Annakaren grew up in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, ancestral Tataviam territory, where she learned about the unjust zoning policies and practices that shaped her community through her involvement in Youth United Toward Environmental Protection (YUTEP). This mobilized her to work towards equitable and community driven solutions in communities impacted by environmental racism. She received her BS in Conservation and Resource Studies with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice from UC Berkeley, where she worked to diversify the college of Natural Resources as a member of the Students of Color Environmental Collective. Passionate about increasing access to the outdoors, she has led programming to connect youth from all over Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Mountains and Angeles National Forest to enjoy, work in, and become lifelong stewards of our natural landscapes.
She has engaged community-based organizations to leverage local power and community voices to take part in planning for water sustainability projects and is a member of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters to ensure that local elected officials are champions of intersectional environmental issues in Los Angeles. You can find her rock climbing, gardening, practicing pottery, or planning new adventures in her spare time.