“Many Shades of Brown”
Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative is a women-of-color led, grassroots collaborative of ten members from Brownsville, Texas to Pensacola, Florida. We are built upon decades of organizing resulting in a strong and rooted ecosystem of relationships between individuals tied to a multitude of organizations, networks, communities, and alliances from the US Gulf South to the Global South.
Our collaborative centers cultural organizing, arts-based healing, direct action, advocacy, transformative justice, education, and locally-led capacity-building training as our core areas of work. We also explicitly center the leadership of brown women with anti-racist, decolonized, and abolitionist frames and lenses for the work we undertake together. In particular, we bring indigenous, latinx and desi perspectives to a region split physically, politically and socially on black and white racial lines. We see our lived experience of marginalization within this context as a strength and strive to honestly and authentically put into practice the principles we hold around sustainability, equity and justice.
Noel Didla is a native of Guntur, India, and has been making Jackson home for over 15 years. Noel has been invested in liberation work that centers the truths and legacies of peoples and places at the intersection of racial equity, economic justice, environmental justice, human rights, ethical leadership, food sovereignty, and healthy communities. Noel believes in nurturing movements through love and accountability powered by home cooked food that supports building and deepening of intergenerational community relationships in her kitchen and living spaces.
Jayeesha Dutta is a Bengali water protecting mermaid and artist born in Mobile, raised in New York, aged in Oakland, who now loves calling New Orleans home. Jayeesha serves on the national steering committee for the Climate Justice Alliance on behalf of Another Gulf. In the last 20+ years, her job titles have ranged from co-executive director to teaching artist to organizer to facilitator to project manager to research and policy analyst to chief of staff in the fields of education justice, youth organizing, labor organizing, arts advocacy, climate justice, and racial equity, working with a multitude of groups, networks, and alliances across the country. Jayeesha is an avid traveler, home chef, dancing queen, and most of all loves being in (or near) any body of life-giving water. She’s a mermaid at the end of the day, after all.
Anne White Hat is a member of the Aśke Gluwipi Tiośpaye of the Sicangu Lakota Nation, living in New Orleans. Miss Anne is a direct descendant of Chief Hollow Horn Bear. She is the proud mother of three, a founding member of the Indigenous Women’s Advisory Council of the former L’eau Est La Vie Camp- No Bayou Bridge pipeline resistance camp, Board Member of the Native American Women’s Health Education and Resource Center, and Development Coordinator of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. White Hat Botanicals is her trade name featuring what she calls her ‘community-determined’ botanicals. She is a grant writer by trade, community organizer out of love for her people, jack of all trades by hustle, and blessed to work with plants for you.
Rebekah Hinojosa is an artist and community organizer from the Rio Grande Valley borderlands of Texas. Her latinx family has lived in this region located along the banks of the Rio Grande River and the Gulf coastline since before Texas statehood. For the last seven years, Bekah has facilitated art builds for community campaigns and civil disobedience actions on issues such as fracking, keystone XL, BP Oil Spill, mountaintop removal, migrant justice, and climate justice. She is currently organizing with her community to prevent the construction of three liquefied natural gas export terminals (LNG) on indigenous sacred sites and nearby latinx families, and to stop the continued construction of the U.S./Mexico border wall. She is particularly interested in bringing resources to her border and gulf coast community and is inspired by building art with people of all ages.
Sharon Linezo Hong is an environmental activist, social justice educator and award winning documentary filmmaker. After 15 years living in San Francisco, New York City, and Boston, Sharon returned to her hometown of Pensacola to build inclusive educational spaces in the deep south, including the new campus of the Pensacola Private School of Liberal Arts and her own non-profit the Sarah Adeline Center for Social and Climate Justice, Inc. Sharon is a collaborating member of the collective, Another Gulf Is Possible, working to envision just economies, vibrant communities, and sustainable ecologies.
Yudith Nieto is a queer organizer and artist born in Mexico who grew up in the fence-line refining community of Manchester in Houston, now living in New Orleans. Out of necessity to mobilize her community she joined the environmental justice movement and dedicated her media making skills, advocacy, and art to confronting the petrochemical industries that perpetuate environmental racism in marginalized communities of color. She attended the Four Directions Inter-generational Youth Exchange of Los Jardines Institute in Albuquerque, NM, in 2013 where she learned how the Chican@, Mexican American, and Indigenous cultures are intrinsically linked. Yudith now serves on the planning committee for Four Directions and is currently working with other youth, nationally to create youth leadership and art in activism trainings where she is able to contribute to the discussion on the many issues they face because of the fossil fuel industry, as well as other human rights issues that impact their way of life.
Bryan Parras is a co-founder of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (t.e.j.a.s.), co-founder of The Librotraficantes and now works as an organizer for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign out of Houston. Bryan has been working with local partners, policy makers and local governments to identify potential Health threats to vulnerable communities living in high risk areas like the Houston Ship Channel which has already been identified as a health threat by local research institutions and health professionals. He is a trained facilitator of Theater of the Oppressed techniques, a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. He has worked as an organizer, a journalist and as an artist.
Patricia Rubio is from the Rio Grande Valley. A lifelong learner firmly grounded in my Rio Grande Valley heritage, which she uses as a resource to inspire, gather, and share knowledge with diverse communities. She has a certificate in Permaculture design, served as a Board member of Directors for H.O.P.E. Community Garden Project and community organizing. Her experience as an interpretive naturalist and environmental educator inspires her to bring people with nature and foster deep connections with indigenous flora and fauna of the RGV. Patricia recently joined Another Gulf is Possible, to work with projects involving nature education, riparian conservation and humanitarian efforts.
Ramsey Sprague was born in Houma, Louisiana, raised in Arlington, Texas, and has lived in Mobile, Alabama since 2013. Sprague is an enrolled tribal member of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe and currently serves as a volunteer with the Mobile Environmental Justice Action Coalition. They take heart in the ways that systematically disenfranchised communities throughout the Gulf South are embracing the environmental and climate justice movements. Ramsey’s faith and ethic drive their resolve to help develop a fairer economy via a just transition from fossil fuels for the benefit of future generations and to honor both the living and departed traditional caretakers of our lands.
Monique Verdin is a daughter of southeast Louisiana’s Houma Nation. The complex interconnectedness of environment, economics, culture, climate and change have inspired her to intimately document Houma relatives and their lifeways at the ends of the bayous, as they endure the realities of restoration and adaptation in the heart of America’s Mississippi River Delta. Monique is the subject/co-writer/co-producer of the award-winning documentary My Louisiana Love (2012). Her interdisciplinary work has been included in an assortment of environmentally inspired projects, including the multiplatform/ performance/ ecoexperience Cry You One (2012-2017) as well as the publication Unfathomable City : A New Orleans Atlas (2013). Monique is a member of the United Houma Nation Tribal Council and is director of The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange; an experiential project engaged in building a community record through cultural happenings, strategic installations and as a digital archive, sharing stories, native seeds and local knowledge.