Erica Nanton

Erica Nanton is the Manager of Governmental Affairs at Openlands where she works with organizational leadership and staff, along with community organizations, federal, state, and local legislators to bring forward conservation and equitable environmental policies and initiatives that help to bring the vision of Openlands and impacted communities to fruition. Erica believes that the care of our planet and natural resources is directly connected to the historic and ongoing fights for both racial and economic justice. She believes that access to land and resources have always been directly tied to equity and that it is up to all of us to make sure that we are not only responsible with those natural resources but that we always do so through a lens of justice.

Erica has most recently worked as a leader with The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, the continued campaign that was originally started by Dr. Martin Luther King shortly before his assassination with the vision to bring together poor people and marginalized people of all races and backgrounds. The Poor People’s Campaign recently added an additional pilar to its vision of addressing Ecological Devastation. This being a much-needed addition to that vision in our modern times is one that Erica truly believes in her heart Dr. King would have approved of adding to the fight. Erica has also worked as a community organizer with directly impacted communities, from students in Parkland, Fl facing gun violence to Indigenous communities standing against poisoned land and water. Erica is also experienced in writing, lobbying for, and enacting legislation, leading lobbying efforts in Washington, DC., as well as at the Illinois state level and local level in Chicago and surrounding municipalities. Erica has won awards including the Parents 4 Teachers: Education Justice Award for her work with students and communities. She was invited as the Keynote Speaker for the Bermuda Union of Teachers 100th Anniversary on the island of Bermuda. Erica holds a Bachelors of Professional Studies in Social Psychology from Roosevelt University.

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