Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President and CEO, Hip Hop Caucus
Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus, is a minister, community activist and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life. He works tirelessly to encourage the Hip Hop generation to utilize its political and social voice. Rev Yearwood is a national leader in engaging young people in electoral activism. He leads the national Respect My Vote! campaign and coalition (www.respectmyvote.com). In the 2012 Elections, numerous celebrity partners have joined the campaign to reach their fan bases, including Respect My Vote! spokesperson 2 Chainz.
Rev Yearwood entered the world of Hip Hop Politics when he served as the Political and Grassroots Director of Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network in 2003 and 2004. In 2004 he also was a key architect and implementer of three other voter turnout operations – P. Diddy’s Citizen Change organization which created the “Vote Or Die!” campaign; Jay Z’s “Voice Your Choice” campaign; and, “Hip Hop Voices”, a project at the AFL-CIO. It was in 2004 that he founded the Hip Hop Caucus to bring the power of the Hip Hop Community to Washington, DC. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Rev Yearwood established the award winning Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign where he led a coalition of national and grassroots organizations to advocate for the rights of Katrina survivors.
A national leader and pacemaker within the green movement, Rev Yearwood has been successfully bridging the gap between communities of color and environmental issue advocacy for the past four years. With a diverse set of celebrity allies, Rev Yearwood raises awareness and action in communities that are often overlooked by traditional environmental campaigns. Rev Yearwood’s innovative stance has garnered the Hip Hop Caucus support from several environmental leaders including the National Wildlife Federation, Earthjustice, and former Vice President Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.
Marilyn Waite, Climate Finance Program Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Marilyn currently leads the climate and clean energy finance portfolio at the Hewlett Foundation. She has worked across four continents in renewable and nuclear energy, startups, and venture capital and investment. Author of Sustainability at Work: careers that make a difference, Marilyn serves on the Board of Directors for The Biomimicry Institute and writes the column on green economy ventures, The Innovators. Marilyn previously led the energy practice at Village Capital, modeled and forecasted energy solutions to climate change as a Senior Research Fellow at Project Drawdown, and managed innovation projects at AREVA (now Orano). She holds a Master’s Degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.
Adam Wolfensohn, Co-Managing Partner, Encourage Capital
Adam Wolfensohn is Co-Managing Partner of Encourage Capital, a unique partnership of disciplined investors and creative problem-solvers, the firm is working with major asset owners to deploy investment capital to solve problems like global ecosystem decline, climate change, and bringing financial services to the world’s poor. Previously, Adam was managing director at Wolfensohn Fund Management and also managed the Wolfensohn family office cleantech and environmental markets strategies. He produced the climate change documentary Everything’s Cool that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. From 2002 to 2003, he worked with Conservation International to create a market for carbon credits from avoided deforestation projects. Prior to 2002, Adam composed music for numerous films, television commercials, and theater productions, as founder and CEO of “Red Ramona,” an award winning music and sound design studio in New York City. He is a trustee of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Yad Hanadiv, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Bang on a Can. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Adam earned a B.A. from Princeton University and a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.