This week, we’re talking with two faith leaders from the South, Rev. Leo Woodberry from South Carolina and Dr. Daniel Joranko from Tennessee.
Rev. Leo Woodberry was born and raised in New York City. There he became involved with community organizing at an early age, as a student organizer. Reverend Woodberry is the pastor of Kingdom Living Temple, Executive Director of New Alpha Community Development Corporation in Florence, SC, and a member of the SC Environmental Justice Network. He became involved in environmental work in the 1990s with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, around the issue of mercury emissions and advisories. He joined the newly formed African American Environmental Justice Action Network (AAEJAN) in 1994. AAEJAN was instrumental in uniting people of color across America, and in influencing the Ford Foundation and other philanthropic entities to support people of color communities disproportionately impacted by environmental hazards. Reverend Woodberry has also worked with a host of other organizations such as the; Southern Organizing Committee (SOC), The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Xavier University of Louisiana, The Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University, The Environmental Protection Agency NEJAC (Region Four), SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, The National Wildlife Federation, SC Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Coastal Carolina League, South East Climate Network, Green Faith, Clemson Education and Research Center, Francis Marion University, WEACT, Advancing Equity and Opportunities, Agricultural Missions, Inc. and a host of other organizations. He has and continues to work in the areas of; water, air, as well as renewable and sustainable energy issues with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Reverend Woodberry attended Francis Marion University and The University of South Carolina. He retired from AT&T after 20 years of service and received three Vice Presidential Corporate awards. The SC State Senate also presented him with an award in recognition of his community service.
Dr. Daniel Joranko is a longtime community organizer focusing on Climate and Energy Justice. He coordinates the Climate Project for Tennessee Alliance for Progress. He convened the Southeast New Green Economy Conference this past year. He serves as the coordinator of both the Creation Care Ministry of the Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church and Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light. He was a founder of the national Earthkeepers Program hosted through United Methodist Global Ministries. He served as the coordinator of the prison program at Vanderbilt Divinity School from 2007 -2020 – through which he taught courses composed of VDS students and residents at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. He has a Ph.D. in Resource Development form Michigan State University. He also has a Master of Divinity Degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological School.
Rev. Leo Woodberry
Dr. Daniel Joranko