Allison DeJong

Allison DeJong is the Senior Water Manager at Propeller, where she works with entrepreneurs and small businesses focused on reducing disparities within the coastal and urban water sectors. Allison has worked with over 25 businesses who are helping New Orleans adapt to climate change and solving environmental challenges.

Prior to her work at Propeller, Allison was a Senior Planner at GCR; she co-authored the City of New Orleans strategic plan for economic development, ProsperityNOLA, and led the recent update to JEDCO’s Jefferson EDGE2020 strategic plan. She has authored and contributed to numerous resilience, housing, transportation, and economic development plans and analyses throughout Louisiana. Allison is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and holds a BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Louisiana State University. When not working on water issues, she can most likely be found looking at, reading about, or photographing birds.   

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Caressa Chester

Caressa Chester supports Foundation for Louisiana’s Climate Justice Program and their work funding, power-building and connecting coastal communities. She is passionate about addressing the ways that environmental destruction continues to marginalize those that are already vulnerable. By addressing inequity at its root, she believes we can strategize about the future with community at the forefront. It is most important to Caressa to support communities of color, namely women, to live with dignity and power.

As a newly trained doula, she hopes to incorporate principles of equity and empowerment into a reproductive justice framework at the foundation.  She believes that nature is a space of healing, empowerment and wellbeing, and is interested in all of the ways appreciation for, preservation of, and adaptation with water and land can be achieved. When she is her best self Caressa Chester is throwing pottery, tenderly caring for her many houseplants, dancing, riding her bike regularly and baking.

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Marni Karlin

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Marni graduated from The George Washington University with a degree with high honors in International Economics, and received her J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School. She is an active member of the New York Bar. Marni advises clients in the food and agriculture sector on policy, advocacy, legal, and strategy matters.

With nearly two decades of experience in the private, non-profit, and government sectors, Marni is an expert in strategic thinking, advocacy and analysis, particularly in the areas of organic food and agriculture policy, congressional and administrative advocacy, non-profit and small business management, and antitrust and competition law.

Marni currently teaches “Foundations of Food Policy”, a course in the Political Science department at Tulane University, and sits on the advisory board of Shift Change, a New Orleans organization working to make food, beverage, and nightlife spaces safer for all, with a focus on sexual violence education, prevention, intervention, and response for bar and restaurant industry professionals. Besides her professional skills she has a passion for cooking delicious local food, and received a Culinary Arts diploma from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France.

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Nicole Washington

Nicole Washington has a long history of social justice advocacy, particularly around food access and security. A native of North Carolina, Washington graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies.

Currently, she serves as the Special Assistant to the CEO at the Foundation for Louisiana (FFL). Before joining FFL in June 2017, she held positions at National Geographic Magazine, FINCA International, and the Alliance to End Hunger, among others. In her spare time, she is an avid baker, reader and occasional writer. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Postbourgie, and Huffington Post. Her baking has not won any competitions. Yet.

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