Our Steering Committee consist of individuals from diverse faith groups, who display a passionate concern for the environment.
Huda Alkaff is an ecologist, environmental educator, and the Founder and Director of Wisconsin Green Muslims, a grassroots environmental justice group formed in 2005 to connect faith, environmental justice, sustainability, and healing through education and service. Wisconsin Green Muslims has educated thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds in Wisconsin and beyond on a variety of environmental topics, including climate change, water, food, fair trade, solar energy, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and transportation equity. The group’s Green Ramadan campaign is now shared and implemented in approximately 20 states and globally, and the initiative Energy Democracy: Faith Communities for Equitable Solar has connected with over 4,500 people from different constituencies. Huda is a founding member of the Interfaith Earth Network of Southeastern Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Interfaith Power and Light and has spent two decades working as an advocate for environmental justice, initiating Muslim and interfaith programs focused on energy and water conservation. Huda received the 2015 Obama's White House Champions of Change for Faith Climate Justice Leaders recognition, the 2016 Sierra Club Great Waters Group Environmental Hero of the Year, and in 2017, Huda has been recognized nationally by Environment America as one of the Voices for 100% Renewable Energy. Also, Huda received the 2018 Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education Eco-Justice Award.
Dianne Dagelen is a member of St. Therese Congregation, where she serves on her parish Green Team. A native Milwaukeean, she has a degree in Theology from Marquette University as well as master degrees in Social Work and Urban Affairs from UWM. A retired clinical social worker, she is the proud grandmother of five. As Chair and Conservation Chair for the Great Waters Group of the Sierra Club, she is a member of the Cleaner Milwaukee Coalition to clean up the Menomonee Valley coal plant, the Coalition for More Responsible Transportation to pursue transit options for the I-94 Corridor and MICAH (Milwaukee Innercity Congregations Allied for Hope) as an advocate for environmental justice. She has organized public participation to preserve county parkways from DOT clear-cutting and ATC transmission towers, and is a member the Wauwatosa Senior Commission. Educating and celebrating community have energized her the past five years by organizing multi-cultural Earth Day events. She enjoys cross country skiing and sailing.
Katie Heinen is a full-time volunteer and life-long learner with a degree in Alternatives in Education, thinks of the world in terms of the connectedness and sacredness of all people and things. Her Catholic faith and deepening spiritual consciousness inspire and compel her to bring her passion and talents to interfaith work in a mindful way, especially in the areas of environment, education and social justice. Katie has served on the IEN leadership team since 2009.
Jeanne Mantsch (Interfaith Conference Board Contact) has a master's degree in psychology, and worked in the development of computer systems and project management in a variety of settings for many years. Perhaps more importantly, she spent much of her formative years on a family farm near Jackson, Wisconsin, where almost everything eaten, and much that was used, such as soap, was raised or created there. Butchering, meat curing, canning, and use of a root cellar were all part of life. Jeanne brings this respect for old time practices into her life today, and is happy to share those techniques with others.
Linda Sheridan is the Milwaukee area coordinator for Food, Faith & Farming Network, a Madison-based nonprofit that fosters rural and urban relationships and promotes earth stewardship, spirituality and economic justice through healthy food and sustainable farming practices. As coordinator, Linda works with Milwaukee area congregations to present Markets and Meals, locally sourced brunches and farmers' market events during the winter months. She is a member of Wauwatosa Presbyterian Church where she leads the Mission Committee. She is also involved in the Milwaukee Food Council and volunteers with other area organizations. Linda believes that education is the key to helping people make choices about their impact on the environment and its betterment through sustainable practices of living.
Terry Wiggins (Treasurer) is a member of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. She has worked at the intersection of religion and environmentalism for well over a decade, including 6 years of service as treasurer for the board of the (national) Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth. As one of IEN’s advocacy members, she serves as IEN’s representative to 350 Milwaukee and its Steering Committee, the Wisconsin Climate Table, the Coalition for More Responsible Transportation (CMRT, pronounce it with a soft “c” and say “smart”). CMRT is the coalition that opposes WisDOT’s proposed expansion of I-94 between the Marquette and Zoo interchanges. She is active on the Education Committee of the Coalition on Lead Emergency (COLE). Terry was arrested in front of the White House in 2011 protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, and again at Wells Fargo Bank in Milwaukee in 2019. She led the movement that achieved the pledge of divestment from fossil fuels from the Unitarian Universalist Association in 2014. These actions reflect her belief that we must keep carbon (fossil fuels) in the ground to preserve life as we know it. Terry moved to Milwaukee in 2009 shortly after her first grandchild was born. Formerly, she lived in Kansas City, Missouri, where she co-founded the Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition, an organization much like IEN.