BlackOak combines the power of networking with digital engagement to create a safe space for Black environmental career development, support, and community. Our organization welcomes all Black people working towards a better environmental future.

Our Values

BlackOak is an environmental community for all Black people. We strive to ensure people of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, nationalities, and immigration statuses feel included, valued, and safe in our space. Our organization recognizes the Principles of Environmental Justice and the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing. We reserve the right to decline work with any organizations we feel do not align with our values.

Our Purpose

In the climate crisis, Black communities continue to be hit first and hardest. Yet, Black people are underrepresented across most environmental and sustainability sectors. That’s why we recruit, retain, and inspire Black students, advocates, and professionals in environmental fields to ensure that Black communities have a stake in our environmental future.

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Increase Black Retention – Build community for Black individuals in environmental and sustainability sectors and catalyze mentorship to increase Black retention and career advancement.

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Increase Black Recruitment – Increase access to environmental and sustainability careers, engage students, and foster channels of mentorship to increase Black recruitment in environmental fields.

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Increase Black InnovationDismantle professional silos to spur collaboration and innovation across fields through shared community.

Our Team

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Wes Gobar

Executive Director

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Kiera Givens​

Finance Director & Co-Founder

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Sarah Nesbit

Membership Director

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Kelcey Williams

Digital Director & Strategic Partnerships Director

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Miles Braxton

Senior Advisor & Co-Founder

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Our Logo

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 and creating opportunities for others. Our fruit is in service of Black environmental self-determination. Thus, BlackOak.

Fiscal Partner

BlackOak Collective operates as a fiscally sponsored project of Virginia Organizing, a 501c3 based in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Companies that trust us

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Your donation directly supports programs that provide environmental career opportunities to Black professionals, students, and advocates.