Meet the team ♥
These folks make it possible for the Earth Guardians to do what they do best. From office maintenance and taking out the compost to brainstorming and campaign support, this team works behind the scenes to make the movement move.
Tamara Rose, Executive Director & "Chief mama"
Tamara is the mother of six beautiful children who are actively involved in Earth Guardians. She is the founder and executive director of Earth Guardians and the soul behind many of its projects. In 1992, she co-founded and directed the Earth Guardian Community Resource Center, an accredited experiential learning high school in Maui, Hawaii, where she successfully directed her vision to bring environmental awareness, cultural involvement, and positive change to youth. She has taught environmental education and has organized youth outreach programs and cross-cultural programs focused on earth restoration for the past 20 years. Tamara is now guiding the third generation of Earth Guardian youth leaders into environmental activism and leadership.
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director
Earth Guardians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (his first name pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’) is a 16-year-old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement. At the early age of six Xiuhtezcatl began speaking around the world, from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York. He has worked locally to get pesticides out of parks, coal ash contained, and moratoriums on fracking in his state, and is currently a plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for their failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations.
Xiuhtezcatl has traveled across the nation and to many parts of the world educating his generation about the state of the planet they are inheriting and inspiring youth into action to protect the Earth. His message has inspired youth to join the front lines combating the environmental crisis, as well as form Earth Guardian crews in over 30 countries. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stones, Upworthy, The Guardian, Vogue, Bill Maher, Skavlan, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, VICE, and more.
In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President's youth council.
He is the 2015 recipient of the Peace First Prize, recipient of the 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award, 2016 Captain Planet Award and the 2016 Children's Climate Prize in Sweden. Bill Mckibben of 350.org calls Xiuhtezcatl "an impressive spokesman for a viewpoint the world needs to hear.”
Russell Mendell, campaign director
Russell– a writer, musician and community organizer– is focused on merging art and activism to inspire youth participation in climate solutions. Russell was moved to action after witnessing the water contamination near fossil fuel extraction sites. This led him to assist with water catchment construction and water deliveries from the Amazon to Northeast Pennsylvania. He was previously the Outreach Director for Frack Action and Water Defense, actor Mark Ruffalo’s nonprofit. Most recently, Russell was the Campaign Director for Frack Free Colorado, a nonprofit focused on making the transition from fracked gas to renewable energy. He has co-organized dozens of concerts and events for social and environmental causes. Russell is working to nurture the symbiotic relationship between art, music and climate solutions.
Mary GiardinO, Development Director
Writer, Editor, Mediator, Advocator, Agitator - is a native, 2nd generation American/Coloradan who spent half of her life in Northern California. Protecting the natural world has been an automatic reflex since she was a child. After studying Creative Writing and World Religions at the University of Colorado, Boulder, she took up residence in what she calls Boulder-by-the-sea: Santa Cruz, California. Staying close to the production of food - her first love - Mary learned the gracious art of service.
After a glorious stint of seacoast living, she found a profound home among redwoods and rebels. Living 12 years off-grid in the forest, among people who worked hard at self-sufficiency and valued community & diversity, Mary learned how to put the art of service to work. Alongside community, Mary fought to save forests; co-create a world of art & music; support independent radio, local education, and environmental resistance; and built a farmer’s market and a town square. She helped organizations thrive through board of directors service, community leadership, resource development, conflict resolution, and community organizing.
Emerging from the forest as a certified mediator; certified child, client and family advocate; and a non-profit professional, Mary moved back to Boulder to raise her two daughters - now 13 & 18 - close to her big Italian family. Mary’s focus is now on disrupting the dominant paradigm by bringing her art of community service and environmental activism out into the larger community.
