Ellen Tuzzolo is a white, queer mama, of Southern Italian and Irish ancestry, based on Narragansett, Pokanoket and Wampanoag land. Ellen is most fired up by undermining systems of oppression and breaking down barriers that prevent people from seeing and caring for themselves, each other, and the earth. After growing up queer and nonbinary in a tiny town in Massachusetts, Ellen spent many years in the South working as part of an incredible advocacy and organizing community on numerous efforts to close youth and women’s prisons, fight mass incarceration, and stop the school-to-prison pipeline. For several years after, Ellen directed residential camp programs where young people could learn to challenge systems of oppression while connecting with themselves, others, and the natural world.
Currently, Ellen’s paid work includes training, equity assessment processes, equity coaching, and DEIJ strategy support for educators, youth service professionals, environmentalists, and other non-profit and corporate staff and boards. As a facilitator of multi-racial spaces committed to both popular education and outdoor education, Ellen has held space for thousands of youth and adults to understand and challenge systemic racism and other forms of oppression. Ellen is currently a consultant with Liberation Consulting, VISIONS, Inc. and Partners for Collaborative Change. Ellen serves on the board of The People’s Port Authority, is a proud founding member of the Providence chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), and loves spending time outside with their family, learning how to tend to beautiful and edible plant friends.