About Us

Our Staff and Volunteers

Staff
Joelle Novey, Director
Avery Davis, Program Manager
Laura File Long, Operations Manager
Maddie Smith, Program Associate
Catherine Goggins, DC Organizer
Robin Lewis, Green the Church Outreach Associate

Joelle Novey, Director
Joelle comes to IPL-DMV from one of our own congregations, Tikkun Leil Shabbat, an independent Jewish community in Washington DC which hosts speakers from social and environmental justice organizations, and regularly holds potlucks for over 150 people without the use of disposable tableware. Joelle grew up in Baltimore and attended Chizuk Amuno Congregation.

She is the co-author of Green and Just Celebrations, a purchasing guide that Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) distributes to local congregations for assisting families in making greener purchasing decisions around weddings and bar/bat mitzvah celebrations.

Most recently, Joelle worked at Green America, where she screened applicants to the Green Business Network and wrote dozens of articles about greener living for the organization’s newsletter and magazine.

Joelle brings a variety of interfaith experience to the religious diversity of IPL’s network. For more than a year, she counseled hospital patients of all backgrounds and led interfaith worship services through a chaplain training program at Washington Hospital Center.

Joelle is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University where she received a BA in Social Studies, and completed the coursework for a minor in the Study of Religion.



Avery Davis, Program Manager
Avery grew up in Topeka, Kansas, a city surrounded by farms, grasslands, and prairies. It was in these wide-open spaces he developed a deep love for agriculture, wilderness, and the beauty of Creation. He traded prairie vistas for ocean vistas when he moved to Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. At Pepperdine, Avery cultivated his interest in the land, studying Biology and Ecology, with a minor in Sustainability.

After graduating from Pepperdine University in 2016, Avery worked briefly for USGS, doing stream ecology research in the Santa Monica Mountains. Most recently, Avery worked at Sojourners, a Christian non-profit committed to social justice, where he focused on interfaith environmental organizing and advocacy. He is a member of Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington D.C., where he serves on the Sacred Resistance team.

Avery loves gardening, Wendell Berry, and all things food. He is committed to watershed discipleship and creation care, linking his love for beauty with his conviction that we are called to l’ovdah (to serve) and l’shomrah (to keep) Creation, both human and non-human.



Laura File Long, Operations Manager
Laura Long headshotLaura grew up in southern West Virginia where coal was king — except, of course, in the small towns that had been decimated and abandoned after the mines dried up. However, it was not until her time at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she majored in History and Religious Studies, that she became invested in educating herself and others about social justice and environmental issues. Inspired by her Christian faith and the charge in Micah 6:8 to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God, Laura worked through WVWC’s Center for Community Engagement to create opportunities for awareness, education, and action.

Laura is committed to a future in faith-based social justice work. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn from and be a part of the IPL team. Laura and her husband, Dustin, recently started attending Silver Spring United Methodist Church.





Maddie Smith, Program Associate
Maddie Smith headshot
Maddie joins IPL through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where she had a marvelous view of Mt. Rainier from her hometown in the Cascade foothills. She attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and studied chemistry and minored in Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies. While at PLU Maddie had the chance to study in Ecuador and Oaxaca, Mexico, which helped shape her views on social justice and the environment.

Most recently, she was a part of a climate literacy program through the American Chemical Society that sponsored American college students to attend the UN climate change conference COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco. Maddie is excited to work with IPL this year and partner with faith communities for environmental advocacy.



Catherine Goggins, DC Organizer
Catherine squash medCatherine grew up in a Catholic family along the James River in Newport News, Virginia. Interested in nature from an early age, she studied agricultural economics at Virginia Tech, seeking to make connections between caring for people and the planet. She has been shaped by communities the have welcomed her, having spent two summers in Alderson, West Virginia, growing food for families and friends of women incarcerated in federal prison, and a year in Cordoba, Argentina, where she worked for a Jesuit study abroad program, getting to know communities dealing with the harsh realities of environmental injustice while studying the Pope’s encyclical, “On Care for our Common Home.”

