Board Member Juliana Pino is the Policy Director at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), a community-based, frontline organization that organizes and advocates for environmental justice and the self-determination of immigrant, low-income, and working-class families. At LVEJO, Juliana analyzes, researches, and advocates for environmental justice, climate justice, and economic justice in local, state, and federal environmental policy. LVEJO campaigns cross many areas, including energy, food, water, air, land use, brownfields, toxics, transportation, workforce development, and others. Her work focuses on: advancing energy democracy and community self-determination in regulatory and policy arenas; creating just transition with meaningful collaborative and participatory management of shared environmental resources; and centering frontline community leaders as generators of transformative policy ideas and governance models.
Juliana has been instrumental to a range of new justice-focused policies, including creation of one of the first clean energy programs delivering economic justice to low-income households, environmental justice communities, and formerly incarcerated individuals; one of the first statewide lead-in-water testing programs in schools and daycares, moratoriums on drinking water shutoffs; reforms to municipal land use planning and zoning; procedural justice advances in pollution regulation; and more.
As an organizer, strategist, negotiator, and facilitator, Juliana aims to subvert, mitigate, and challenge patterns of systemic violence committed by institutions and individuals against marginalized people in society, pushing imaginations and transforming practices to center community visions and expertise in crafting a new future. She is committed to facilitating and cultivating processes that promote social justice and public health, has experience in multi-party negotiation and mediation, and works to build robust decision-making frameworks that center the perspectives of those most affected by both broader structural oppression and the specific policies being deliberated.
In 2017, Juliana was recognized in Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 for her work in the transition to a clean energy economy as lead negotiator for low-income programs in the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act. In 2018, she was named one of Grist’s 50 Fixers for making the world a more just and sustainable place for all and received the President William Clinton Award from People for Community Recovery for her commitment to ensuring communities of color surviving environmental racism understand their conditions and lead policy change. In 2019, she was named an inaugural Rachel’s Network Catalyst Award winner for women of color making an environmental impact in communities across the country and received the Illinois Legislative Green Caucus Karen May Environmental Leadership Award presented by leaders of the Caucus to one environmental advocate each year. In 2020, she was named a Climate Changemaker by Elevate Energy for community leadership in bringing visions for environmental justice, equity, and climate solutions to life.
Juliana is a graduate of the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability with a dual-track MS in Environmental Policy and Planning and Environmental Justice, the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy with an MPP in Public Policy Analysis, and the University of Chicago with an AB in East Asian Languages and Civilizations. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Environmental Council, a statewide organization that promotes sound environmental policy and protections for land, air, water, wildlife, and human health.
Prior to joining LVEJO, Juliana contributed to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Great Lakes Commission, and the U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Born in Tuluá, Colombia, and raised in both Colombia and the United States, Juliana is a former asylum seeker whose personal life is transnational. Now based in Chicago with her family, she is guided by anti-oppression and her love of animals.