-facing events and conferences, sharing Interface’s sustainability story to differentiate and inspire. Jarami also worked
with Marketing and Global Communications to develop sales tools and facilitate technical trainings that equipped account executives to leverage Interface’s sustainability progress to stimulate marketplace advantage.
Jarami also created pathways for employees to connect deeply to company vision and values and make positive impacts by curating internal communications, developing employee engagement programs, and supporting diversity and inclusion strategy.
Jarami is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Environmental Science with a focus on Sustainable Materials and Technology. While at NC State, he scored three engineering internships with the NC Department of Transportation and a sustainability
internship with the City of Raleigh Office of Sustainability.