Bishop Marcia Dinkins is the Executive Director of Ohioans for Sustainable Change. Bishop Dinkins brings with her organizing experience on the national, state and local levels. She has a background in organizing on issues related to domestic violence, health and safety, education, jobs and crime. She holds three degrees: Associate of Arts (Oakland Community College); Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary and Women and Gender Studies (University of Toledo) and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice & Policy (Youngstown State University). She has taught social justice workshops at Case Western University, Bowling Green State University and at the American Baptist Churches Leadership Academy.
Board of Directors
Kelsey Ryan-Simkins followed passions for sustainable food, social justice, and religion to attend graduate school in Columbus and discovered the work of Ohioans for Sustainable Change through these interests. Currently, Kelsey is a PhD candidate in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University where her research focuses on food justice and the creation of environmentally sustainable and socially equitable food systems in the United States. She holds also holds MA in Practical Theology from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. She and her family attend Columbus Mennonite Church and enjoy exploring parks along the Olentangy River Trail.
Kathy Dickson is an Ohio native with a love for the state and its land, water, and people. Sustainable backyard gardening is a part of her rural roots in addition to her faith beliefs grounded in a call to care for all creation and each other. In the last several years of work at MTSO, she has served as project manager for the Community Food and Wellness Initiative, working with urban and other partners to tackle some challenges with food injustice, sustainably, alongside interns and the school’s Seminary Hill Farm. Other roles at MTSO allow her to facilitate some of the institution’s public theology and education, and support students in their discernment and internships, including with organizations and faith communities working creatively to address food injustice, climate justice and more. She holds an MDiv with focused study also in theology and disability, and enjoys practicing growing food in backyard gardens and with a 20-family organic farm co-op. In addition to this board, she is also a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, the ROAR Higher Ed Collaborative, Friendship House USA board, and the international Institute for Theology and Disability Coordinating Council.
Valerie Gilbert is an Energy and Sustainability engineer. She is currently working as a data analyst, collecting information for future projects. She is a firm believer in “Everything is Connected” – that we cannot cause harm to the earth without causing harm to ourselves and every living spirit. Valerie’s energy awareness started with a 100-yr old house and very high winter gas bills. A lack of understanding in building science principles fueled a learning passion culminating with a degree in Architecture Engineering and over 100 hours of energy efficiency classes. During her time at Cal Poly, the stirrings of environmentalism went from ambers to full flame. A LEED Accredited Professional since 2009, She has been involved in several projects that obtained Silver certification or better.
She has spent the last ten years working with commercial clients to build analyses that reflect clients’ energy concerns and goals, with specifics on next steps, cost, savings through energy efficiency incentives and retrofit opportunities. Currently, Valerie lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husky, Blu.
Rev. Peter Galbraith
Rev. Peter Galbraith became pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Nelsonville, Ohio in February of 2011. Prior to coming to Nelsonville, Peter worked as a hospital chaplain at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California. He also taught English as a second language for three years in
Vietnam, and served there another two years in organizational leadership. Peter has a B.A. from Miami University of Ohio, and both an M.A. in Cross-Cultural Studies and M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary. Peter is heavily involved with the Nelsonville Presbyterian Farm, a campground ministry of the church, and is a member of the board at The Athens County Foundation. In his free time, Peter loves quality time with his daughter Lily Anne, a good game of tennis or golf, good film, and television, and staying connected with family and friends near and far.
Mark A. McClain received his BA degree in sociology from Harvard College and his law degree from Columbia University School of Law. He spent 20 years in the law profession serving in various capacities, including Chief Prosecutor of the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, assistant U.S. attorney, judge, civil rights and defense attorney. In 2006 he was called to the ministry in the Primitive Baptist Church.
Shannon Stewart grew up in Scioto County, Ohio, and their wanderings did not take them far. In college, they interned at United Campus Ministry: Center for Spiritual Growth and Social Justice in Athens and explored questions of faith both through a few different churches and UCM ‘s Interfaith Impact group. After attending Ohio University for social work, they served two terms of National Service (AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps State/National) and landed at RuralAction, managing the AmeriCorps programming. They also help to run a tiny but growing farm in Glouster and they spend lots of time with their nephews. Shannon attends Nelsonville First Presbyterian but is still “living the questions” and came into the Ohioans for Sustainable Change circle through their membership in Earth Justice, a group for activists grounded in faith, founded by Carol Kuhre. Right now, Shannon’s blessed unrest is focused on climate justice and environmental education.