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Growing up in South Bexar County where she was inspired by her grandfather’s teachings, Nadia Gaona has always felt a close relationship with the land, trees, and animals around her. For the past 14 years she has worked to bridge this love of nature with her passion for building community, working as a food justice organizer on various projects that help people share knowledge about how to cultivate food in accordance with natural patterns. A certified permaculture designer, Nadia is the founder of SATX Permaculture, a group where people can connect with others interested in learning about and applying regenerative practices for the improved health of our soil, ourselves, and our planet. She is also a Community Health Worker on the Southside of San Antonio, where she is blessed to work with incredible people working to heal themselves and their community from the ground up.
Diana is a Xicana born and raised in San Antonio with roots in the Rio Bravo, the Mexican side of the Rio Grande Valley. Her work with Southwest Workers Union (Centro por la Justicia) involves linking issues around environmental justice, living wage, and accountable governance. SWU works to re-frame public policy to protect the community, build the necessary, and include the voices of local residents in every step. It has led to successful strategic campaigns targeting wages, environmental clean-up, economic revitalization, healthcare, and energy justice. Lopez sits on coordinating committees of the Grassroots Global Justice and Climate Justice Alliance. Lopez is the Executive Director of Southwest Workers Union and the Grassroots Caucus Chair for Building Equity and Alignment for Environmental Justice. Lopez is a mother of two children and spends all her free time in deep observation and respect for Mother Earth.
Dy is a poet, musician, and multimedia magician from San Antonio. She graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media and Mass Communications, combining her passion for the environment and digital media in her studies, career, and writing. Her first album “Sing to the Sea – EP” is available now on all major music streaming platforms. Dyhanara is currently the community relations coordinator for the William R. Sinkin Eco Centro center for community and environmental sustainability. She uses her skills in digital media design, event planning, and public relations for her career and in volunteer organizations, including the Optimist Club of San Antonio. Dyhanara’s mission is to inspire and empower through creativity, communication, and leadership. Read more at dyhanara.com.
Enrique is an attorney and a director on the Edwards Aquifer Authority board. He has a long track record of environmental activism surrounding water issues. First elected to the Edwards Aquifer Authority board of directors in 2006, he was a founding member of San Antonio non-profits Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas and the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance. He was also involved in a grassroots effort to block a proposed PGA Village development and has led other challenges to development over the aquifer. He has lived in San Antonio since the mid-1990s. He also serves on the board of the Texas Fund for Economic & Environmental Education.
I am from the deserts of Nevada where rivers flow from the mountains into a great basin and do not return to the ocean. These regions taught me how environments are sites of inquiry and practice for democracy, political economy, cross-cultural transactions, ecology, spiritual guidance, and living the good life. My academic career has centered around these inquires and practices in my scholarship on environmental and ecological rhetorics, and in my practice as an engaged member of transdisciplinary environmental science teams and multiple community organizations in San Antonio and across the Southwest. As a rhetorical scholar, I consider how environmental and ecological rhetorics affect cultural and political change from the perspective of critical cultural theory and science and technology studies. I am particularly interested in the rhetorics and politics of climate and climate change from local, regional, and global standpoints.