Green Mountain College President Robert (Bob) Allen, today announced that Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus, will deliver the commencement address during the college’s 2018 commencement ceremony which will be held on Saturday, May 12, at 10 a.m.
Mr. Ali, who is renowned as a national speaker, trainer, and facilitator specializing in Social Justice issues focused on revitalizing our most vulnerable communities, will address members of the Class of 2018 and their families, Green Mountain College Trustees, alumni, faculty and staff.
Mr. Ali worked for 24 years to advance environmental justice as Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice and Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He has worked tirelessly to alleviate the impact of air, water, and industrial pollution on poverty-stricken towns and neighborhoods. Throughout his career Ali has worked with over 500 domestic and international communities to improve people’s lives by addressing environmental, health, and economic justice issues.
Mr. Ali currently serves as Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national, non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the Hip Hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. Mr. Ali leads the strategic direction, expansion, and operation of the organization’s portfolio on Climate, Environmental Justice, and Community Revitalization.
Mr. Ali elevated environmental justice issues and worked across federal agencies to strengthen environmental justice policies, programs and initiatives. At the EPA, Mustafa led the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJIWG), which was comprised of 17 federal agencies and White House offices focused on implementing holistic strategies to address the issues facing vulnerable communities. He joined the EPA as a student and became a founding member of the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ). He helped found the environmental justice office, then the environmental equity office, in 1992. In 2012, Mr. Ali launched the EPA’s Environmental Justice in Action Blog, which reached over 100,000 followers. This blog highlighted innovative actions to address environmental justice, sustainability and climate change issues. In 2010, Mr. Ali also served as the Environmental Justice Lead for the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In 2004, he was selected as the EPA’s National Enforcement Training Institutes “Trainer of the Year” for his efforts in training over 4,000 across the country in “The Fundamentals of Environmental Justice.”
Throughout his career, Mr. Ali has conducted over 1,000 presentations across the country, including speeches, guest lecturers, and trainings. He has been a Guest Lecturer at Yale University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Spelman College, Albany Law School and Howard University School of Law. He is a former instructor at West Virginia University and Stanford University in Washington, and the former co-host of the “Spirit in Action” radio show which focused on social justice issues.
“We are honored to welcome Mr. Mustafa Santiago Ali to our campus as our 2018 commencement speaker,” said Green Mountain College President Robert (Bob) Allen. “His life’s work serves as inspiration to our graduating students who will be heading out into the world, seeking to build a socially, economically, and ecologically resilient society while striving to secure environmental, health, and social justice.”