Meet the GCCLP Krewe

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Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. (she/her)

Co-Executive Director

Colette Pichon Battle is a generational native of Bayou Liberty, Louisiana. As founder and Co-Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP), she develops programming focused on equitable disaster recovery, global migration, community economic development, climate justice, and energy democracy. 

Colette worked with local communities, national funders, and elected officials in the post-Katrina and post-Deepwater Horizon disaster recovery. She was a lead coordinator for Gulf South Rising 2015, a regional initiative around climate justice and just transition in the South. In 2015 Colette was selected as an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, in 2016 she was named a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity, and in 2018 Kenyon College awarded her an Honorary Doctorate. In 2019, Colette was named an Obama Fellow for her work with Black and Native communities on the frontline of climate change and she gave a TED Talk, “Climate change will displace millions. Here’s how we prepare.” In 2021, Colette was appointed a Margaret Burroughs Community Fellow. In addition to developing advocacy initiatives that intersect with race, systems of power, and ecology, Colette directs GCCLP’s legal services in immigration and disaster law.

 

Under Colette's leadership, the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy co-chairs the national Water Equity and Climate Resilient Caucus with PolicyLink, serves on the steering committee of the Ocean Justice Forum, and anchors the five-state, multi-issue initiative Gulf South for a Green New Deal. Colette also co-founded and led the Red, Black & Green New Deal, the national climate initiative for the Movement for Black Lives. 


Colette serves on the boards of the US Climate Action Network and the Highlander Research and Education Center, advises the Kataly Foundation’s Environmental Justice Resourcing Collective, and chairs the Equity Advisory Group of the Louisiana Governor’s Climate Initiative Task Force.

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Anthony Giancatarino (he/him)

Co-Executive Director

Anthony is the father of three rooted in Pennsylvania on Leni Lenape lands. He brings over a decade of experience partnering with community leaders to develop strategies that foster collective governance and advance participatory policymaking processes to dismantle structural racism within our energy, climate, and economic systems. Anthony has worked from the local to national levels, most recently growing statewide climate justice efforts in Pennsylvania. 

Prior to joining GCCLP, Anthony led the Just Community Energy Transition Project for six years. In this role, he co-created and authored multiple toolkits and movement resources, including the Energy Democracy Scorecard (in partnership with the Emerald Cities Collaborative), the People's Orientation to a Regenerative Economy (in partnership with the United Frontlines Table), Collaborating for Bold Possibilities (in partnership with the Climate Justice Alliance), Black Work Matters: Green Jobs Report (in partnership with POWER), and the co-creation of the We Power Policy Toolkit. Additionally, Anthony co-designed a variety of local and national climate justice projects. He has partnered with multiple networks and organizations to design and implement climate justice fellowship programs that support the leadership of frontline communities, and designed projects piloting accountable governance processes that move investment and shift decision-making authority to frontline communities in relation to local governments.  

Previously, Anthony spent seven years at the Center for Social Inclusion (now known as Race Forward) working with grassroots leaders — particularly in the Gulf South — on strategies to achieve racial equity in US policies. This included co-creating community research and policy analyses around energy democracy and food justice. 

Anthony has an MPA from New York University and a BA in Theology and Political Science from the University of Scranton.

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Mana Tahaie (she/her)

Deputy Director

Mana Tahaie (she/her) is a first-generation Iranian-American and a lifelong red state progressive. Rooted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mana volunteers for the Terence Crutcher Foundation, organizes with the Demanding a JUSTulsa campaign for police reform, chairs a United Way community investment panel, and advises the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Mana previously served as convener of Changing the Status Quo, on the DEI committee of Mental Health Association Oklahoma, and on the boards of Center for New Community, Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training, and ACLU Oklahoma. From 2008-2017, Mana worked at YWCA Tulsa; first as the inaugural Director of Racial Justice, later as the Director of Mission Impact, and finally as interim Director of Immigrant & Refugee Services. Before joining YWCA Tulsa, Mana served as the first Deputy Director of the LGBTQ+ organization Oklahomans for Equality. She envisions a world without punishment, where bodily autonomy and community safety are human rights guaranteed to all.

