Training Programs



    Washington Marriott at Metro Center
    775 12th Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20005

    DAY 1-WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2018

    Grand Ballroom Salon E

    3:30 p.m.—5:00 p.m.

    What Will Be Your Legacy? Succession Planning For People of Color in Environmental Justice

    This workshop will assess participants’ capacity for sustained work from emerging to expert environmental justice leaders; examine the benefits of proper succession planning in environmental justice work for leaders, communities, and organizations; and develop roadmaps for environmental justice work to continue from generation to generation, empowering the next generation of leaders while defining the role of what it means to be a seasoned environmental justice leader.

    Nakisa Glover
    Sol Nation Founder
    Mosaic Live Co-Founder

    Grand Ballroom Salon E

    6:00 p.m.—7:30 p.m.

    The College Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP) Informational Meeting – Open to All

    CUPP enlists colleges and universities to assist rural and underserved communities with technical support through student internships, capstone projects, and masters level programs. Students work on a wide range of plans and projects based on the issues identified by the communities. This support gives the communities the vital technical assistance they need to go after needed resources. At the same time, CUPP provides practical experience for participating students in their areas of academic study, and students generally receive academic credit for their efforts. The communities receive this vital support at no cost to them, and the schools provide their services on a voluntary basis. By building partnerships not based on funding, we are able to build long term relationships between communities and schools, ensuring the support will continue into the future.

    DAY 2–THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 2018

    London Room I

    10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

    Effects of Soil Pollution on Agricultural Crops and Eventual Bio-Accumulation

    Soil Pollution occurs when toxic chemicals, pollutants or contaminants are present in the soil. In high concentration, these toxic chemicals could pose potential risk to humans. Soil pollution causes health defects on living organisms, most of which are incurable, such as; neurological disorders in developing children, food poisoning caused by bioaccumulation in plants, leukemia and also liver cancer. The leading and most lethal form of soil pollution is caused by oil leaks and spillages as it renders the affected land completely un-arable to humans, as wells as reduce crop yield and production. Corn or maize (Zee Mays), is the most widely produced feed grain in the United States, and about 95% of the crop accounts for the main energy in ingredient for livestock. As at 2011, Research performed under greenhouse conditions showed that corn planted in contaminated soils, exhibited poor growth and germination using parameters such as plant height, stem girth, ear height and leaf area after just ten weeks of planting. There was also a significant yield decrease in polluted plants and their produce was inedible due to bioaccumulation. With the rapid growth of technology, the continual reliance on fuel, gas and other by-products of crude oil as a daily need, the dangers of oil pollution should be considered a global dilemma. The goal of this research study is to train the general public, especially farmers to detect cases of oil pollution in the soil and report it, thereby avoiding its negative implications on the environment and health.

    Nneora Ezeanya

    David Chime
    Cresha Thomas
    Howard Quattlebaum

    Environmental Justice Interns
    Allen University

    Oluwole Ariyo, Ph.D.
    Principal Investigator, Environmental Justice Institute
    Allen University

    London Room I

    11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

    USDA Rural Development 101 Introduction

    USDA Rural Development is focused on delivering efficient and effective customer service while improving the quality of life and create prosperity in rural communities. In this workshop Gina Sheets, Chief Officer for the USDA Rural Development (RD) Innovation Center, will discuss the Innovation Center’s focus to identify and develop new tools and approaches to better leverage RD programs and ultimately, to assist in the transformation of rural communities to prosperity.  A focus of the Center is to specifically develop robust public and private partnerships and leverage expertise to better meet the needs of rural communities and to support crucial activities such as capacity building. Program leadership will join Ms. Sheets to showcase innovative best practices and OneUSDA in action.

    Gina Sheets
    Chief Officer for the USDA Rural Development (RD Innovation Center
    USDA Rural Development-Rural Utilities Service

    Chad Parker
    Deputy Administrator, Broadband Utilities
    USDA Rural Development-Rural Utilities Service

    Claudette Fernandez
    Assistant Administrator for Water and Environmental Programs (WEP)
    USDA Rural Development-Rural Utilities Service

    Michele Brooks
    Innovation Center Team Lead, Regulations Team
    USDA Rural Development-Rural Utilities Service

    Gina (Silva) Wepplo
    Acting Assistant Deputy Administrator
    Office of Multi-Family Housing
    USDA Rural Development-Rural Utilities Service

    London Room I

    2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Building Just Outcomes in Emergency Response and Recovery: Planning for Resilient Cities

    This workshop will lead an interactive dialogue exploring policy implications of addressing environmental justice in emergency response and recovery, and best practices for environmental justice as it pertains to infrastructure failures.

