Where Are They Now? Briana Villalobos

Briana Villalobos

She/her/they

Reigning Forest Prom Kween, Briana Villalobos

A Southern California transplant, Briana graduated with a BA in sociology at Humboldt State University in 2016. As an avid advocate and self-proclaimed tree hugger, Briana became an intern at the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) shortly after graduation—then took on the role as the Director of Development and Communications from 2017-2019. In that position, she learned about the complex history of the (mis)management of the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest, and had the privilege to work with many of the activists who were instrumental in the fight for Headwaters Forest Reserve and other actions during Redwood Summer and beyond.

Briana served on the NEC’s board during 2017-2019 and was a key volunteer for events and program support. Her time in Humboldt was spent volunteering for various groups and causes, tabling for EPIC and other groups at many of the wonderful festivals and community events in town, hitting the dance floor at soul-night, snacking on farmers market goodies, and roller-skating the marsh trail.

Her favorite Humboldt memory is helping coordinate EPIC’s second Base Camp, an activist training camp which sought to get on-the-ground information in response to the proposed Last Chance Grade Project. During that trip, EPIC led 12 community members through some of the most untouched old growth she’s ever experienced. Connecting community to nature is a high value for her, and during her time at EPIC she helped coordinate a bilingual hike program with the HSU Latino Outdoors chapter. Together, they were able to train bilingual speakers to be interpretive guides and provide the community an opportunity to practice or learn a new language while enjoying the redwoods.

In 2019 Briana made the move to Portland, OR and is the Development Director at Bark— a local forest advocacy group who works to protect and restore Mt. Hood National Forest. Although she’s moved on to dryer, more urban forests, Briana often refers to the activist tools and policy jargon she learned while in Humboldt.

 

Since her move to Portland, Briana has helped facilitate nonprofit fundraising learning sessions for professionals 35 and under, joined the Young Nonprofit Professional Network (YNPN) board of directors, and has played an active role in the SunrisePDX movement. Although forest advocacy will forever be her passion, she has decided to phase out of nonprofit fundraising and was recently accepted to Lewis and Clark to pursue a masters degree in Student Affairs Administration. She is thrilled at the opportunity to learn more leadership skills in equity and education and is excited to take on her activism in a volunteer vs. administrative role.

As EPIC’s reigning Forest Prom Kween she highly encourages fellow tree lovers in Humboldt to attend EPIC Forest Prom on May 9th at the Veterans Hall. This all ages, redwood carpet affair will provide an experience you do not want to miss! Whether you never went to your High School Prom, desperately want a “do over”, or just want to have a good time, this event promises to create lasting memories, all in support of EPIC’s efforts to protect and restore the forests of Northcoast California.