top of page
EcoWomanist Institute Logo
43 April Way 3.webp

OUR STORY

The EcoWomanist Institute (EWI) is the creation of co-founders and co-visionaries, Valerie Hill Rawls and Veronica Kyle. Through their mutual dedication to, and advocacy for, the environment and gender and racial equality in the eco-narratives, they acted out a powerful example of one of Valerie’s favorite expressions: “When you see something that needs to be done, do it. Don’t wait around asking for permission.”

The vision of the EcoWomanist Institute is to shift the environmental justice, ecospirituality, and ethics narratives regarding women of African descent, and to affirm their role as healers of this planet.

Three Pillars Strong

In the spirit of doing what needs to be done, Valerie and Veronica founded the EcoWomanist Institute on three pillars.

With an eye to the future, EWI actively seeks Black women-led organizations at the front of the fight for sustainability and environmental justice.

EWI is a whole-person organization. While we emphasize uplifting today's and tomorrow's leaders in the eco narratives, we know that nurturing self and well-being is an integral part of care. 

Everyone can do something. EWI amplifies and elevates voices on the environmental issues that matter to the community. 

Everyone can do something. EWI amplifies and elevates voices on the environmental issues that matter to the community. 

Advocacy

With an eye to the future, EWI actively seeks Black women-led organizations at the front of the fight for sustainability and environmental justice.

Leadership

EWI is a whole-person organization. While we emphasize uplifting today's and tomorrow's leaders in the eco narratives, we know that nurturing self and well-being is an integral part of care. 

SoulCare SelfCare

The mission of the EcoWomanist Institute is to increase the inclusion, ecological awareness, and environmental leadership of African American women within the ecospirituality and ecojustice narratives.

EcoWomanist Institute values the voices and positive contributions of all of humanity, with special appreciation for women of African descent. EWI upholds peace and advocates for racial, gender, economic, and climate justice.

EWI CO-VISIONARIES & CO-FOUNDERS

Valerie Hill Rawls

Executive Director
EWI Southeast Region

In addition to being a social entrepreneur, new urbanist, mass collaborator, and co-creator, Valerie is a marketing expert by training and a career of more than four decades. Valerie earned a B.A. in Marketing from Illinois State University and in the past decade has engaged diverse stakeholders in sustainability initiatives.

Veronica Kyle

Executive Director
EWI Midwest Region

Veronica is a sought-after speaker and workshop facilitator on environmental issues, gender-related issues, green economic opportunities, and more. She also works with houses of worship across Illinois to link African American churches to the work of Faith in Place. She holds a B.A. in Religion and Women Studies and a M.A. degree in Gender and Development Studies.

Our Team

Communications Director

Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL)

Whitney Brown

Whitney Brown has worked in the non-profit sector for 14 years, four of those years at GIPL, with a background in marketing/communications and fundraising. When not at work, she enjoys hiking around Georgia, and she has a passion for the arts. Whitney earned a Masters of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (2019) and a B.A. in Music History & Psychology from Agnes Scott College (2007). She also serves on the Atlanta Ecumenical Urban Farm Network board of directors.

Cicely is a Creative Strategist and Social Entrepreneur adept at providing thought leadership and consulting on strategy, design thinking, racial equity, environmental justice, food sovereignty, and community wealth building. She spearheaded the transition of the mayor's Office of Sustainability to Office of Resilience. She served as a community builder, facilitator, and program manager for 8.5 years at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, where she led the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. In 2013 she transitioned to Food Systems Innovation Manager working to improve fresh and healthy food access in Atlanta's inner-city neighborhoods via GA Food Oasis-Atlanta initiative. She holds a B.S.B.A degree with a concentration in Finance and New & Small Business Management and has a Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in Non-Profit Management

Hope is the Program Coordinator for EWI's Mamas and Me in Nature, and is the proud mother of her daughter Hannah. Hannah's love of everything about outside, all seasons, different forms of precipitation, and even insects, leads Hope to strive toward helping her daughter live and thrive through a spiritual connection to the natural world.

Hope Kyle

Mamas and Me in Nature Program Coordinator

Cicely Garrett

Fellows Member & ELM Creator

Whitney Brown is the Communications Director for Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL). She has worked in the non-profit sector for 14 years, four of those years at GIPL, with a background in marketing/communications and fundraising. When not at work, she enjoys hiking around Georgia, and she has a passion for the arts. Whitney holds a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (2019) and a B.A. in Music History & Psychology from Agnes Scott College (2007). She also serves on the Atlanta Ecumenical Urban Farm Network board of directors.

Whitney Brown is the Communications Director for Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL). She has worked in the non-profit sector for 14 years, four of those years at GIPL, with a background in marketing/communications and fundraising. When not at work, she enjoys hiking around Georgia, and she has a passion for the arts. Whitney holds a Master of Divinity degree from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (2019) and a B.A. in Music History & Psychology from Agnes Scott College (2007). She also serves on the Atlanta Ecumenical Urban Farm Network board of directors.

Cicely is a Creative Strategist & Social Entrepreneur adept at providing thought leadership & consulting on strategy, design thinking, racial equity, environmental justice, food sovereignty, and community wealth building. She spearheaded the transition of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability to Office of Resilience. She served as a community builder, facilitator, and program manager for 8.5 years at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, where she led the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. In 2013 she transitioned to Food Systems Innovation Manager working to improve fresh & healthy food access in Atlanta's inner-city neighborhoods via GA Food Oasis-Atlanta initiative. She holds a B.S.B.A degree with a concentration in Finance and New & Small Business Management and has a Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in Non-Profit Management.

WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

Join. Experience. Support. Uplift. Represent.

The EWI Difference

Distinct from traditional feminist ideologies, the ecowomanist lens examines both how and why environmental issues disproportionately impact Black women, people of color, and other marginalized groups.

By introducing community responsive programs, EWI guides its members through the important phase of information gathering and sharing, then helps them follow through with planning and action, while also acknowledging that in the midst of the hard work, vision, and determination necessary to effect change, mental wellbeing must be looked after.

Volunteer or Become a Member

Check Out Our Merch

Want to stay informed?
Sign up for our newsletter!

Volunteer or Become a Member

Check Out Our Merch

Attend an Event

Woman holding a credit card and a cell phone.

Help Us in Our Journey

Partner With Us

bottom of page