    Victoria Robinson
    Office of Environmental Justice
    Stakeholder Engagement
    US Environmental Protection Agency

    Leland Edgecomb, AIA, ASLA, AICP/CNU
    President, The Edgecombe Group
    Hyattsville, MD

    London Room I

    4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

    Community Science 101 for Community Leaders

    Community science has the power to transform your community by advancing local priorities and helping you achieve your goals. Join American Geophysical Union Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX) staff for an interactive workshop to learn and practice the skills needed to build effective relationships with scientists. Strong community science partnerships can help address critical local priorities related to a changing climate, natural hazards, and natural resource management, including how they relate to environmental justice challenges.

    Workshop Objectives:

    • Show how science can support community priorities
    • Identify barriers to accessing and using science and share ways to overcome these barriers
    • Provide concrete strategies that community leaders can employ to make community science projects a success
    • Help community leaders confidently communicate their knowledge and advocate for their perspectives when working with scientists, so that all partnerships reflect and honor integrated ways of knowing.


    Sarah Wilkins
    Project Manager for TEX

    Raj Pandya
    Director of TEX

    Eboni Cochran
    Community Organizer of ReACT

    London Room II

    10:00 a.m. — 11:00 p.m.

    Community Guide to Environmental Justice and NEPA Methods

    This focus of this workshop is to increase awareness of a new tool, “Community Guide to Environmental Justice and NEPA Methods” (Community Guide) which is a companion document to the “Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews” (Promising Practices Report). The workshop is designed to foster collaboration among the Federal family and the public. Participants will leave with a better knowledge of what practices Federal agencies use to evaluate environmental impacts to minority and low-income populations and how they can be a more effective advocate for their communities with these agencies as they make decisions.


    Denise Freeman
    Co-chair, NEPA Committee of the IWG on EJ
    Senior Advisor (Detailee)
    Environmental Justice Program
    Office of Legacy Management
    U.S. Department of Energy

    Cynthia Huber
    Co-Chair, NEPA Committee of the IWG on EJ
    Senior Counsel
    Natural Resources Section
    Environment and Natural Resources Division
    U.S. Dept. of Justice

    Suzi Ruhl, JD, MPH
    Past Co-chair, NEPA Committee of the IWG on EJ
    Senior Attorney Advisor
    Office of Environmental Justice
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    London Room II

    11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

    Curriculum for Change: Using Hands-On Activities and Current Events to Teach Environmental Justice, Science, and Critical Thinking

    In this interactive workshop, Groundwork USA staff will present two in-depth examples of after-school and job-training curricula currently being developed collaboratively with Groundwork Trusts throughout the U.S., with partnership and support from the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program (NPS-RTCA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program, and NOAA. The Environmental Justice Literacy Curriculum, originally developed in Richmond, CA, has been used to train staff and Green Team youth on the history of the environmental and civil rights movements, the intersection between environmental issues and public health realities on the ground, and how communities can collaboratively address environmental justice concerns both locally and globally. Meanwhile, Groundwork Hudson-Valley has developed a hands-on NOAA-supported public education program employed on the Science Barge in Yonkers, NY. The Science Barge is an energy-independent environmental education center featuring examples of sustainable systems including a hydroponic greenhouse, rainwater irrigation, solar and wind energy, and more. Both curricula incorporate interactive and physical activities, encourage critical thinking, and develop research and technical skills. They also encourage students to actively make connections between the social and environmental justice issues they experience in their own neighborhoods; the hands-on environmental work they do in their job training and educational programs; and environmental issues faced by communities around the world. The workshop will share lessons learned from the development and administration of the Environmental Justice Literacy Curriculum in partnership with Groundwork Trusts from around the country, as well as results from years of Science-Barge activities. Workshop participants will engage in interactive activities drawn from curriculum materials and leave with tools and insights that can be adapted to teach youths and adults in a variety of settings.