Contact: mana@gcclp.org
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Jessica Carter (she/her)

Organizing Director

Jessica L. Carter was born and raised in Philadelphia, MS. The first in her family and hometown to attend an Ivy League school, Jessica graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations. She began her career as an Organizer at AFSCME, then worked to end the school-to-prison pipeline with Southern Poverty Law Center. As a law student, Jessica worked on prison reform with the Innocence Project and represented inmates in parole hearings. Jessica earned a Juris Doctor/Doctor of Comparative Law from Louisiana State University, then began organizing politically, first as Campaign Coordinator with the Sanders presidential campaign, then as National Organizing Manager at Democracy for America, where she supported campaigns for Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Stacey Abrams, and Andrew Gillum. Jessica later served as Executive Director of Ours To Change MS, advocating for full funding for Mississippi public education and building a team of like-minded organizers to increase civic engagement during a pivotal election year. Jessica joined the 2020 Warren presidential campaign as MS Organizing Director and also consulted on the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights' Census 2020 campaign and Alabama A&M’s labor rights survey project. As NARAL’s Associate Organizing Director, she created the National Distributed Team identifying opportunities for NARAL supporters. Jessica resides in Jackson, MS, with her daughter Lyndsey Lee and German Shepherd Samson.

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Sriram Madhusoodanan (he/him)

International Strategy Director

A first-generation immigrant whose family landed in the rolling hills of north central Florida, Sriram’s first foray into organizing was the anti-war movement of the early 2000s. Since then, he has been fueled by a passion for bridging social movements across borders to confront entrenched power and win victories for people and the planet. A seasoned corporate campaigner and strategist, Sriram has led teams into the belly of the beast — from corporate shareholders’ meetings to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — to demand justice for communities on the frontlines of extractivism. He’s thrilled to join the GCCLP Krewe as their International Strategy lead, helping strengthen ties between communities in the U.S. Gulf South and the Global South, where much of his family still lives. Sriram is also a member of the Advisory Board of Real Food Generation and a 2016 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader. While he now resides on the traditional territories of the Kootenai, Blackfeet, and Salish people in Missoula, Montana, a part of his heart longs for the white sand beaches and sunkissed shores of the Florida Gulf Coast. 

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Kendall Dix, JD LLM (he/him)

National Policy Director

Kendall Dix first started collaborating with the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy while working as an organizer for Healthy Gulf, a nonprofit in New Orleans, where he brought together chefs and fishermen to advocate for sustainable fisheries policy. He also supported frontline communities in rural Louisiana who are fighting the continued buildout of petrochemical facilities along the Mississippi River. Kendall grew up in the Kansas City area, where the prairies meet the oak-hickory forests and the Kansas River flows into the Missouri. Kendall graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2008 just as the economy was collapsing. Though he passed the bar exam in California, he ended up spending more years as a professional cook in New Orleans than inside a courtroom. In 2020, Kendall moved to a cabin in Vermont while earning an LLM in food and agriculture policy from Vermont Law School. He now lives with his partner on a farm outside Charlottesville, VA.

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Amy Paul (she/her)

Communication Strategies Director

Amy Paul brings over fifteen years of experience in strategic communications, grassroots fundraising, and nonprofit operations. She was raised on Florida's Gulf Coast, amid seagulls, Spanish moss, mango trees, and spicy Indian food.

 

Amy led communications for the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, Possible Health, and the North Star Fund. She has also served as a board member and volunteer for Adhikaar for Human Rights, an organization that helped advance the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in New York.

 

Amy holds a Master’s in International Affairs from the New School and an undergraduate degree in public policy from The University of Chicago. She currently lives in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Contact: amy@gcclp.org
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Donald Anthonyson (he/him)

Senior Organizer: Taproot Noire

Donald Anthonyson was born in Antigua, West Indies, and is a past president of the Environmental Awareness Group, the largest environmental NGO in the Eastern Caribbean. He also served the group in various roles including community mobilizer, coordinator of the Off-shore Islands Conversation Project (OICP) as well as a United Nation National Volunteer. He migrated to the US where he got involved with various social justice issues ranging from police brutality to anti-racist responses to immigration. He became an organizer and most recently, Director at Families for Freedom, a New York-based human rights organization led by immigrants facing and fighting detention and deportation. He led FFF’s efforts of the International Deportee Justice Campaign and produced and hosted FFF’s monthly radio show, the War on Immigrants Report, on 99.5 FM WBAI New York. He lives in Harlem, NY.

