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Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs

Tabitha St. Bernard-Jacobs is a designer, fashion activist, and organizer who studied Fashion Design at FIT. She is the co-founder and designer of Tabii Just, a zero waste womenswear clothing label that is made ethically in Brooklyn from excess fabric. She is an advocate for fair working conditions for garment workers as well as ethical fashion. Tabitha has been featured in MTV, MarketWatch, Al Jazeera and WWD for her work with Tabii Just. Tabitha also co-founded LIVARI Clothing, an ethical clothing label that launched during Fashion Week Fall 2017 to rave reviews. LIVARI Clothing has been featured in WWD, NowThis, LA Times, Forbes, Nylon, Bustle, NY1, Huffington Post, Sourcing Journal among others. She has spoken at several conventions about sustainability in fashion including the Women’s Convention and Go Green Convention. She has held talks at several educational institutions including Gettysburg College, George Washington University, and DePauw University, to name a view. Tabitha has also taken part in panel discussions about the topic of sustainable fashion at the Sustainable Textile Summit, NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council Sustainability Summit and more.

Tabitha is one of 25 women who spearheaded the organization of the Women’s March On Washington, helping organize the biggest demonstration in response to an election in U.S. history. She is the Youth & Family Coordinator. Tabitha created the Youth Ambassador program which saw 31 young people from all over the country recognized for their outstanding activist work. She co-led the one day strike, A Day Without A Woman, which saw participation from women all over the world. Tabitha is the coordinator of Women’s March EMPOWER, a toolkit for high school and college students that provides actionable tools for organizing, voter education and running for office. EMPOWER is a collaboration of Women’s March, Rock The Vote, Teen Vogue, Rise to Run, The Gathering for Justice and Justice League NYC. Tabitha consulted with Penguin on the kids book, The Little Book of Little Activists, released in Fall 2017. Tabitha has been recognized as one of Glamour Magazine’s 2017 Women of the Year. She has been featured in the book, 200 Women Who Will Change The Way You See The World.


Daniel Benkendorf, Ph.D.

Daniel Benkendorf is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Assistant Chairperson of the Social Sciences Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Daniel’s research interests are at the crossroads of social, conservation, and positive psychology. Some of his most recent work has explored the relationship between nature-based sports and subjective well-being. Daniel has also studied the relationship between materialism as expressed through clothing purchase decisions and pro-environmental values. He was a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.Before coming to FIT, Daniel studied industrial and organizational psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.


Mark Dorfman

Mark Dorfman is a Principle and Biomimicry Chemist with Biomimicry 3.8, an organization founded on the premise that living organisms, by necessity, have developed sophisticated, high-performing, life-friendly chemistries that could inspire provocative, effective, and sustainable technologies for modern society. In partnership with forward-thinking chemistry labs, Mark seeks out and applies the design principles of nature's time-tested chemical strategies to develop innovative solutions to 21st century challenges including those in textiles, cosmetics, packaging, electronics, agriculture, food, and home products. Biomimicry 3.8’s clients represent a diverse group of leading companies and institutions including Johnson & Johnson, Google, Levi’s, Patagonia, Estee Lauder, Colgate, Mahindra, Ashland Chemical, Natura, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Earth Guardians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, (his first name pronounced shoo-TEHZ-caht) is a 17-year-old indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, author, and powerful voice on the front lines of a global, youth-led environmental movement. At the early age of six Xiuhtezcatl began speaking around the world, from the Rio+20 United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro, to addressing the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York City.

He has worked locally to get pesticides out of parks, coal ash contained, and moratoriums on fracking in his state. Xiuhtezcatl has traveled across the nation and to many parts of the world educating his generation about the state of the planet they are inheriting.

His message has inspired youth to join the front lines to combat some of the greatest issues of their times that are impacting their communities and future. Earth Guardians has grown to hundreds of youth-led crews in over 30 countries. His work has been featured on PBS, Showtime, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Upworthy, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Vogue, Bill Maher, The Daily Show, Skavlan, Q&A, AJ+, CNN, MSNBC, HBO, VICE, and many more.

In 2013, Xiuhtezcatl received the 2013 United States Community Service Award from President Obama, and was the youngest of 24 national change-makers chosen to serve on the President's Youth Council. He is the 2015 recipient of the Peace First Prize, recipient of the 2015 Nickelodeon Halo Award, 2016 Captain Planet Award, the 2016 Children's Climate Prize from Sweden, as well as the 2017 Univision Premio’s Ajentede Cambio Award.

He recently published the book, We Rise: The Earth Guardians Guide to Building a Movement that Restores the Planet and will soon release a hip hop album called Break Free.

Here’s what Leonardo DiCaprio had to say: “Climate change will impact the livability of our planet for future generations. It is our youth — those whose commitment to the causes of sustainability, conservation, and preservation — who will drive the change we so desperately need. Xiuhtezcatl, through his art, is informing and galvanizing a new movement of leaders who are ready to emerge as our best hope for a brighter future.”