Environmental and Health Sciences Department Spelman College
Na’Taki Osborne Jelks is an assistant professor at Spelman College. She also is the manager for Community and Leadership Development Programs for the National Wildlife Federation and chair of the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, an organization committed to ensuring environmental justice in southwest and northwest Atlanta’s African-American neighborhoods. An environmental engineer by training, Osborne Jelks is committed to being a social change engineer.
Osborne Jelks is a nationally-recognized leader in engaging urban communities and youth of color in environmental stewardship through hands-on watershed and land restoration initiatives, environmental education, and training. In 2001, Jelks co-founded the Atlanta Earth Tomorrow® Program, National Wildlife Federation’s multi-cultural, youth environmental education and leadership development program that engages urban youth in investigating causes of environmental challenges, helps them connect to nature, fosters their leadership of youth-led community action projects, promotes civic engagement, and nurtures leadership skills for building personal environmental stewardship. The Program has directly reached over 2,500 youth and was recently selected as a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) member organization. Graduates have gone on to gain internships and permanent employment in the fields of environmental science and engineering, forestry, public health, environmental geography, and natural resource management.
Jelks is an alumna of Spelman College and Emory University and is currently a doctoral candidate at the Georgia State University School of Public Health.