Juan Martinez, an environmental activist with the Sierra Club and a national spokesman on the importance of getting youth outside, will speak Dec. 9 at the University of the Ozarks. Martinez is Director of Leadership Development and Natural Leaders Network for the Children and Nature Network.
The event, which is co-sponsored by the Walton Arts and Ideas Series and Ozarks Outdoors program, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center. The public is invited and admission is free.
A native of south central Los Angeles, Martinez's passion to empower individuals and youth led him to direct Sierra Club’s first environmental justice youth leadership academy in Los Angeles.
He was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2011. He represents The North Face as an ambassador for outdoor engagement. In 2011 he became the youngest member in history of the Sierra Club Foundation Board. He reached the Summit of the Grand Teton in 2010 with Conrad Anker. In 2009, he introduced Department of Interior’s Ken Salazar at Powershift in Washington, D.C., the largest youth gathering on climate change, and he was invited by the White House to attend the National Forum on Clean Energy Economy.
Martinez was also a delegate to the Latino Congreso, the largest gathering of Latino key figures in the U.S., in 2006 and he is included in “Hispanics Living Green.”
Martinez is a recipient of Congresswoman Hilda Solis’ Environmental Youth Leadership Award and “Looking to the Future” award from the Breaking the Color Barriers conference, the largest conference on people of color in the great outdoors. He received a “Green for All” 2009 fellowship and served on the national executive committee for the Sierra Student Coalition.
Martinez dedicates his energy and free time on grassroots campaigns that vary from health care and housing discrimination to creating garden space in the city of L.A.