I am an Associate Professor at California State University Monterey Bay, where I focus on environmental education and healthy and sustainable communities, primarily through The Engagement Lab. Fundamentally, I am interested in supporting young people to realize their rights and to support a more diverse and inclusive environmental field.
For more than 20 years, I have engaged children, youth and communities in participatory research and projects in both rural and urban settings, including with Indigenous communities of the Southwest, Spanish land grant communities, and recent immigrant communities. My recent research has focused on children, nature, and environmental care in the U.S., Mexico, and Latin America. I am currently exploring research related to green schools, critical pedagogy, and how historically excluded communities develop a culture of care in relation to sustainable practices.
From 2012-2016, I was a faculty coordinator for Growing Up Boulder at the University of Colorado, where I facilitated children and youth participation in design and planning of child-friendly cities, including parks, open space, transportation, resiliency, and neighborhood projects. This work led to the publication Placemaking with Children and Youth: Participatory Practices for Planning Sustainable Communities. Prior to Growing Up Boulder, I ran Crane Collaborations, which focused on youth engagement, environmental education, and community forestry in New Mexican communities.
I have also been a professional textile artist, and will travel anywhere there are beautiful textiles, nature and culture intertwined. I carry my textile interests forward through participation in a slow stitch group that seeks to increase sustainability of the textile industry and mindfulness to textile practice.
"We are put on this earth to take care of each other, the planet, and the world. If we truly believe that every person is worthy, how we move with resources, how we move with ourselves, is entirely different."
- Elandria Williams