Gabriela Rodriguez (she/her/ella) is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at the Yale School of The Environment specializing in People, Equity, and the Environment. Gabriela’s hometown of Miami, Florida and her upbringing in the Latino/e/x community gave her a strong passion for environmental, climate, and social justice and engagement. She believes that those closest to the problem are also closest to the solution. Gabriela is interested in how we can center social equity in our approaches to climate change by advancing procedural justice - establishing equitable engagement and participation strategies in decision-making processes to drive community power. During the summer of 2022, Gabriela was an ORISE Fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Justice40 Initiative Team under the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity. There, Gabriela assisted in developing an equitable stakeholder engagement strategy for the Department’s implementation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative and assisted in the rollout of the Department’s 140+ Justice40 programs.
During her first year at Yale, Gabriela was a Community Resource Lab Fellow at the Yale Center for Environmental Justice (YCEJ), where she worked with the City of New Haven’s City Plan Department to support their community engagement efforts. She created a comprehensive inventory of community-based organizations across New Haven that would inform City Plan’s strategic outreach for environmental and climate-related planning processes. Through interviews with local leaders, Gabriela helped City Plan better understand the needs of organizations and strengthen relationships. Gabriela was also a Communications and Events Associate at YCEJ, where she helped build and lead the center’s communications and events. Before Yale, Gabriela received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability and the Environment, and Minor in Communication Studies from Florida International University. During her undergraduate studies, she was a Program Coordinator at The CLEO Institute, a Florida-based non-profit organization focused on climate change education and advocacy. There, she helped bring climate change education and advocacy skills to underserved students and teachers across Miami-Dade County. Gabriela was also a local climate justice organizer, where she helped advance local climate legislation, and the co-host of a youth-led, climate change podcast she helped create called “House on Fire”.
Fellow at a Glance