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Chris Battle Sr. (he/him)

Climate Disaster Recovery Manager

Chris is a native of Slidell, Louisiana and wants to assist his community in the fight for climate justice. He is a United States Navy Veteran and brings over twenty years of industrial and safety experience to his work with GCCLP on Equitable Disaster Recovery. In 2016, Chris became an entrepreneur focused on Black Community Economic Development. He earned his Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration - Accounting from Tarrant County College in Texas. While at TCC, Chris served as president of the National Technical Honor Society, Vice-president of SALUTE Veterans Honor Society, and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He is a two-time TCC Entrepreneurial studies scholarship recipient, a 2018 Coca-Cola Military Leader of Promise Scholar, and received the Outstanding Achievement Award for Entrepreneurial Studies in 2019. Chris has been a community leader and youth mentor since 2003 in Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas and has been the Assistant Director of Texas RISE basketball since 2017. He was a Dallas Wings Youth Coach of the Year finalist in 2019. Chris is a father of two boys and has one granddaughter. He and his wife currently live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas.

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Jamie Billiot (she/her)

Executive Assistant

Jamie Billiot, a member of the United Houma Nation tribe, is a mother and educator. As a native
of Dulac, Louisiana, she worked in the Gulf Coast non-profit community following hurricanes
Gustave and Ike. She began community organizing work as a Gulf Coast Fellow in 2009. As a
passionate educator, she brought experience to South Louisiana Title 1 schools for over six
years as a classroom teacher and Community Liaison assisting in college and career readiness.
She is involved in tribal education programs creating culturally relevant and environmentally
responsive curriculum. She received her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from LSU,
where she served on the diversity board and co-founded the university's first Native American
Student Association. She is a dynamic community advocate with broad knowledge of
community relations, local capacity building, and disaster relief. Jamie treasures the stories of
resilience in the Gulf Coast and Indigenous communities.

Contact: jamie@gcclp.org
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Tiffany Fant (she/her)

Taproot Noire Program Manager

Tiffany Fant’s story begins with a simple desire: to celebrate and elevate the dignity of Black people. 

Identified as a community catalyst, Tiffany has shared work emphasizing personal empowerment and community building for almost a decade. Her advocacy journey began at her alma mater, Appalachian State University, and over the years, she’s waged successful campaigns that improve economic development, health, community, and cultural preservation within the Black community. Some of her most notable projects include community-led partnerships that work with local officials to integrate strategies that prevent and disorder violence in communities most affected by crime and co-founding a mission that increases urban and inner-city youth’s interest and participation in the sport of baseball, while also serving as a mentorship program for participants to achieve their highest potential. She also founded Qwantum Consulting, her consulting practice that primarily works with organizations and nonprofits to help them enrich their communities and encourage growth. 

 

In addition to consulting, Tiffany also serves as Co-Executive Director of Sol Nation and this is where she is able to operate at the intersection of social justice and environmental justice issues. Most of her work now is about fusing the movements through the lens of environmental justice. This lens allows for helping communities and the earth at the same time. 

 

With the core message “Passion focused. Heart driven. Results proven.” at the helm, Tiffany contentedly fulfills her personal and professional passion for serving others through speaking, writing, workshops & seminars. Her work seamlessly integrates the relationship between activism and revitalization with the theory that with the right support, the Black community can be ushered into a welcomed change, one that is needed and deserved.

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Andrei B. Greenwood (he/him)

Communications Lead: Visual Narrative

In marketing and graphic design for over 25 years, Andrei earned his stripes as the publisher of the official poster for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It was during this time that Andrei noticed a marketing gap amongst organizations and began to work with small-medium sized businesses in an effort to provide them with moderately priced marketing services to help grow their businesses. Andrei is a problem solver with a focus on challenging businesses and organizations to think outside of the box when it comes to their products, services and the strategies that support them. Andrei graduated with a dual degree in Marketing and Logistics from Southern University at New Orleans and received his MBA from the University of New Orleans. 