    Maria Brodine
    Urban Waters Associate
    Groundwork USA/ Urban Waters Learning Network

    Matt Holmes
    Deputy Director
    Groundwork Richmond, CA

    Ashley Ivette Perez
    Education Programs Associate
    Groundwork Hudson-Valley

    London Room II

    2:00 p.m.—3:30 p.m.

    Advancing Communities Through the Environmental Justice Academy and the Collaborative-Problem Solving Model

    This training session will provide an introduction to the EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Model (CPS), and the Environmental Justice Academy, developed by the EPA Region 4 Office of Environmental Justice and Sustainability (OEJS). The EJ Academy is a leadership development training program primarily based on the CPS Model, but also rooted in the appreciative inquiry philosophy, which people connect in a positive way to bring about change that shares leadership and learning. This model has developed into an effective approach for working with various stakeholders to address local environmental issues, including improving the built environment, and is equally about strong community involvement.
    The presenters will introduce methods which support making informed decisions based on putting community members at the center of the place-making process.
    Participants will learn how sensitivities to environmental justice that start with community engagement actually carry through to community recovery and redevelopment; the importance of assisting communities with building their capacity to address environmental challenges; and innovative ways to engage diverse communities.

    Sheryl Good
    Physical Scientist, Office of Environmental Justice and Sustainability
    Region 4, U.S. EPA

    Siobhan T. Whitlock
    Physical Scientist, Office of Environmental Justice and Sustainability
    Region 4, U.S. EPA

    Kwabena Nkromo
    Program Manager 2018 EJ Academy
    Atlanta Food & Farm

    London Room II

    4:00 p.m.—5:30 p.m.

    Addressing EJ Community Needs Through Electricity Storage Technology

    Battery storage technology is on the verge of widespread adoption in the electricity sector. It has drawn bipartisan support for federal research and development (R&D), and successful projects have been constructed in islanded communities. Battery storage is a clean energy technology that can help enable more renewable energy, like wind and solar, to supply more of our nation’s electricity. It can also potentially be used a source of “peak power”—that is, providing extra electricity when demand is especially high, such as during the hottest or coldest days of the year. Peaking power plants typically burn natural gas, but some plants burn even dirtier fuels like oil or diesel. Many peaker plants are located in urban areas, worsening air pollution when they are fired up and forcing local residents to the suffer health impacts from the added pollution. Replacing these peakers with storage technology could lead to direct reduction of harmful air pollution in overburdened communities.

    The use of battery storage in the electricity sector is growing quickly and is poised to grow exponentially. As the nation continues to transition away from coal, storage can help reduce emissions and increase both the reliability of the grid and the resilience of communities to outages. This presents both risks and opportunities to communities. How do we ensure the benefits are shared equitably, prioritizing EJ communities? What are the challenges and opportunities for storage technology in EJ communities? How can storage help in economic development of communities that live with a coal plant that has already retired? Could it be used to support dislocated workers when a coal plant retires? What are the analytic needs that would help advocates in EJ communities make the case for storage? And how do we address potential EJ concerns like lack of diversity in the research and business communities?

    This 90-minute training program workshop is designed to share experiences with storage development and to learn from attendees about how best to ensure that addressing EJ concerns are a primary goal of project development. We will explore how EJ communities might benefit from the deployment of storage, and what policies and considerations need to be in place to ensure that benefits flow to the most disadvantaged communities. The Union of Concerned Scientists is advocating for increased funding for storage technology, developing ideas for policies to spur deployment, and conducting a case study for how solar and storage together could replace a polluting coal plant. We are seeking a dialogue with EJ groups about how this technology could enhance communities and what needs communities have in making the case for storage.

    Dr. Cliff Cockerham
    EJ Committee Chair, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Tennessee Chapter
    EJ Committee Member, NAACP, Tennessee Chapter

    Sandra Upchurch
    Organizer, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
    EJ Committee Chair, NAACP, Tennessee Chapter
    Dr. Elena Krieger
    Clean Energy Program Director, PSE Healthy Energy

    Rep. Barbara Lee (invited)
    Democrat, 13th District, California
    Senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee
    Past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

    Pastor Dant’e King
    Community Engagement Director, Groundswell

    Dr. Marsha Williams
    Professor, Tennessee State University

    Grand Ballroom Salon E

    10:00 a.m. — 11:30 a.m.

