With over 20 years of experience as an educator, Gladys is an inspired leader who has honed her love of nature and her passion for mentoring young people into a personal mission of nurturing nature connection in youth and young adults.
Since relocating to Portland, Oregon from New York City, she continued working with communities of color, promoting healthy living and environmental education at the Community Cycling Center, Forest Park Conservancy, and Audubon Society of Portland. Through this work she has continued her dedication to building diversity, equity and inclusion in the environmental community, first by connecting children of color to meaningful and relevant experiences in nature through community-based summer camps and field trips and then through the creation of Portland Audubon’s TALON program, helping connect young adults of color to environmental careers.
In 2016, Gladys launched Gladys Ruiz Consulting LLC., (GRC) a consulting business focused on culturally relevant program design and youth workforce development that's responsive to community needs and leads with a racial equity lens. Engaging clients through the cultivation of equitable learning environments that focuses on understanding what it means to provide programs for multicultural audiences, Gladys meets clients where they are on their equity, diversity, and inclusion journey.
Approaching this work from a decolonized framework that moves beyond the euro-centric colonizer perspective and narrative, Gladys has spent many years working one redefining what Environmental Education means and how it relates to community as a whole.
In addition, Gladys Ruiz serves as a Program Associate for Center for Diversity & the Environment, a national organization whose mission is to harness the power of racial & ethnic diversity to transform the U.S. environmental movement by developing leaders, catalyzing change within institutions, and building alliances, leading equity, diversity and inclusion trainings.