Samantha (Sam) Krop
A native of Clearwater, Florida, Sam Krop got her start in social and environmental activism as a student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. "I was working with Food Not Bombs," she says. "The city had made it illegal to share food with more than 25 people. They were trying to suppress the homeless population. Lots of people got arrested, but in the end, the law was overturned. It was an early lesson for me." She studied the intersection of environmental and social justice, working to help low-income people who lived close to Superfund sites and farm workers subjected to aerial spraying of pesticides. After graduating with degrees in literature and philosophy, Krop came to Eugene in the summer of 2012 to work with forest defenders, helping to organize climate justice events. A year later, she launched Warrior Sisters, a non-profit aimed at sexual assault prevention, offering free self-defense classes to women in the community. Warrior Sisters now has seven local trainers and new chapters in other cities. She also began teaching humanities, philosophy, and creative writing at the A3 Public Charter School (Academy of Arts and Academics) in downtown Springfield. "In 2014, I created a class called Writing for Change," she says. "My focus is teaching students to be change-makers, and to empower student voice." Krop took evening classes in the University of Oregon's UOTeach program to earn a master's degree in education in 2015. She will return to UOTeach in winter term 2017 with her own course, called EcoJustice, examining options for bringing students to an understanding of the natural world.