    Understanding and Documenting Cumulative Health and Environmental Impacts from Hazardous Facilities, Air Pollution, and Lack of Access to Healthy Food in Environmental Justice Communities

    The Environmental Justice Health Alliance (EJHA) is a collective of grassroots environmental justice communities, residing across the United States. Many of these communities have a legacy of working at seeking environmental and public health improvements to their communities. Currently, EJHA communities are working together in principled collaborations with expert researchers, and allies to address multiple health hazards and societal issues impacting their communities – including chemical disasters, toxic air pollution, extreme weather events and food insecurity – and identify necessary solutions that can improve community health, environment and economics (jobs) while advancing health equity.

    This collaborative approach allows communities to work much closer with their local governments and together, they can work on solutions to better protect their health, environment and their local economies. EJHA’s presentation will focus on how collaborative organizing community-based research and meaningful collaboration have managed to adequately address community needs to better participate in the decision making and regulatory process.

    Michele Roberts
    National Co-Coordinator, Environmental Justice Health Alliance, Director of Outreach for Coming Clean

    Gretchen Goldman
    Research Director, Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists

    Octavia Dryden
    Delaware Concerned Residents for Environmental Justice

    Grand Ballroom Salon E

    1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

    NIEHS Worker Safety Training Making a Difference

    Presentation I: Jobs and infrastructure development in coastal communities after disasters – Making sure vulnerable populations get the needed training to help rebuild their lives and the communities.

    The questions asked by so many community members when a disaster occurs, and towns start to rebuild with new work opportunities are – How can I get one of those good jobs? Why can’t I get trained to work in my own community to help rebuild or give my family a chance to move out of poverty? According to a Nature Conservancy report “Rebuilding Our Economy, Restoring Our Environment” … Coastal restoration projects also create a ripple effect throughout the region’s economy. Contractors on restoration projects directly employ workers in the planning, construction, operations and monitoring of projects.” Through a grant at NIEHS targeting two coastal cities in the Gulf- New Orleans and Pensacola, residents obtain jobs through the environmental career worker training program (ECWTP) at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Inc. (DSCEJ) This program now housed at Texas Southern University continues to work collectively with DSCEJ and Unity in the Family Ministry to offer high quality technical training targeting construction and environmental areas as well as tailored life skills courses that strongly increases local underserved residents’ chances for gainful employment. The added value of this training is not just that it increases sustainable employment opportunities for residents of beleaguered communities engulfed in situations of poverty and pollution, but that by investing in these individuals it promotes economic stability, addresses health disparities, and advances environmental justice. Results of training for last year include: 22 employed making $14 to $17 per hour in New Orleans for a job placement rate of 88% and in Pensacola a job placement rate of 92% with 23 residents finding gainful employment at $14.00 per hour primarily in environmental and construction at both sites.

    Objectives of this presentation:

    • Describe the specific job training program successes in New Orleans and Pensacola to effectively recruit and train workers for environmental and construction jobs.
    • Share how best practices and economic benefits gained from the National NIEHS Environmental Career Worker Training program has been used to expand training in these communities.
    • Demonstrate how the program has positively affected residents and have worked with local contractors and communities to promote local hire.
    • Explain how these opportunities/programs help build capacity of local community- based organizations to effectively recruit and train residents.


    Sharon D. Beard
    Industrial Hygienist, NIEHS Worker Training Program

    Dr. Beverly Wright
    Director, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Inc.

    Dr. Calvin Avant
    Pastor, Unity in the Family Ministry, Inc.

    Presentation II: Training that makes a Difference at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) Site in in Piketon, Ohio- A partnership between the Steelworkers Charitable and Educational Organization Tony Mazzocchi Center (USW), the Village of Piketon and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Worker Training Program (NIEHS WTP).

    A shortage of Radiological Control Technicians (RCTs) for cleanup work at the former Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) in Piketon, Ohio, prompted United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1-689 to proactively offer an RCT course during the fall of 2017 for current workers to gain more skills and community members seeking high-paid employment at the site. With the need so great – the Piketon plant is short 40-60 RCTs, and needs senior RCTs, despite there not being many senior RCT classes available. With this training, individuals can obtain jobs at this site and across the Department of Energy (DOE) complex and according to USW Local 1-689 President Herman Potter, “We thought that if we train our own RCTs and help people in the community, these folks would stay at home and remain at the plant,” The course was provided to both current DOE workers wanting to increase their skills and to community members looking for employment at the site. RCTs check for radioactive contamination at the plant, such as worker locker areas and places where people eat, and they monitor work processes for contamination. They check individuals for contamination, conduct an individual monitoring program, do bioassays, and handle work that involves health physics. If there is contamination, they tell others where to establish boundaries, so no one walks through the area and it gets cleaned up. They also classify an area to establish that a respirator is needed. Starting out, junior RCTs earn $22-$24 an hour. After gaining experience in two to three years, RCTs’ union wage jumps to about $28-$32 an hour. In five years, the union wage jumps to $38-$42 per hour.

