Meet the GCCLP Krewe

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Colette Pichon Battle, Esq. (she/her)

Executive Director

Colette Pichon Battle is a generational native of Bayou Liberty, Louisiana. As founder and 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 leads 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, is a member of the Movement for Black Lives policy table leadership team, 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)

Strategy Lead

Anthony is the father of three and is rooted in Pennsylvania working with frontline formations to move climate justice, energy democracy, and Green New Deal solutions. Anthony brings over a decade of experience partnering with community leaders and organizations to develop policy strategies, participatory policymaking processes, and facilitate community-driven solutions that seek to dismantle structural racism within our energy, climate, and economic systems. Anthony has worked at the local to national level — most recently through the Just Community Energy Transition Project. Previously, Anthony spent seven years at the Center for Social Inclusion, working with grassroots leaders, particularly in the Gulf South and New York state, on policy strategies to achieve racial equity in energy democracy, food equity, and transparency, participation, and accountability in governance. Anthony has an MPA from New York University and a BA in Theology and Political Science from the University of Scranton.

Mana Tahaie (she/her)

Operations Lead

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

Kendall Dix, JD LLM (he/him)

Policy Lead

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.

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

Jennifer Crosslin (she/her)

Regional Organizer

Jennifer is native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she has been organizing for the last six years on issues related to economic justice, environmental and climate justice, and reproductive health and rights. Jennifer has recently completed her second master’s from Prescott University in Social Justice and Organizing. She received a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi and bachelor’s degree from the University of South Alabama in both Political Science and Philosophy. Jennifer was selected as one of the delegates to COP 21 as part of our 2015 Gulf South Rising initiative and currently serves on our team as an organizing and research consultant supporting our regional work around climate justice and the Green New Deal.

Andrei B. Greenwood (he/him)

National Communications Lead: Red, Black & Green New Deal Initiative

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. 

Valencia Gunder (she/her)

National Organizing Lead: Red, Black & Green New Deal Initiative

Organizer and Advocate Valencia Gunder believes that being unsheltered and under-resourced is not only poverty, but also systemic exclusion from the life of the community. Gunder is a Miami native and grew up in Liberty City. Gunder is the founder of The Smile Trust, an organization that addresses the issues of the unsheltered, food and housing insecurities in communities across the south. Gunder also works with organizations such as The Black Collective in pursuit of an equitable Florida for all. Gunder made headlines in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma & Dorian, when she created the Community Emergency Operation Center (CEOC), a grassroots peoples relief effort during the leadup to the storm, through this relief effort Gunder has been able to assist over 200k families in the global south.  

isaac sevier (he/they)

Coordinator: Red, Black & Green New Deal Allied Network

isaac sevier works with the Allied Network of the Red, Black & Green New Deal to center
Black liberation in the global climate struggle. With experiences including national network
development, state policy advocacy, finance, and engineering, and as a first-generation
American and college graduate, isaac brings a diverse range of perspectives to his work.
Originally from Oklahoma, isaac holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa and a
master’s degree from Stanford. He is based in San Francisco.

Contact: isaac@gcclp.org

Mo Banks (they/them)

Coordinator: Red, Black & Green New Deal Allied Network

Mo was born and raised in Oklahoma, but has spent the past 10 years living in Arkansas with
their wife and four kids. Mo has been a digital organizer for four years, and believes that a robust
digital strategy is a key factor in leveraging progressive wins, increasing accessibility in our
movement spaces, and transforming narratives in service of cultural shifts. Mo is also the
co-founder of Reconcile Arkansas, which builds community power for transformation through
mutual aid, popular education, and solidarity practices that centers Arkansas’ most vulnerable
community members: queer and transgender people. Mo believes deeply in queer, Black, and
trans southern traditions.

Contact: mo@gcclp.org

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

Chris Battle Sr. (he/him)

Coordinator: Climate Disaster Recovery 

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.

Emma Collin (she/her)

Advocate in Residence

Emma came to GCCLP as a student organizer within the Climate Justice movement in 2014, and now serves as our Director of Programs. Emma supports the success of all GCCLP programming and movement-building work. She is part of GCCLP's training and organizing team, and supports frontline leadership and campaigns that advance ecological equity in the Gulf South. Emma earned her bachelor of science degree in environmental biology and ecology at Tulane University in New Orleans, and is passionate about decolonizing science and structural changes that return the right of self-determination to community. She is deeply involved in GCCLP’s work around land, labor, and just transition - including coordination of Gulf South for a Green New Deal, a 5 state formation towards climate, racial, and economic justice. Emma also represents GCCLP in national coalitions and international spaces, including at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties. 

Troy Robertson (he/him)

Trainer: Gulf South Rising Collective

As a New Orleans native, Troy has witnessed how decades of unaccountable extraction harms people in communities and damages entire ecosystems along the Gulf Coast. Troy received his bachelor's degree in Political Studies. His senior thesis, entitled, Recovery: Misplace, Displace, and Replaced illuminates how political language was used to disguise an inequitable recovery in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He has been a Gulf South Rising activist, Community Outreach Specialist for 350.org, and a SustainUS delegate. Troy is a member of GCCLP's training team. He also represents GCCLP in regional and international spaces. Troy is dedicated to fighting for a world in which dignity, self-determination, and access to a sustainable economy become a reality for communities in the Gulf South and beyond. Troy is planning to attend law school in the near future. 

Bette Billiot (she/her)

Trainer: Gulf South Rising Collective

Bette is a native of Dulac, LA, now resides in Houma, LA, and is an enrolled member of the Houma Nation. She has hosted multiple youth camps focused on tribal and environmental education. The camps exposed native youth to the effects of coastal erosion and other natural and man-made disasters that are impacting their coastal communities. In 2015, she was a facilitator for the Gulf South Rising Initiative, which focused on significant commemorations, anniversaries, and historical turning points in the South. After successfully completing the first Lead the Coast cohort as a participant in 2016, she was then asked to participate in redeveloping and structure of the program in 2018. She then became a co-facilitator for the Terrebonne/ Lafourche 2019 Lead the Coast Cohort.