Taylor is South Carolina’s Interfaith Power & Light Executive Coordinator and Lowcountry liaison. He provides expertise in various sustainable practices and has a professional background in clean energy advocacy and energy finance. Taylor previously served on the steering committee of Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light, where he assisted congregations with energy efficiency upgrades and promoted environmental policy solutions from a faith perspective. A Charleston native, Taylor holds a BA in History from the University of Virginia.
Lee is a lifelong resident of South Carolina and a current resident of James Island. After receiving his degree in Horticulture from Clemson, he moved to the Charleston area to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Environmental Studies at the College of Charleston. He is currently conducting his thesis research on public deliberation and risk perception in the area of environmental health. He is also working as a research assistant on a project to help coastal residents with flood preparedness. For more information about Lee, click on this link.
Linda Geronilla, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist with degrees in education, nutrition, interfaith studies, and Counseling Psychology and is a Master Gardener, Master Naturalists and Permaculture practitioner. In 2016, Dante and she built an acre sustainable homestead on Johns Island which won an “Energy Innovation Award” with US Department of Energy and Charleston Home Builder’s Prism Award. She volunteers in Audubon’s “Saving Sea Birds” and “Higher Ground” with climate change and disaster preparation projects. She loves to teach organic gardening, foodscaping, seed starting in water with grow lights, rain barrels, wildlife, and bug habitat, recycling, composting, and disaster preparedness.
Bert Keller has lived and worked in Charleston since 1969. He spent 34 years on the faculty of MUSC studying and teaching clinical ethics, bioethics and the medical humanities, and 37 years serving as pastor of Circular Congregational Church. In retirement he loves walking in the woods, swamps and marshes of the Lowcountry. He and his wife Lucille practice environmental stewardship at home and advocate in the community.
Todd Lavasseur is a visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the College of Charleston. He also directs the College of Charleston’s Sustainability Literacy Institute, and the school’s Quality Enhancement Plan, “Sustainability Literacy as a Bridge to Addressing 21st Century Problems.”
Heather Mann, Higher Ground Chair
Heather helped found and direct several environmental justice organizations, including: Higher Ground, the Earth Holder Community (EarthHolder.org) , and the Center for Resilient Cities (ResilientCities.org). In 2016, Heather ordained into the International Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhists. Today she leads the Indigo Sangha in Summerville, SC–a weekly gathering to study and practice mindfulness in daily living. Parallax Press published Ocean of Insight: A Sailor’s Voyage from Despair to Hope, her story of six-years spent navigating the ocean wilderness on a small sloop. Click here for more information.
Sam is a graduate student and aspiring polymath.
Carolyn Rivers is Founder and Director of The Sophia Institute. As a teacher, visionary, and spiritual mentor, her work centers on personal, interpersonal and societal transformation that fosters the emergence of Feminine, cultivating wisdom and mindfulness, for a more just, sustainable, flourishing world. Carolyn has worked professionally with many of the transpersonal leaders of our time, who are now on the faculty and National Advisory Board of the Sophia Institute. Carolyn is taking a stand for educating women to be change agents in creating a more conscious and compassionate world.
Katy Roberts is a filmmaker in Charleston, SC. Through her various travels she has seen the effects of climate change on a global scale. She now hopes to help combat global warming locally by making videos and documentaries for Higher Ground. Click here to learn more about Katy’s freelance film making.
Gary Smith is a writer and father of three who has lived in Charleston for over three decades. He also teaches mindfulness and yoga to schoolchildren.
A former Board member of the Coastal Conservation League, Libby is currently a businesswoman in the Charleston area.
Dr. Stewart Weinberg retired to Charleston in 2012, after serving eight years as the superintendent of the Dallastown Area School District. Prior to coming to Dallastown, Dr. Weinberg served as the superintendent in Ladue, Missouri; Fairbanks, Alaska; and Lawrence, New York. In the world of climate and environment, Dr. Weinberg presently serves as the Climate Lead for Organizing for Action for South Carolina, mentor for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, and chair of the State Environmental Caucus of the SC Democratic Party.