TNB Roundtable Bios

Taking Nature Black Faith Roundtable on February 10, 2022

Our Presenters

Pastor Michael S. Martin

Rev. Michael S. Martin

Pastor, Stillmeadow Community Fellowship

Pastor Michael S. Martin has had careers in human resources professional, as an entrepreneur establishing consulting offices in several U.S. cities, and serving for decades as a pastor in Southern California. In 2017, he and his wife, Gail Martin, relocated to her hometown of Baltimore to help revive Stillmeadow Community Fellowship. Since arriving, they have discovered the joyful responsibility and divine connection between stewardship for God’s creation and care for the physical/emotional/mental/spiritual well-being of community residents in the 10 acres of the newly christened Stillmeadow PeacePark & Education/Retreat Center.

Stillmeadow PeacePark supports a multigenerational community and attracts volunteers and partners for park and development activities. The PeacePark includes an apiary, community gardens, and orchard to produce honey, vegetables, and fruits; trails and meditation areas; community-based research, citizen science activities, and forestry training with youth and adults, as well as programs to improve forest and watershed health by investigating park biota and hydrology in urban settings.

It is Pastor Michael’s vision to “bring what occurs inside the church out to the forest; and take the beauty, the contemplation so easily accomplished in nature, back into the place of planned worship and wonder.”

Pastor Michael is a native of Flint, MI and was educated at Morgan State University and Northwood University.


 

Tamara Toles O'Laughlin

Tamara Toles O'Laughlin

Climate Strategist, Environmental Advocate
President and CEO, Environmental Grantmakers Association, NYC

Tamara Toles O’Laughlin is a nationally recognized climate strategist and environmental advocate focused on people and planet. Her niche is developing capacity-building programs and creating multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and increase opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic-free economy at the local, regional and national level.

Among her activities, Toles O’Laughlin is a co-chair of the Green Leadership Trust, and a member of the World Economic Forum and the National Cities executive working group. She just concluded a two-year term as Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Air and Climate Public Advisory Committee. Toles O’Laughlin also serves as the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Women’s Voices for the Earth based in Missoula, Montana. Women’s Voices disrupts industry standards by forcing ingredient disclosure and the elimination of toxic chemicals from personal care products.

Toles O’Laughlin is now President and CEO of the Environmental Grantmakers Association. Previously, she served as the North America Director at 350.org and 350 Action, where she drove regional strategy in the U.S. and Canada. She led mission critical work and organizational investments to build a multi-racial, multi-generational climate movement capable of holding leaders accountable to science and justice.


 

Ronnie Webb

Ronnie Webb

President and Co- Founder, The Green Scheme, Washington DC

D.C. native Ronnie Webb (aka Ron Green) stands on the forefront of educating disadvantaged communities on environmental stewardship and community revitalization. From developing and implementing USDA food system projects to consulting on behalf of businesses and organizations to adopt more sustainable methods, Mr. Webb has more than 10 years of experience in the environmental sector.

After graduating from North Carolina A&T State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, Mr. Webb became a certified green consultant while serving as an intern for D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Following his internship, Mr. Webb was offered a fellowship with the Hip Hop Caucus Education Fund, an opportunity that helped him shape a platform in the environmental movement on the east coast with a focus on Washington, D.C. and Greensboro, N.C.

The Green Scheme’s founding was based on Webb’s realization of the lack of environmental awareness that existed in many communities. It is a non-profit organization designed to educate people of diverse cultural backgrounds about their role in the environmental movement. Ever since, Green Scheme has been up and running under the leadership of Mr. Webb who is just getting started. Mr. Webb has recently become a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program, which is a national network of environmental leaders.

The Green Scheme has been active in the DC area for over two years. Positively affecting the lives of DC residents through urban agriculture and workforce development, The Green Scheme has creatively carved itself into the fabric of wards 7 & 8 using its community centered identity to plant gardens in the core of some of the most barren food desserts in the city.

Webb recognized the healthy food shortages in the poorest areas of Washington DC and decided a change needed to occur. The Green Scheme has created stronger communities and healthier families with its dedicated approach to wellness and education.


 

Terris A. King, II

Terris A. King, II

Head of School, Temple X Schools, Baltimore

Educational Strategist and International Kindergarten Teacher Terris King II is Head of Schools of Temple X Schools in Baltimore. A leader in educational innovation through culturally responsive pedagogy, thoughtful curriculum, and hybrid learning, King is leveraging technology and what is left of nature to eliminate disparities in education. King has been a kindergarten teacher at Bishop Walker School, Park School of Baltimore and at Shanghai American School. During his time in Shanghai, King was a math specialist in international schools and presented at multiple conferences. He founded the Shanghai-based consulting company Home 2 School in 2019, in support of families’ long-term educational planning for children birth to age eight.

