Surdna Foundation Welcomes Kayla Hunter as Program Associate, Sustainable Environments

This month, the Surdna Foundation welcomed Kayla Hunter (she/her) as the new program associate with the Sustainable Environments team.

Kayla will support programmatic management, organizing the grantmaking budget, conducting research, and connecting with grantee partners through external communications, town halls, and events. She brings on-the-ground experience and a passion for environmental justice and creating healthy environments for communities of color.

“It feels like a full circle moment to be able to join Surdna’s Sustainable Environments team, supporting organizations that remind me of those I’ve worked with to address serious environmental inequities,” said Kayla Hunter, Program Associate. “From canvassing neighborhoods impacted by lead water exposure in Mississippi to tracking sewage water overflows in St. Louis and surveying residents in the U.S. Virgin Islands for gaps in the disaster response to Hurricane Maria, I’ve spent much of my career learning the importance of community-led solutions.”

Patrice R. Green, Vice President of Programs said, “We are ecstatic for Kayla to bring her passion for environmental justice and deep project management skills to support this next phase of the Sustainable Environments team.”

Most recently, Kayla served as the program coordinator for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, advocating for the inclusion of cultural foods that meet the diet needs and desires of immigrant families served through the child nutrition meal program. Prior, she was the program coordinator for Placemaking and Workforce Development at Brownsville Community Justice Center in Brownsville, Brooklyn, where she educated and engaged young people on urban planning interventions against crime and violence in their neighborhood, planned events, managed grants, and coordinated workforce training opportunities for three youth workforce development programs.

“Kayla’s experience in the field of environmental justice, food sovereignty, and place-based support for BIPOC communities will be enormously beneficial in our work to support grantee partners,” said Thanu Yakupitiyage, program officer for Surdna’s Sustainable Environments team. “We are thrilled to welcome Kayla as we continue the program’s legacy of grantmaking.”

You can learn more about Kayla here.