Amy has been serving people living with mental illness and neurodiversity for over twenty years now. She began as a disability rights attorney in the San Francisco Bay area, learning that disability rights, environmental justice, affordable housing, transit, and climate change are all interconnected. In response to what she learned, she started volunteering with the Oakland Climate Action Coalition, Interfaith Power and Light, and 350 Bay Area. Much of her focus was on ensuring residents of East Oakland—a neighborhood of predominantly black, indigenous, and people of color by the Oakland Port—had a say in projects that directly impacted their air quality, access to jobs, green space, and health.
In 2013 Amy then moved to Colorado and attended seminary. She became ordained in the United Church of Christ as its first congregation-based mental health minister. It wasn’t long after moving here that Amy got involved in the local climate movement again. Today she regularly volunteers on and supports 350 Colorado’s Legislative Advocacy Committee that meets twice a month on Monday evenings. The efforts of that group are truly elevated by the many skills and insights she brings to that space. Her professionalism, her kindness, and her easeful ability to lead clear group discussion (as she did in November for a part of the committee’s first ‘Legislative Advocacy’ training) is refreshing and incredibly appreciated! We can always count on Amy to jump in, get involved, and be an example of true leadership to others.
She recently also created Mental Health & Inclusion Ministries (www.mhiministries.org) to provide interfaith community chaplaincy to individuals and families living with mental health challenges and neurodiversity. Amy currently works part-time as Minister of Congregational Care at First Plymouth Community Church in Englewood, and still finds time to volunteer at her church’s Creation Justice Ministry. Amy no longer practices law, but she enjoys using her legal background, writing, and graphic design skills to advocate for environmental justice. When she isn’t working or volunteering, she enjoys walking with her dogs, baking, and learning to play the electric bass guitar.
We couldn’t do what we do without the hard work, expertise, and generosity of people like Amy. Not only does she give her time, but she also supports 350 Colorado through donations. Activism and grassroots work is like a marathon, and it’s with dedicated people like Amy that help make the journey to justice and change possible.
Want to be our next Climate Hero of the month? Join us as a volunteer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.