• Veronica (Saavedra) Oakler

    With over 20 years of environmental education and experience, Veronica is excited to join the team as Executive Director of Clean Water for North Carolina, a science-based Environmental Justice nonprofit.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida, Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law, and Master of Laws from the prestigious Lewis & Clark Law School, focusing on Environmental Law. Veronica grew up speaking Spanish in south Florida, and has practiced law and policy for 10 years, concentrating on environmental, land use, and real estate issues…


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  • Christine Diaz

    Christine grew up in Harlem, New York and relocated to North Carolina to study at Davidson College, where she graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. As an activist and advocate for social and environmental justice issues, before joining the team, she has worked on projects relating to public transit and accessibility, as well as projects involving diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. Christine is driven to support those fighting to address the many inequities marginalized communities face. As an Environmental Justice Organizer and Researcher with Clean Water for North Carolina, Christine does…


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  • Shelby Cline

    Shelby grew up outside of Atlanta and is a recent graduate of Davidson College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. They have spent the past few years engaged with sustainable agriculture efforts in the Southeast, ranging from migrant farmworker advocacy in North Carolina to local, community farming on Sapelo Island, Georgia. After being introduced to environmental justice during their first year of college, they’ve been interested in the connection between people and nature, specifically the disproportionate effects of environmental degradation on low-income and minority populations. Shelby is dedicated as the Environmental Justice Researcher and Organizer to actively inform people…


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  • Rachel Velez

    Rachel has spent most of her adult life living abroad and working on various public health projects, specifically focused on water and sanitation access and affordability. After graduating with her master’s degree in Sustainable Development Practice from the University of Florida, she moved to the Research Triangle to become more involved in domestic environmental health research and the environmental justice movement. As Communications Manager and Program Director for our Water Justice Campaign, Rachel plans to utilize her background in community organizing and program communications to further CWFNC’s mission and goals. rachel…


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  • Amanda Strawderman

    Amanda’s roots are firmly set in the Appalachian Mountains through her heritage and love of the land and people. She became involved in environmental advocacy when she learned how the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining was threatening mountain communities and ecosystems. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geographic Science and Environmental Studies from James Madison University in 2008 and a Master of Science degree in Sustainability Studies at Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville in 2018. Having been a long-time volunteer at various environmental and social justice non-profit organizations,…


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  • Belinda Joyner

    Belinda grew up in Northampton County and has worked as a teacher’s assistant specializing in reading skills. She has been involved in numerous local environmental struggles and has been an effective organizer against threats including a liquid fertilizer plant, a hazardous waste incinerator and a private prison, with a strong history of grassroots fundraising for diverse causes. she/her


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