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2019-2020 Civic Leader Fellows

Photograph of Marisa Lansing looking at the camera while smiling

Marisa Lansing

Marisa Lansing is a mover and a shaker through her climate and social justice work in Tompkins County. She is a dedicated community worker and founder of the local, youth-led climate activism group, Sunrise Ithaca. She graduated from Ithaca College this May of 2019 and moved downtown to continue developing her community ties and connections. Her passion for social justice, cultivated through learnings in her Environmental Studies degree, led to tenacious action in the development of the Sunrise Movement. Marisa acknowledges the deep systemic changes required to tackle the global issue of climate disruption, but acknowledges that big change starts at the local and regional levels. She hopes that over the next year as a Civic Leaders Fellow she can continue to empower fellow young people and frontline community members with the tools and knowledge needed to raise our voices to battle the climate emergency. This won't be possible without local and federal Green New Deals grounded in justice.

Photograph of Jess Rite in black-and-white looking at the camera

Jess Rite

Jess Rite is a queer artist, healer, and community organizer, and the President of the Multicultural Resource Center. Passionate about justice, Jess brings a unique perspective to social work by exploring the intersections of creativity and social equity. Their work breaks down barriers and awakens new ways of thinking to generate creative avenues as a call to action. Jess is devoted to helping fellow social justice leaders and organizations create mutually beneficial collaborations with community members to form a culture of healing, creativity, and equity.

Photograph of Ellen Mary Woods leaning on a counter while smiling at the camera

Ellen Mary Woods

Ellen Mary Woods is a resident of Enfield and is looking to increase County services for Enfield residents. She is also looking to increase economic justice and representation for the district by providing responsive community service for residents and improving the safety and preparedness of Enfield. Ellen served as a Firefighter, EMS First Responder, Volunteer, and Community Advocate. Currently, she runs a Food Recycling Drop Spot for Tompkins County on Bostwick Road and Fall Creek, as well as provide information and referrals to community resources for residents through the #211 helpline.