To celebrate Earth Day we are spotlighting KIPP alumni doing work in environmental sustainability and food justice. Check out the profiles below to learn about the impact these alumni are having on our planet and their communities through their advocacy work.
Dru Baker, Environmental Justice Activist, Board of Directors Post-Landfill Action Network – KIPP Dallas Fort Worth Alumna
Dru Baker is a community-engaged researcher, environmental geologist, empowerer of Women+, and has worked with communities of color in Cleveland, Milwaukee and Africatown, AL on critical issues related to Environmental Justice and community empowerment. While she graduated from Oberlin College with a Bachelor of Arts in Geological Sciences, her transformation began while tackling environmental racism and climate change afflicting communities of color in Milwaukee and Africatown.
From collaborating with communities of color in Milwaukee to improve food access, to partnering with Africatown to alleviate environmental racism to planning a student-centered zero-waste conference; the trajectory of Dru’s environmentally-related endeavors has prepared her for a lifetime of ensuring the needs of communities.
After receiving her certificate of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Dru will utilize her expertise to coach non-profit leaders, environmentally and culturally sustainable organizations, and Women+ to ensure their rights to fearless authenticity.
Dru has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Post-Landfill Action Network, where she will focus on fundraising and development and use her seat at the table to fight the good fight for all marginalized people.
Kelby Hicks, Legislative Assistant for NC Senate District 03 working on environmental and education policy while pursuing a JD/MELP (Masters in Environmental Law & Policy) – KIPP ENC Public Schools Alumnus
Environmental Justice has been Kelby’s passion since falling in love with nature as a young boy, starring as “Johnny Appleseed” in a school play. Since then, Kelby’s involvement with and capacity for environmental issues has been centered around sustainability efforts and increasing the quality of life for marginalized communities/demographics.
Kelby’s work in the legislature and with environmental cleanup efforts has afforded him opportunities to create awareness about major environmental concerns impacting the Southeast, engage constituents and stakeholders about common-sense protections, and be a voice in the fight for greater environmental stewardship.
Nzali Scales, Chef and Founder of Zaza’s Kitchen – KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools Alumna
Nzali Scales is a proud alumna of KIPP Metro Atlanta and of Spelman College. A lover of all things food, she is the founder and chef of Zaza’s Kitchen (@zazaskitchen), a lifestyle brand focused on helping young adults gain more comfort and confidence in the kitchen. Nzali is committed to using nutrition education as a means to encourage informed food decisions to promote health, wellness, and environmental sustainability.
In addition to being an avid foodie and content creator, Nzali is a first year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University. Through her research, she seeks to develop interventions to address nutritional inequality and food insecurity caused by environmental racism in low-income Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. You can cook with Zaza in her weekly virtual cooking classes every Monday at 6pm EST (@zazaskitchen)and you can check her recipes out at www.zazaskitchen.com!