Deniko Montgomery, a Trinity Fellow and graduate student in public service and public administration, was honored with a Rising Star Award at the fourth annual African American Environmental Pioneer Awards.
Montgomery is committed to community service, social justice and advocating for diversity, equality, inclusion and belonging in the organization’s workplace. A Milwaukee native, he works and speaks on issues that his community faces daily. During his time as a Americorps member at City Year of Milwaukee, he launched “Bow Tie Tuesday” to bring awareness to young Black men who are more likely to go to prison than college and the lack of diversity of male teachers teaching in America. He co-founded the startup “Patient-Clinic Connect Project,” when he was a Public Ally, which promotes holistic self-care of mind, body and spirit in an accessible and intentional way.
Currently, Montgomery is an outreach specialist and youth program coordinator at Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, where he facilitates activities for youths focusing on leadership development and environmental-based issues in Milwaukee. This past summer, he organized and lead a six-week series of educational activities and projects called “Water Journeys” that served more than 50 high school students from six youth environmental organizations including Reflo, True Skool, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, Nearby Nature and River Revitalization.
He is currently the youngest member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (DEIAR) Council at MMSD.
The African American Environmental Awards were started by the Sierra Club Great Waters Group and Nearby Nature Milwaukee to bring attention to the environment-related work done by Black Milwaukeeans. The award ceremony was held on Monday, Feb. 20, at the Black Historical Society in Milwaukee.