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Ashley Herad (she/her)

Policy & Law Program Manager

Ashley was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and spent the first year of her life as a Tiger on the campus of Louisiana State University. She spent her childhood and formative years in the New Orleans area and still calls her beloved city home. Her family roots are in prairie Cajun country in south Louisiana and in Iran where poetry and music and fragrant, delicious food is never in short supply. She dreams of owning a dog.

Ashley served in the Louisiana Governor’s Press Office in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This experience led her to extensive legislative advocacy work in the nonprofit sector working on issues of affordable housing, early childhood education, criminal justice reform, budget and tax policy, voter engagement, and anti-poverty initiatives. She has a passion for service, for her family and friends, and for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Ashley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology from Louisiana State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the State University of New York, Binghamton.

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Michael McKenzie, M.Ed. (he/him)

Regional Organizer: Gulf South for a Green New Deal

Michael McKenzie Sr. was born and raised in North Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Cancer Alley begins along the Mississippi River. The first in his family to attend college, Michael earned a Bachelor's in Applied Sociology from Millsaps College and a Master's in Education Administration from Texas Southern. He is a doctoral candidate at Teachers College Columbia University, where his research examines how urban school leaders understand, perceive, and respond to media coverage of schools and communities educating Black and Brown youth. 


Michael began his public service career in Houston, Texas, examining the impact of environmental inequity on youth academic achievement and launching mentorship and social-emotional programs. Michael also founded The Resilience Is Power Program, whose mission is to nurture strong and resilient future urban water and community leaders and BIPOC communities. The organization has awarded scholarships, hosted youth camps and real estate and financial literacy trainings, and removed thousands of pounds of litter in New Orleans East and Houston's 5th Ward.


Michael is a proud husband and father and spends his spare time fishing, hiking trails, cooking, traveling, writing, listening to soul and reggae, and watching documentaries.

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Nicolle Teresa Ramos (they/elle/she/ella)

Regional Organizer: Gulf South for a Green New Deal

Nicolle Teresa is a birth and abortion doula, artist, and multidisciplinary educator-organizer born and based in the archipelago of Puerto Rico, where she lives with her son. She started organizing as part of efforts to save marine life and public education in the student strike in 2010. She studied agroecology and worked as a community doula, fighting for food sovereignty, gender, and reproductive rights to help decolonize her country. This led her to Universidad Sin Fronteras and Project South in 2016, where she later became a coordinator and facilitator, making ties with the frontlines in the US South, Detroit, and New Mexico. She met GCCLP at different Southern Movement Assemblies and also collaborated twice at CommonBound with New Economy Coalition. She was part of two efforts to organize with people in La Habana, one with Instituto de Filosofía and the Educational Congress in 2019. She co-founded a project called the Celestina Cordero Itinerant School focused on transfeminism, healing, anti-racism, and climate justice as themes to be addressed with popular education. After the 2020 earthquakes, she organized first responder doulas to aid pregnant persons. Nicolle Teresa has also studied childbirth education focused on emotional health, founding SaNacer where she provides accessible childbirth classes. Her bachelor’s degree is from the University of Puerto Rico in Hispanic Studies. Most recently she was an organizer with Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico in the fight for public education. She is also a singer and dancer of bomba, a 400-year-old afro-descendant musical genre in her country.


