Bringing Long Beach together to address local environmental issues.
When Sokha Ny graduated from Long Beach State in 2016, she knew she wanted to make an impact on the Long Beach community’s environmental health. The following year, Ny co-founded the Long Beach Environmental Alliance (LBEA) alongside long-time city resident John Kindred.
Co-Founders John Kindred & Sokha Ny during one of LBEA's beach cleanups.
The LBEA is an environmental community organization who is dedicated to addressing the negative impacts of litter pollution, climate change and coastal climate change. By hosting beach cleanups, supporting green initiatives at city council meetings, and holding organizational meetings, LBEA hopes to create and instill environmental awareness among the Long Beach community and beyond.
As a geography major and environmental science and policy minor, attending Long Beach State helped prepare Ny for entering the environmental field. During her time at LBSU, Ny was a member of the Environmental Science and Policy Club, Geography Student Association and Choice USA.
"I learned a lot about myself [at CSULB] and what my talents were,” Ny said. “Those long nights studying and just being constantly pushed to see my potential helped me believed in myself.
She was particularly inspired by Geography professors Dr. Christine Jocoy, whose research focuses on sustainability issues in the urban environment, and Dr. Paul Laris, the former director of the ES&P program and a renowned expert on political and restoration ecology. Ny hopes to engage youth and inspire them to make change the same way her professors inspired her.
"Their passion, character, work ethic, and drive for change is what motivated me during my college career and beyond.” Ny said.
One of the actions that Ny is most proud about is the LBEA's advocacy efforts around the city's recently adopted styrofoam ban. LBEA and other local environmental groups joined forces to rally community support for the ban, helping to spread the word about this issue and get residents to turn out at City Council meetings.
“The council members love to see new faces who stand for something they believe in,” Ny said.
BEA encouraged attendees to wear green and speak out in favor of the ban. In the end, city council voted unanimously in favor of environmental advocates rather than local business leaders.
Members of the Long Beach Environmental Alliance pose for a photo.
Though much of Ny’s time is spent working with LBEA, her current day job is as the Volunteer Coordinator for a non-profit organization called Food Finders. Food Finders takes wholesome foods from grocery stores, restaurants and caterers and delivers them to food insecure communities. Their mission is to help eliminate hunger and food waste while also improving nutrition.
As the Food Finder’s Volunteer Coordinator, Ny recruits, trains, and manages their volunteer community. Her responsibilities also include assisting with all food drives and the Food 4 Kids program, which feeds food insecure children attending Title 1 schools.
Ny’s passion for environmental health compels her dedication to help the community become more sustainable and resilient. For people interested in protecting Long Beach’s environment, Ny suggests attending marches, rallies and city council meetings as well as getting involved with LBEA and Food Finders.
“The more hands that pitch in to help the more work we can get done together,” Ny said.
For a relatively recent CSULB grad, Ny has already proven herself to be an effect environmental advocate and coalition builder, but her future plans are even more ambitious. Over the next 10 years, Ny plans to continue working to create green jobs and ultimately to win election to the Long Beach City Council.