    In a full story by USW, and others in the local newspapers the Chilicothe Gazette and the Pike County News Watchman, details how this partnership was developed. The bulk of this funding is being provided by NIEHS Worker Training under the DOE Nuclear Worker Training Program grant and the presentation will cover how the program and training was established and the community partnerships specifically with the Village of Piketon that made it possible. With the active involvement of the employers at the PGDP site, the January 2018 graduates of the program are slated to work at the site.

    Joseph “Chip” Hughes, Jr.
    NIEHS WTP Director

    Herman Potter
    USW Local 1-689 President

    Marybeth Potter
    USW Health and Safety Trainer

    Grand Ballroom Salon E

    3:30 p.m.—5:00 p.m.

    Near-port Community Capacity Building: Tools and Technical Assistance for Collaborative Solutions

    In the US, there are approximately 39 million people who live near ports, which play a vital role in the US economy and to the businesses and consumers who rely on the goods and services that ports provide. Many port communities include a high percentage of vulnerable, overburdened and under-resourced populations who are often disproportionately impacted by higher levels of diesel emissions from the extensive diesel equipment operations that power port and related goods movement activities. Exposure to these air pollutants can harm the health of those populations who live nearby and work at ports. EPA’s Office of Transportation & Air Quality, in partnership with the Office of Environmental Justice, Regional Offices, and the Office of Research & Development, is demonstrating its commitment to work with partners to provide tools, technologies, resources and strategies to improve environmental performance at ports and local conditions for nearby communities through a variety of approaches that emphasize outreach and collaboration.

    This session will showcase a suite of tools and resource materials to equip and empower community stakeholders with skills and information to effectively participate in decision-making with ports and other entities involved in goods movement about addressing environmental, health, and other community-driven concerns associated with port-related activities. Participants will be introduced to new collaboratively-developed interactive draft tools being utilized in pilot projects that deliver technical assistance to ports and nearby communities. Also, screening, mapping, and other decision support tools for enhancing community resilience, conducting vulnerability assessments, and identifying infrastructure investment considerations for neighborhoods and port sector facilities will be featured. As a key component of EPA’s Ports Initiative, these near-port community capacity building approaches assist communities in reaching sustainable environmental solutions for challenges at the intersection of public health, environmental quality, and community quality of life.

    Sabrina Johnson
    Senior Policy Analyst
    Office of Transportation & Air Quality
    US Environmental Protection Agency

    Siobhan T. Whitlock, Ph.D.
    Physical Scientist, Office of Environmental Justice & Sustainability
    US Environmental Protection Agency

    DAY 3–FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018

    London Rooms I and II

    8:15 a.m. — 10:45 a.m.

    Grant Writing and Technical Assistance

    Ms. Deborah N. Blacknall, Grants Administrator and Assistant Officer, Office
    of Sponsored Programs, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC

    Ms. Gwendolyn F. Mitchell Ulmer, Grant Administrator, Office of Sponsored
    Programs, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC

    Part 1. Ready, Set: Give Me Your Money, What’s In A Name? and Do We Really Want To Do This? Terms and Techniques of Grant Writing

    Part 2. Go: How Do We Do It? and How Much Do We Need? Developing a Proposal and Budget

    Part 3. Where Is The Money? Finding Available Grant Funding Agencies
    London Rooms I and II

    11:00 a.m.—12:15 p.m.

    Tales from the Trenches: Building Capacity to Address Environmental and Health

    In this workshop, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) partners will present their stories and engage participants to share how measurable health and environmental justice improvements are occurring in real communities across the United States.