Doula de parto y aborto, artista y educadora-organizadora multidisciplinaria nacida y criada en el archipiélago de Puerto Rico donde reside con su hijo. Comenzó su trabajo de organización como parte de los esfuerzos para salvar la vida marina y la educación pública en la huelga estudiantil de 2010. Estudió agroecología, se convirtió y trabajó como doula comunitaria en su interés por luchar por la soberanía alimentaria, el género y los derechos reproductivos como una forma de ayudar al proceso de descolonización de su país. Esto la llevó a conocer las organizaciones Universidad Sin Fronteras y Project South en 2016, donde luego see convirtió en coordinadora y facilitadora, trabajo que le permitió visitar y hacer vínculos con los frentes del sur de Estados Unidos y otras zonas como Detroit y Nuevo México. En estos años conoció al GCCLP como parte de su rol en las diferentes Asambleas de Movimiento del Sur. También colaboró dos veces en CommonBound con New Economy Coalition. Formó parte del esfuerzo de organización con personas en La Habana en dos ocasiones diferentes una con el Instituto de Filosofía y en el Congreso Educativo en 2019. Luego cofundó un proyecto pausado por covid-19, llamado Escuela Itinerante Celestina Cordero, con el transfeminismo, la sanación, el antirracismo y la justicia climática como temas base para ser tratados con la educación popular. Después de los terremotos de 2020 organizó a las doulas de primera respuesta para ayudar a las personas embarazadas. También tiene estudios en educación para el parto enfocados a la salud emocional que la llevaron a iniciar SaNacer donde da clases de parto accesibles. Su bachillerato es de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Estudios Hispánicos. Recientemente ha sido organizadora de la Federación de Maestros de Puerto Rico en la lucha por la educación pública. También es cantadora y bailadora de bomba, un género musical afrodescendiente de 400 años de antigüedad en su país.

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Grace Treffinger (she/her)

Regional Organizer: Gulf South for a Green New Deal

Grace Treffinger was born and raised in New Orleans where her early career began as a cook. Her interests grew into strengthening and democratizing local food systems. She received a bachelor of science in Conservation & Resource Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Grace spent nine months living in Chile, Brazil, and Columbia studying socio-ecological sustainability and learning with the Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) and similar movements in Colombia fighting for land/agrarian reform and food sovereignty. They showed her the importance of internationalism and developing solidarity networks while acting locally. Upon returning home, inspired by the Gulf South for a Green New Deal launch in May 2019, Grace began organizing with Sunrise New Orleans. Working in partnership with GCCLP and the GS4GND network, she and other Sunrise leaders helped launch the “We Declare” Campaign, advancing Green New Deal declarations and resolutions across the Gulf South. Grace is also the co-founder of Cattail Cooks, a local food storytelling and catering project and a gardening and food justice educator at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. 

Contact: grace@gcclp.org
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Maria Victoire (she/her)

Regional Organizer

Maria Victoire, a native of Mauritius (a small island in the Indian Ocean), has 35 years of experience in social and environmental justice and community organizing, including 15 years in Louisiana.

In 2005, just after Hurricane Katrina devastated and displaced thousands of residents from New Orleans, Maria helped many displaced families living in poverty return and start rebuilding in partnership with many environmental and social justice organizations in Louisiana, Atlanta, and West Virginia. During the rebuilding phase, she co-wrote and coordinated a book with 50 displaced families called Not Meant To Live Like This: Weathering the storm of our lives in New Orleans.

In 2017, Maria conducted training programs and campaigns and led participatory action research of “Multiple Aspects of the Hidden Dimensions of Poverty” in Mauritius. She also developed strategic plans and organized many community events within Black communities in New Orleans and Mauritius. She joined ATD Fourth World Movement in 1990 and has worked as program director in Ivory Coast, Réunion Island, France, West Virginia, and Louisiana. She also worked for two years in partnership with Families and Friends of Louisiana Incarcerated Children, is a member of Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition and New Orleans Court Watch. She has also served as a board member at Southern Partners Fund for four years.


Maria is a driven and resourceful organizational developer developing self-sustaining
community programs, prioritizing Participatory approach.

Contact: maria@gcclp.org
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Jennie Wachowski-Estes, MDiv (she/her)

Development Coordinator

Jennie was born, raised, and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Smith College, where she received her BA in the Study of Women and Gender with a concentration in Race and Class.

 

She has over fifteen years of experience in various social justice-focused spaces — from non-profits to community organizing to international coalitions — because her faith calls her to action and accountability. She has worked in development to support those doing the nitty-gritty project work, and enjoys the behind-the-scenes role this allows her to play. Jennie received her Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary in 2019 and has over six years of experience as a spiritual care provider to college students, hospital patients, domestic violence survivors, and more. She is seeking ordination with the United Church of Christ.

Jennie lives with her spouse, kiddos, dogs, and cats in a log cabin in the woods. She loves to garden, break generational curses, read murder mysteries, and see her family's faces light up with joy.