Demi Espinoza (she/her) is the daughter of working class Mexican immigrants and the youngest of ten siblings raised in Riverside, California. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology at California State University San Bernardino and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban Sustainability and Applied Spatial Analysis for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Antioch University in Los Angeles, CA.
Demi has more than 15 years of policy advocacy and community organizing experience related to racial equity, environmental justice, climate justice, transportation equity and land use planning. Demi currently serves as the Senior Equity & Policy Manager for Safe Routes National Partnership, where she works to improve options for environmentally sustainable active transportation options in the Inland Empire. Prior to joining Safe Routes, Demi worked on policy advocacy with a coalition of 20 community-based organizations of color elevating racial equity and climate justice.
Demi is utilizing her graduate studies, Nature for All’s Leadership Academy and the California Native Plant Society Student Advisory Board to develop a graduate project on land conservation. Her love of nature and desire to restore our relationship to land has led to graduate work that centers open space conservation, land stewardship and improved access to the outdoors for environmental justice communities. Demi will focus on two thesis areas: conservation suitability modeling for native plants and improved park access for communities. She plans to do this by developing dynamic Story Maps that elevate the need to protect wondrous desert ecosystems and improve park access inequities experienced by black and brown communities in Southern California. Using spatial analysis tools, maps and community science tools, she'll engage the next generation of environmental justice and conversation leaders within the Inland Empire.
She finds inspiration from queer and indigenous authors and advocates that center social change within ecological justice movements, like Aurora Levins Morales, Berta Caceres and Winona LaDuke.
Fellow at a Glance
Antioch University Los Angeles
Conservation Science & Biology