King received his Master’s in Elementary Education from Lesley University. Prior to that, he apprenticed at Shady Hill School TTC, completing studies at Columbia University Teachers College, and graduated from Morehouse College with a BA in Philosophy. He currently serves as Educational Coordinator for the advocacy group ACT Now Baltimore. He also was co- founder of the WeChat platform for the Early Childhood Education Coalition in Shanghai, China. King has facilitated numerous summer camps, served as executive director of the award-winning Black Man Can Institute, and was the program director of Easterwood Recreation Center in Baltimore City.


 

Fred Tutman

Fred Tutman

Patuxent Riverkeeper

Fred Tutman, one of the longest-serving riverkeepers in the Chesapeake region and the only African American riverkeeper in the United States, is a Taking Nature Black National Environmental Champion.

Fred is a grassroots community advocate for clean water in Maryland’s longest and deepest intrastate waterway. He holds the title of Patuxent Riverkeeper, which is also the name of the organization that he founded in 2004. He was featured in the national magazine, Waterkeepers, and explained, “In some ways, Patuxent Riverkeeper is a cross-cultural bridge between the have and the have-nots in this watershed, fighting some of the most controversial battles and, frankly, the hardest to fund.”

In the same piece, Eagle Harbor, MD Mayor James Crudup spoke to Fred’s significant impact on his small community. “Before Fred we didn’t have anyone that we could turn to and find out what was going on in regard to the town’s waterfront. Recently he was very instrumental in our receiving grants from the Department of Environmental Resources, including a $100,000 grant to help creek flooding and erosion.” Over 16 years, Patuxent Riverkeeper has litigated 19 cases and prevailed in eight of them, winning nearly a half-billion dollars in judicial penalties, fines and reparations from polluters. Tutman is known as a thoughtful listener, skilled strategist, and dogged fighter for what’s right.

Fred also lives and works on an active farm located near the Patuxent that has been his family’s ancestral home for nearly a century. Prior to river keeping, Tutman spent nearly three decades as a media producer and consultant on telecommunications assignments across the globe.

Beattra Wilson

Beattra Wilson

Assistant Director for Urban & Community Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, Washington, DC

Beattra Wilson is the Assistant Director for Urban & Community Forestry at the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as National Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager at the Forest Service, providing program guidance, budget coordination, grants management and strategic planning leadership for national, regional and state urban and community forestry programs.

As a diversity strategist, Wilson co-chairs the Executive Committee of the USDA 1890 Task Force-- convening USDA Senior Officials and 1890 Land Grant HBCU Presidents and Agriculture Deans to advance the partnership and vision for historically Black land grant institutions and the communities they serve. Wilson served three years on the Forest Service Environmental Justice Board, promoting initiatives that improved access and awareness of federal programs to minority communities and stakeholders and generated a pipeline of new minority and millennial students pursuing forestry and natural resources careers.

In 2016, Wilson served as Deputy Associate Director of Forests and Public Lands at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where she was responsible for forest management policy, wildfire suppression budgets, and federal agricultural an environmental workforce diversity. Wilson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Forestry from Southern University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Kennesaw State University.


 

Caroline Brewer

Caroline Brewer

Chairwoman, ANS Taking Nature Black Conference

Caroline Brewer is the Chairwoman of the ANS’s Taking Nature Black Conference and has served in the role since January 2017. Taking Nature Black is now a nucleus and a catalyst for a growing community of activists, scientists, air, land and water stewards, educators, elected officials, artists, entertainers, business owners and people from many walks seeking to tell their environmental stories and share their talents and expertise. It is a Black cultural healing, welcoming, organizing, and networking space that allows us to pause for the cause of nature love and the Black American fight for equity, justice, and environmental sustainability.

Under Brewer’s leadership, and with the outstanding support of the planning committee and the ANS Communications team, she has grown conferences and event attendance from 100 to more than 1,000, multiplied revenues, sponsorships, partners, speakers, media and social media outreach, photography and videography production, music and cultural elements, all the while maintaining more than 90 percent complete satisfaction among attendees. Brewer also served as the Director of Marketing and Communications for ANS from 2017 to October 2021.

She has more than 20 years of experience in storytelling as a journalist, public information and public relations professional, working with national celebrities, members of Congress, the White House, and grassroots organizations. Her newspaper journalism was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and she served as a Pulitzer jurist. Brewer is also a children’s book author and literacy consultant, working to feed the world’s hungry readers and writers in game-changing ways.