    Dr. Laurel Berman
    Environmental Health Scientist
    Division of Community Health Investigations
    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

    L. Vannessa Frazier
    Child Development Advocate
    Executive Director, Howardville Community Betterment
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader

    Erika Arias
    Masters of Sustainable Management Candidate, DePaul University
    Chicago, IL

    Eric Neagu, PE, LEED AP, AICP
    Principal, The Antero Group
    Chicago, IL

    Anne Fulcher
    Editor, GVW Report

    Gwen Smith
    Partner, Collier Heights Association for Revitalization, Resilience, and Sustainability
    Atlanta, GA

    London Rooms I and II

    2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Overview of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    This session aims to provide participants with (1) an overview of Title VI; (2) its application to environmental justice scenarios; and (3) information on how to file a complaint with a Federal agency and how such complaints are processed.

    Title VI Committee
    Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice

    Grand Ballroom Salon E

    9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

    Climate Changes Health: Ensuring Environmental Justice Underlies Public Health’s Climate Change Work

    The purpose of this session is to share key concepts and messaging from a day long Climate Justice Summit, which preceded the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia and to provide examples of ways to apply lessons learned in our collective efforts to achieve climate justice. The Summit, attended by numerous stakeholder groups including approximately 100 local and national environmental justice (EJ) leaders and public health practitioners, scholars, and students, was designed to encourage a multi-directional dialogue between these stakeholders to address issues around climate justice. The presentation will include results of a panel discussion with environmental justice community leaders from frontline communities in the Southeastern United States, results of lightening talks to share related data, tools, policies, and resources and results from facilitated roundtable discussions where participants generated recommendations related to funding, policy development, collaborative movements, youth leadership, and the role of APHA in ensuring environmental justice underlies public health’s climate change work. In addition, there will be a short video of Summit highlights and a Proceedings Report, which will be provided to attendees.

    Dr. Adrienne L. Hollis, Esq.
    Director of Federal Policy
    WE ACT for Environmental Justice

    Fatemeh Shafei
    Associate Professor and Chair
    Department of Political Science
    Director, Environmental Studies
    Spelman College

    Vernice Miller-Travis
    Senior Advisor for Environmental
    Justice and Equitable Development, Community
    Planning and Revitalization Group, Skeo

    Natalie Sampson
    Assistant Professor
    University of Michigan/Dearborn

    Garry Harris
    Managing Director
    Center for Sustainable Communities

    Na’Taki Osborne Jelks
    West Atlanta Watershed Alliance
    Agnes Scott College

    Samantha Shattuck
    Youth Perspectives on Climate Justice Workgroup
    National Environmental Justice Advisory Council

    Yudith A. Nieto
    Another Gulf is Possible

    Melissa Varga
    Science Network Community Manager &
    Partnerships Coordinator
    Union of Concerned Scientists

    Carmel Price
    Assistant Professor
    University of Michigan/Dearborn

    Jessica Thomas
    Outreach Coordinator
    Union of Concerned Scientists

    Megan Latshaw
    Chair, Environment Section
    American Public Health Association

    11:00 a.m.—12:15 p.m.

    Conservation Assistance to Increase Community Resiliency during Natural Disaster Recovery Efforts

    The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is instrumental in assisting landowners and communities in becoming more resilient in preparation for extreme weather events and during times of sudden tragedies, while working in partnership with state and local units of government. The Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP) offers financial and technical assistance to disaster-affected areas following natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires, flooding and windstorms. Program experts will describe conservation practices and programs that have transformed communities and the environment through successful collaborative efforts.

    Shawn C. Anderson
    Emergency Watershed Protection Program Coordinator
    and Acting Land Stewardship Specialist
    USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

    Jacqueline Davis-Slay
    Director, Public and Private Partnerships
    USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

    Grand Ballroom Salon E

    2:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

    Achieving Equitable Community Development: What You Need to Create a Restorative, Trauma-Informed Approach for Your Organization and Its Youth + Workforce Development Programs

    Does displacement necessarily have to follow gentrification of long-distressed neighborhoods? Can we intentionally prevent that domino effect from happening when new investments are made in communities seeking renewal? And if we can prevent displacement, what do those practices look like? Join members of Groundwork USA’s Equitable Development Working Group for this session, where participants will: * learn the latest research and literature on human resilience, especially among those who may experience trauma and/or adverse childhood experiences; * share stories and small group discussion about the ways trauma, resilience, restorative practices, and/or need for such practices present in their lives, communities, programs and work places; * become oriented with the elements, principles and framework for the restorative trauma-informed approach to youth and workforce development, which centers and nurtures the individual and their personal resilience; * receive take-away tools and materials to help their organization fundraise for, implement and integrate this approach into day to day work and practice; and * be invited to participate in an ongoing community of practice devoted to this important work.

