Angelou Ezeilo

CEO, Greening Youth Foundation

Angelou Ezeilo’s love for the environment stretches far back to when she was a little girl who had the chance to escape the dense urban streets of Jersey City, New Jersey, to summer in her family’s home in upstate New York.

After a brief stint of practicing law, it was through her work as a legal specialist for the New Jersey State Agriculture and Development Committee that Ezeilo embarked upon a career as an environmentalist.

Ezeilo further honed her skills as a project manager for the Trust for Public Land (TPL) in both its New Jersey and Georgia offices. In her position, Ezeilo acquired land for preservation and worked on the New York/New Jersey Highlands Program, Parks for People-Newark, the New York/New Jersey Harbor Program in New Jersey, the Atlanta Beltline, and the 20 County Regional Greenspace Initiative in Georgia.

While at TPL, Ezeilo realized the disconnect between the land that was being preserved and the education of people about that preservation — particularly as it related to our next generation. This was the impetus for the Greening Youth Foundation. As a woman and minority-founded and led nonprofit, Ezeilo is at the helm of a movement to provide environmental and wellness education and career pathways to a new generation, both in the United States and in countries throughout Africa.

Ezeilo was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2016 for her work at the Greening Youth Foundation, where she remains the CEO today. The Greening Youth Foundation is cultivating a generation of youth of color to be stewards of our land and natural resources, ultimately shifting the demographics of the environment conservation movement.

Ezeilo is a graduate of Spelman College, Georgia. She received her juris doctorate in Law from the University of Florida, College of Law. Angelou is a member of the National Center for Civil and Human Right’s Women in Solidarity Society, and Georgia Audubon boards; advisory board Member for Outdoor Afro, The Million Mile Greenway, Inc., Keeping It Wild, Inc., and Rachel’s Network; and most recently the author of “Engage, Connect, Protect: Empowering Diverse Youth as Environmental Leaders.”

Ezeilo is a lover of cultural dance, hiking and birds and good avocado toast! As recent empty nesters, Ezeilo and her husband of 25 years, split their time between Atlanta and Lagos, Nigeria.