She came to IPL in 2016 through the Church of the Savior’s Discipleship Year program, during which she worked with faith communities in DC and her native Virginia. While not serving as a DC organizer, you can likely find her biking, baking bread, or studying at Georgetown where she is public policy graduate student.




Robin Lewis, Green the Church Outreach Associate

Robin LewisAs the Outreach and Social Justice Coordinator at Beloved Community Church in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Robin Lewis believes that she has been called as a Christian to be a voice for environmental justice in her community. After working in business for a long time, she found that her satisfaction was gained by helping to educate others, in particular people of color and other marginalized communities, become more aware of environmental issues that are impacting their quality of life. As a result, she shifted her career focus to community engagement and organizing with various local grassroots and faith-based organizations to help to promote collaboration on environmental justice issues.

Robin previously worked as a certified project manager for non-profits and businesses for many years, recently leading a large community engagement project about energy sourcing and usage in Madison, WI. She also worked as a community education and awareness advocate for energy conservation and promoted environmental legislation to clean-up the Renewable Portfolio Standards in Maryland. In addition to obtaining her BA in Economics and MBA from Rutgers University, Robin has a Masters in Sustainable Urban Planning with a concentration in Climate Change from The George Washington University. Robin’s research has focused on the socio-economic aspects of sustainability in urban revitalization, such as issues relating to displacement, gentrification, and affordable housing.

Robin feels blessed that she is able to bring her experience and passion to the IPL team and hopes to learn more about other faith traditions in the spirit of cooperation and harmony.

 

350 Dove, Environmental Peace Organizer

350 Dove has a lot of experience in working for peace throughout the scriptures of many faiths, but is perhaps most famous for the role he played in the Abrahamic traditions’ stories of Noah and the flood.

Why 350? 350 parts per million (ppm) is what many scientists, climate experts, and national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. Accelerating arctic warming and other early climate impacts have led scientists to conclude that we are already above the safe zone at our current 400 ppm, and that unless we are able to rapidly return to below 350 ppm this century, we risk reaching tipping points and irreversible impacts such as the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and major methane releases from increased permafrost melt.

“Today, we are called to be Noah,” says 350 Dove, “but only after we also recognize that this time, we are the cause of the flood. As the sky broke over Noah’s head, the sky is breaking in ours; but this time, it’s us.” Look for 350 Dove to find the Interfaith Power & Light folks at our next rally!

Thank you, Interns and Volunteers!

Our work is made possible through the assistance of interns and other volunteers. Please contact us if you’d like to explore lending a hand to our work. Recent interns and volunteers for IPL include:

Rachel Brustein, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
Elana Orbuch, AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps
Isabel Zeitz-Moskin, Lutheran Volunteer Corps
Clara Summers, Episcopal Service Corps
Elizabeth Stevens, Lutheran Volunteer Corps & Discipleship Year
Maria Langholz, Discipleship Year
Josef Lorentz, Lutheran Volunteer Corps & Discipleship Year

Summer 2017
Julliane Osias, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church

Summer 2016
Sanha Ryoo, General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church

Summer 2015
Gabby Resnick, Wesleyan University
Abi Rome, Volunteer for Energy Programs

Summer 2013
Mike Fekula, Wesley Theological Seminary
Shahar Colt, Solar Congregations Organizer

Summer 2012
Kanza Khan, Muslim Public Service Network Fellow
Shahar Colt, Solar Congregations Organizer

Spring 2012
Meredith Hollingsworth, American University

Summer 2011
Sara Emmerich, Beatitudes Fellow
Arif Karim, Muslim Public Service Network Fellow

Spring 2011
Lukas Troetzer, American University
Jane Rutherford, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill

Summer 2010
Hannah Donner, University of Rochester/Machon Kaplan
Robert Long, Harvard University
Avichai Ozur Bass, Charles E. Smith JDS/Har Shalom

Spring 2010
Matthew Young, St. Lawrence University
Avery O’Brian, School Without Walls/Fabrangen West

Summer 2009
Kelly Hardin, River Road Unitarian Universalist Church

Summer 2008
Tamara L. Slater, University of Rochester

Summer 2007
Aviva Birnkrant, Washington University in St. Louis/Congregation Beth El
Gina Gonzalez, Northwestern