Kirsten Shead

Kirsten Shead (she/her), Co-Executive Director at Milwaukee Water Commons (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Kirsten is a visionary leader driving water equity and justice. With a background in chemistry and a history in interfaith networks, she forged a path to environmental activism. Kirsten’s approach infuses culture into MWC’s initiatives, advocating for spiritual and artistic connections to water. Her leadership amplifies marginalized voices through the establishment of coalitions like Branch Out Milwaukee for equitable urban canopy restoration. Kirsten influences policy, centering environmental justice and community engagement through her service on the Wisconsin Governor’s Climate Change Task Force. She fearlessly confronts racial issues in predominantly white environmental spaces, fostering dialogue and reflection on privilege. Kirsten and her team’s relentless advocacy led to federal investment in replacing lead pipes, addressing environmental injustices. Together with numerous coalition partners, her leadership is transforming the Milwaukee EPA River Estuary Area of Concern, empowering underrepresented communities in decision-making. Her commitment and community-driven approach make her an incredible force, reshaping the environmental movement towards multi-racial equity and impactful change