Eriqah Foreman Williams is driven by the desire to inspire and empower her peers in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to take on leadership roles in the environmental sector. A recent graduate of Spelman College, a renowned HBCU, Ms. Foreman Williams’ introduction to environmental issues while in school changed the trajectory of her life. Her youth, experience and credibility make her the perfect emissary to engage members of her Millennial generation with the conservation message.
Ms. Foreman Williams graduated in 2010 with a degree in Comparative Women’s Studies. She was an active member and executive serving on the boards of organizations such as the National Council of Negro Women, Spelman chapter, when she learned about the SEeED Program. Students Endeavoring for Enlightened Environmental Decisions, an initiative developed by cohorts at neighboring Morehouse College, first connected her with the issues of environmental justice and sustainability.
Her passion was increasingly sparked as she worked with a team of her peers across metropolitan Atlanta, informing low and middle income communities about the benefits of energy-saving light fixtures including the impact on their pocketbooks. SEeED also worked synchronistically with power companies to acquire energy efficient light bulbs that her team distributed and swapped out in hundreds of homes. She went on to serve as Internal Director of that organization in her senior year and helped organize two of the largest African American student delegations to PowerShift, the conference of the youth climate movement, in 2009 and in 2011.
Ms. Foreman Williams worked with the student-led Let’s Retrofit A Million Project, and served as the Georgia Coal Diversity Organizer intern for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE). She is on the Advisory Board of the Nature Conservancy’s LEAF Program, and is a Leadership Council Member of Outdoor Nation. She currently serves as Southeast Campus Field Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program. In this position, she works to strengthen local and regional networks of campuses committed to sustainability by organizing educational events. She also manages the program’s recruitment efforts to their new online community for youth environmental leaders.
Ms. Foreman Williams is exquisitely positioned to connect enthusiastic, energized young people with the conservation sector.