About Iona

Iona Conner has been in the environmental movement and worked professionally in it for over 50 years.

I live near the ocean in Brick, New Jersey. I love swimming; you might consider me a mermaid.

Groundswell News Journal is a project of the Grassroots Coalition for Environmental and Economic Justice, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, EIN #52-1713427.

The Grassroots Coalition for Environmental and Economic Justice was founded by John and Iona Conner in 1990. Since the start of the Coalition, we have presented programs and hosted meetings in hundreds of churches, high schools, and colleges, educating their members about the environmental and economic aspects of societal change. We have always considered it a priority to get to the root causes of problems. John died in my arms August 18, 2019 and I am carrying on our non-profit work from a beautiful apartment near my family.

I publish a beautiful climate emergency journal from my home.

If you want to know more, please email me at groundswellnews@pa.net. Thanks!

Past Experiences

Grassroots Activist/Professional

Iona has been an environmental activist for more than five decades. The birth of her first child 53 years ago catapulted her into the realization that her daily choices had a direct bearing on the health of her son and the well-being of the Earth. She has been an active participant in the movement ever since.

As a nurse, Iona watched people dying prematurely of cancer. As a first-grade teacher, she learned how to explain difficult concepts in easily understandable terms. As an air pollution inspector in the middle of New Jersey, she was inside factories writing violations and bringing corporations to court. As an employee of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Hazardous Waste Management, Iona was a one-woman road show carting slides and posters of hazardous waste sites and a car full of non-toxic products to educate her audiences about the ways in which traditional consumer activities help create toxic dump sites.

As Co-Director of the Grassroots Coalition, Iona traveled with John throughout the Northeast and Midwest for 15 years organizing meetings and presenting programs. They started a worker-owned cooperative with a handful of women who designed and made clothes using organic cotton grown in the U.S. and selling those garments (plus items from other socially responsible companies) in churches and colleges. Then they switched their emphasis to climate change. Their shared vision was to work with people to create a more just and loving world. After John’s death, Iona chose to carry on the couple’s 30-year-long effort on her own.

Iona has had numerous jobs as a reporter, written several books, edited other groups’ newsletters, and had hundreds of articles published in newspapers and magazines from The New York Times to small-town weekly newspapers. She loves writing, editing, and proofreading.

Currently Iona is devoting her spare time and energy to educating, activating, and inspiring people through her Groundswell News Journal.

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