Dana Pauzauskie, Director of Conscious Arts and Partnership
Dana believes in the beauty of the human spirit and is an unwavering creative optimist, bridge builder, consultant, educator and social impact entrepreneur. She enjoys interdisciplinary pursuits, including former research with the National Center for Atmospheric Research designing collaborative projects between climate scientists and indigenous communities. In order to demystify the interconnection of humanity and the external environment, she has bridged her experience in cross cultural climate research, wilderness therapy, yoga, Montessori and public schools with social entrepreneurship to create “You Are Yoga: Awareness” education for children and adults.
As a consultant, she works closely with individuals and organizations in unique capacities to identify and refine visions while strategizing how to bring them to life. Dana is a Founding Partner of Dream Tank, a Boulder, CO born social impact entrepreneurial accelerator for kids and has also worked closely with the Impact Hub Academy to design educational entrepreneurial opportunities for youth. Dana believes in you.
Lily Lemire, Executive Assistant
Lily is one of the newest members of the Earth Guardians team. She is a recent graduate of University of Colorado at Boulder, where she graduated with a BA in Film Studies and a Certificate in Business. Her role as the Executive Assistant is to handle day to day tasks in the office such as organize files, book flights, post on social media, respond to emails, run errands etc. She does anything she can to help make things run a little more smoothly. When she isn’t working, she enjoys writing, watching movies, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. She currently resides in Boulder, but has lived in Maine, Hawaii, and Australia.
Kellie Berns, Project Manager
Kellie Berns is a visionary, spiritual practitioner, teacher and community organizer who has a passion for bringing peace, justice and healing to those in need. Her time spent studying and practicing Buddhism, Advita Vedanta and in earth based Native Americans ceremonies ignited a deep spiritual calling within her to be of service to humanity. The understanding that all beings are connected, and that if one being is suffering, we all are, is what moved her off the meditation cushion and into the world of direct action.
After teaching yoga, meditation and massage therapy for many years, she moved to Philadelphia, PA where she co-directed the Ahimsa House, a community center which merges activism and spirituality, and stands outside of the violence of capitalism by offering all classes free of charge. The project serves to give voice to underserved communities using the principles of compassion and non-violence. In 2013, Kellie Co-founded a Yoga Teacher Training in west Philadelphia which encouraged bringing yoga to lower income areas, and to people of mixed race and gender identification. Her passion for teaching stems from the knowledge that when there is peace within, there is peace without.
In 2016, Kellie’s relationship to various Indigenous tribes of the Americas, as well as her love for water, drove her across the country to Cannonball, ND where she spent 2 months living and participating in the Standing Rock movement. Working in harmony with her Native and non-Native allies, she learned more about non-violent front lines direct action, as well as how to create a movement with prayer at its center. Kellie now lives in Boulder, CO and is continuing her work of heart-forward, direct action with the Earth Guardians.
Mensa Tsedze, Africa Regional Coordinator
Mensa Kwami TSEDZE, Regional Director of Earth Guardians Africa, is a young activist from Togo who is passionate about environment and sustainable development. He committed himself very early with local and international organizations to act on the ground and also learn by connecting to the global networks.
Holding a BSc in Animal Biology and Physiology from the University of Lomé in Togo in his native country, Mensa also attended several certified courses such as Diplomacy and Global Issues, Human Rights and Dignity, Project Management and Others. Prior to joining Earth Guardians, Mensa was a country director of various organizations in Togo such as Earth Charter Youth, Youth Climate Report, World Youth Alliance, Iduka. He was a Tigweb online volunteer, and co-founded IDEAS for Togo. Former TUNZA eco-generation ambassador to west Africa, Mensa represented his country at the UNEP World Youth Summit on the Environment in 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. In the same year, he played a key role in organizing the TUNZA Africa summit in Togo. Mensa was delegated of his country and university to the World Student in the Environment Summit in South Africa in 2014 and also attended the prestigious One Young World conference in Dublin, Ireland in the same year. In 2016, Mensa and his team planted more than 14,000 trees across Togo. He was aparty delegate of his country at COP 22. Apart from his ecological passion, and everything related to the development of the African continent, Mensa loves football, music, and traveling