Meet The Faces Of Rising Earth
We're fueled by an amazing group of enthusiastic educators, activists, researchers, artists, and youths. We believe in the reciprocal relationship of gifts that humans and all other living systems share.
Lauren Wigo - Visionary, Co-Founder, and Producer
Lauren is a mother, activist, and movement educator. For over twenty years she has incorporated body work, experiential anatomy, yoga, and meditation into her private practice. Her work helps clients understand and identify their movement patterns and provides support for new pathways of moving and being. Through the years she's also had the privilege of teaching the awareness practices of yoga and meditation to youth organizations like The Door, The Lower Eastside Girls Club and various New York City schools.
After finding most of her free time dedicated to environmental activism, the ideas and desires to be involved with youths and the environment led to the creation of Rising Earth. Lauren is the main writer for the graphic series and all around producer for the organization. She is thrilled to be involved in work that will help youths understand and cherish our Earth’s finite resources and become the ones to shift our patterns of impact towards a more positive pathway for this and future generations.
Maggie Chang - Co-Founder, Art Director, and Producer
As an artist and educator, Maggie has written several, interdisciplinary art curriculums for the New-York Historical Society and has helped hundreds of teen artists at LaGuardia Arts High School (aka New York City's acclaimed "Fame" school) develop their artistic skills and harness them for good. With her remaining hours, she's led the non-profit, Orange Giraffe Project, in guiding a multitude of people living with cancer to transform and celebrate their bodies through personalized jewelry making. Maggie recently received an AmeriCorps Leadership Award from Comcast NBCUniversal, and she was honored by the School Arts League with a Mentorship Award.
Maggie is currently working on projects that cultivate empathy and empowerment and that bring important stories to life through art, including her own children's books and organizations like Rising Earth. For Rising Earth, she guides the art team in creating its graphic novels, from manuscript edits to sketches to final art, and oversees the curriculum writing team. She also supervises the youth programs and is an all around collaborator, having played an integral part in establishing the organization as a non-profit. Maggie is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University's Teachers College.
Isabel Marte - Production Assistant
Isabel is recent graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, where she majored in 3D Animation with an immersion in Portuguese. Although her studies were in animation, graphic design has remained a significant part of her life. At RIT, Isabel was involved in the Desano Language Documentation Project with linguist Wilson Silva, who works on the documentation of the language of an indigenous group named Desano located in Brazil. Their goal was to gather more interest within the Desano community to preserve their language, which Isabel assisted with by creating animations for their traditional spoken stories. She even got to travel to Brazil to work on this project and meet the community.
Isabel’s goal is to use her love of graphic design and animation to teach others in a more interesting and entertaining way. She keeps the Rising Earth team organized and assists on just about every part of the organization. (She's also the artist who drew the team portraits!)
Joseph Baiz - Production Assistant
Joseph Baiz is a citizen of the Comanche Nation and a descendant of the Onondaga, Oneida, and Otoe-Missouria nations. Originally from Syracuse, New York, he is currently studying for his PhD in linguistics at the University at Buffalo, with an emphasis on the indigenous languages of North America.
In 2014, he received a BA in linguistics and a Certificate in Iroquois Linguistics from Syracuse University. Having a lifelong interest in storytelling and creative writing, he is excited about the possibility of art and story to communicate an indigenous view of the relationship between humans and the natural world.