Environmental Voices: The PennFuture Podcast

PennFuture started a new podcast in February 2022 for one simple reason: to lift up voices in communities across Pennsylvania that are fighting against pollution, environmental injustice, and for healthy communities and people.

Our goal on Environmental Voices will be to tell the critically important environmental stories facing Pennsylvanians throughout all regions of the state. Large swaths of the state still, on a daily basis, suffer disproportionate impacts of dirty air and polluted water and we want this podcast to be a venue for those on the frontlines to share their stories. We also hope it will be an avenue to connect you with the work we’re doing here at PennFuture:  in the courtroom, at the State Capitol, and in your communities, to help protect our common environmental rights. 

Listen to our fourth episode featuring PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo

Our guests included: 

  • PennFuture President and CEO Jacquelyn Bonomo 
  • Charles Bier, who is the Senior Director for Conservation Science at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Before coming to PennFuture, Bonomo spent nearly a decade at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy as that organization’s vice president of conservation programs. From 1999 to 2008, Jacqui was responsible for budgeting, planning and administration of the largest natural resource conservation program in the region, with staff in eight locations. She also increased the organization’s operating budget from $1 million to $5.7 million and grew staff from eleven to over 80 through 2007.
  • Cindy Adams Dunn, who has served as the Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources since 2015. From 2013 to 2015, Dunn served as the president and CEO of PennFuture. Like Bonomo, Dunn is one of the most noteworthy environmental advocates in Pennsylvania over the last several decades. 
  • Tim Ference, with Friends of the Nescopeck, which is where Bonomo's environmental advocacy began. 

Listen to our third episode featuring Women in Conservation

Our guests included: 

  • Leah Zerbe won PennFuture’s 2019 Woman of Environmental Media, Marketing & Communications award for her outstanding environmental writings at publications such as Dr. Axe, Rodale Publishing, the Bucks County Courier Times, and the Philadelphia Daily News. Since that time, she has been an active participant in her community, including serving as the chair of the Pottsville Citizens Climate Lobby chapter, running after-school educational programs, studying to become a Master Watershed Steward, and most recently serving as a columnist with the Pottsville Republican Herald.
  • Ann Rosenthal won PennFuture’s 2020 Women of Environmental Arts award recognizing her over 40 years’ experience as an artist, writer, and for her work which examines the intersections of nature and culture through timely issues, including climate change and biodiversity, Recently she co-edited Ecoart in Action: Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities, a collection that seeks to showcase how teachers, citizens, policymakers, and scientists can find inspiration in art.
  • Heidi Secord is a winner of PennFuture’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Heidi owns and operates her 48-acre Josie Porter Farm with her husband Gary Bloss in Northeastern PA. Josie Porter Farm is a farmer led community-based food hub that supports other local and regional farmers and provides fresh produce to the community. Heidi also served as State President of the Pennsylvania Farmers Union and sat on the National Farmers Union Board of Directors. And Heidi was recently appointed by the Biden Administration to serve as the State Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Farm Service Agency.
  • Susanne Whitehead is PennFuture’s Donors Relations Manager. Susanne is instrumental in organizing all aspects of our Celebrating Women in Conversation awards, including evaluating nominees.



Listen to our second episode featuring Bill McKibben

Our guests included: 

  • Bill McKibben, a renowned environmental advocate who is known for founding the global grassroots climate campaign known as 350.Org. McKibben has organized for climate action on every continent, including Antarctica. He played a leading role in launching the opposition to big oil pipeline projects and the fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has become the biggest anti-corporate campaign in history, with endowments worth more than $15 trillion stepping back from oil, gas and coal. His latest project is called Third Act, which works to organize Americans over the age of 60 to act on the climate crisis. Recently, he has been quoted and published in outlets like The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post. 
  • Ginny Kerslake, a Chester County resident who has been a passionate and outspoken advocate against the Mariner East pipeline for years. Ginny co-founded several grassroots organizations to raise public awareness about the project and has been a leading anti-pipeline voice in Pennsylvania. 
  • Rob Altenburg, who serves as PennFuture’s Senior Director for Energy and Climate. Rob is one of the foremost experts on clean energy in Pennsylvania, working with regulatory agencies and clean energy industry experts on climate and energy issues across the Commonwealth. Before the pandemic, Rob traveled extensively throughout Pennsylvania to talk to students, community groups, and other organizations on climate and energy issues, and of the benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy.


Listen to our very first episode, please click here.

Our guests included: 

  • Melanie Meade, an environmental advocate from Clairton, Pa. who fights for clean air and a healthy environment in her community. Melanie is also involved in other important endeavors like the Black Appalachian Coalition, among others. We were thrilled to welcome Melanie as our first guest on our first podcast. 
  • State Rep. Donna Bullock, a representative from the 195th Legislative District in North and West Philadelphia, has served in the Pennsylvania General Assembly since 2015. In October, State Reps. Donna Bullock, Malcolm Kenyatta and Chris Rabb and Sen. Vincent Hughes introduced legislation that would codify the Office of Environmental Justice and Environmental Justice Advisory Board — making them permanent, regardless of who is in the executive branch. The legislation will also increase transparency and public input before polluting facilities are built or expanded in overburdened communities. We were very happy that Rep. Bullock took some time to discuss this very important legislation with us. 
  • Emily Gale, PennFuture's Director of Civic Engagement, who spoke about the organization's work on non-partisan voter registration, as well as the program's recent expansion into Allegheny County. 






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