About Us

Why BlackOak?

The Scarlet Oak (Fagaceae Quercus coccinea) in our logo is the official tree of the District of Columbia. We chose to name ourselves after this tree because we know the importance of staying rooted while branching out opportunities for others. Our fruit is in service of Black environmental self-determination. Thus, BlackOak.

Mission

BlackOak began from a mutual understanding that there can be no environmental justice without Black people at the center of solutions and without self-determination for Black communities.

We aim to increase Black representation within businesses, nonprofits and other organizations not as an end, but as one tool towards that goal. We provide mentorship, share institutional knowledge, and offer resources for those who are too often excluded from the opportunities to do this work. We build community to sustain each other as we pursue a better world and so we can collaborate across fields in the service of collective advancement.

Goals

Create community for Black professionals and advocates in environmental and sustainability fields. We achieve this objective through our networking events and mentorship program. Through this objective, we aim to increase retention of Black professionals and advocates in environmental and sustainability careers.
Increase access to environmental and sustainability careers and job opportunities. We achieve this objective through our ‘Budding Opportunities’ job board and our student engagement. Through this objective, we aim to increase recruitment of Black professionals and advocates into environmental and sustainability careers.
Dismantle silos to spur collaboration and innovation. We achieve this objective through our fireside chats and the BlackOak blog. Through this objective, members will share strategies and partnerships to better serve Black communities.
Foster collaboration and innovation between Black professionals and advocates in different environmental fields
Our Team

Kiera Givens​

Business Administration
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Wes Gobar

Communications and Outreach
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Miles Braxton

Strategic Partnerships
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Sarah Nesbit

Membership
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