Ms Heide Goes to Washington

EAOP Program Launches First-of-Its-Kind U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus Fellowship

Crissy HeideKeene, NH – Antioch University New England’s Environmental Advocacy & Organizing Program (EAOP) announced today that EAOP master’s candidate Crystal Heide will serve as the EAOP’s first Fellow with the U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). The Fellowship Program, the first of its kind with the Caucus, is open to EAOP alumni and second-year students.

“I’m very excited to be representing Antioch New England in Washington, D.C., this summer. I can’t wait to put all the skills I’ve learned during the past two years into practice,” said Ms. Heide. ‘With the current political climate, it will be a great time to be down there working to make a difference.”

Ms. Heide will work with Rep. Raol M. Grijalva (D-AZ, 7th Congressional District), who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources’s Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. Rep. Grijalva also heads the Progressive Caucus’s Environment Task Force and has been recognized as a leader in environmental conservation by the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife.

Arizona’s seventh Congressional district’s land area is larger than Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, Connecticut and New Jersey combined, and its southern boundary includes 300 miles of the U.S./Mexico border. The district’s population is predominantly working-class families, from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds, including seven separate Native American Nations. Ms. Heide’s work will focus on developing a new legislative model for addressing the environmental protection, public health, education, employment and community infrastructure needs of the border region.

“I am honored to participate with the Congressional Progressive Caucus in Antioch University’s Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program’s Fellowship, and I welcome this year’s Fellow, Crissy Heide,” said Rep. Grijalva. “With Ms. Heide’s contribution, we will develop a model for border community environmental protection and economic enhancement that can be replicated by many border communities.”

“The Fellowship is a tremendous opportunity for Antioch New England students and graduates to enhance their skills and learning through public service,” said EAOP faculty member Abigail Abrash Walton. “We are thrilled to launch this collaboration with the CPC.”

“I am so pleased that we have established the very first fellowship program for Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus with Antioch University New England,” underscored CPC Co-Chair U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA. “One of the CPC’s top priorities is strengthening environmental protection and achieving energy independence, and having graduate students like Ms. Heide from ANE’s Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program will help us to achieve these goals.”

“This is the start of a great, mutually beneficial collaboration between the CPC and ANE students and faculty,” CPC Co-Chair U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) noted. “ANE’s Environmental Advocacy & Organizing Program graduate students will help CPC Members address a wide variety of environmental challenges from global warming to environmental justice.”

About Crystal Heide: Ms. Heide came to Antioch’s EAOP after two years of working in the field of environmental education in rural New Jersey. During her graduate studies, she has organized Keene’s Earth Day Festival, worked on Sierra Club’s Cool Cities Campaign, chaired Antioch’s Student Alliance, and has worked with Rhode Island’s Valley Alliance for Smart Growth to ensure wetlands protection on lands slated for big-box-store development. Crissy was raised in Indiana, where she graduated from Lafayette Jefferson High School and received a BS in Wildlife Science from Purdue University.

About the U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus: Members of the U.S. House of Representatives established the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the early 1990s “to give voice to the needs and aspirations of all Americans and to build a more just and humane society.” U.S. Representatives Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) serve as Co-Chairwomen of the 72-Member Congressional Progressive Caucus, the largest bloc of Democrats and Independents in the House. The Caucus’s platform for action is The Progressive Promise — Fairness for All, grounded in four core principles: 1. fighting for economic justice and security for all; 2. protecting and preserving civil rights and civil liberties; 3. promoting global peace and security; and 4. environmental protection & energy independence. Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-VT) and Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) are both members of the Caucus.

About Antioch’s Environmental Advocacy & Organizing Program: The Department of Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England is one of the oldest and largest environmental studies programs in the country. It is also the only graduate ES program in the United States to offer a master’s program in Environmental Advocacy and Organizing. Our goal is to train effective public interest advocates and grassroots organizers working on issues of sustainability, public health, and wilderness protection- as well as on related issues such as peace, social justice, and democratic control over corporations. Visit the EAOP’s “Well-Trained Activist” blog.