    Kate O’Brien
    Director of Capacity Building
    Groundwork USA

    Ronda Chapman
    Executive Director
    Groundwork DC

    Liz Blackwell-Moore, MPH
    Birch Lane Strategies

    Penn Quarter (3rd Floor)

    9:30 a.m.—10:30 a.m.

    Speaking To Be Heard: Planning for Participation of Audiences with Limited English Proficiency and Disabilities as Environmental Justice

    Federal land management agencies frequently find themselves at the center of issues of environmental justice as they conduct the environmental analysis and planning work that is required to conduct or permit work on public lands.  A constellation of legal requirements is considered by public land managers as they work through the planning process.  The planning regulations and the legislation they are based on pre-date federal government prohibitions on national origin discrimination related to limited English proficiency populations, as promulgated in Executive Order 13166.  And while legislation governing accessibility for people with disabilities has been around significantly longer, expectations for provision of language assistance and public notification as it relates to the environmental planning process remain inadequately discussed.  This presentation will use the context of the Forest Service to discuss a language accessibility approach designed to cast the widest possible net and maximize inclusion in the public engagement process.  Through the discussion of this approach, the case is made that involving everyone who seeks to be included is not only the right thing to do, it is the most effective way to produce viable and defensible planning decisions.

    Ricardo Martinez
    USDA Forest Service

    Penn Quarter (3rd Floor)

    11:00 a.m.—12 noon

    Rebuilding Communities Through an Urban Wood and Land Restoration Economy

    In Baltimore, the Forest Service and partners are restoring lives, restoring land and restoring neighborhoods through the development of a business model for Urban Wood & Land Restoration Economy that can then be applied in communities across the country. This works helps to remedy past social and environmental injustices. It also attracts private sector businesses willing to thoughtfully invest in a community and promotes ecosystem restoration and economic development while improving the lives of people in community. We seek to share information and resources regarding our work in Baltimore that will allow other cities to replicate the Urban Wood & Restoration Economy business model in new locations.

    By some estimates, there are up to 40,000 abandoned homes in Baltimore. Many of these homes are made of materials, including brick and wood, which can be re-used rather than being sent to the landfill. The sale and re-use of this material pays for the added costs associated with carefully deconstructing a house, rather than quickly demolishing it. Deconstructing a house creates six to eight times as many jobs as demolition, and creates jobs for people who may otherwise have difficulty finding employment due to previous incarceration, lack of education, etc. After a house is deconstructed, a vacant lot stands in its wake. Working with local partners, the Forest Service is helping to transform vacant lots into beautiful green spaces that contribute to the vitality and health of neighborhoods and its residents.

    Sarah Hines
    Urban Field Station Network Coordinator
    USDA Forest Service

    Lauren Marshall
    National Program Manager for Urban & Community Forestry
    USDA Forest Service

    Morgan Grove
    Research Scientist and Team Leader, Baltimore Field Station
    USDA Forest Service

    Dipa Sharif
    Associate Director at Quantified Ventures

    Penn Quarter (3rd Floor)

    2:00 p.m.—3:00 p.m.

    Capacity Building Efforts on Environmental Justice and Public Involvement at The Federal Highway Administration

    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is committed to integrating the principles of environmental justice (EJ) and nondiscrimination into all Federal-aid programs and activities. It is FHWA’s continuing policy to identify and prevent discriminatory effects by actively administering its programs, policies, and activities to ensure that social impacts to communities and people are recognized early and continually throughout the transportation decision-making process. This session will describe how FHWA complies with Federal EJ requirements and will highlight several resources to help practitioners address the challenges and barriers to meaningfully involve EJ populations during all phases of transportation decision making. Participants will also learn about available tools, techniques, and effective practices for considering EJ during transportation planning, project development, and project delivery. This session will include a brief demonstration of FHWA’s new EJ Web-based training course, information on how to navigate between existing and upcoming EJ and public involvement resources, and will conclude with an interactive discussion on additional capacity building opportunities.

    Fleming El-Amin
    Community Planner
    Federal Highway Administration

    Jody McCullough
    Community Planner
    Federal Highway Administration





    The National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc., prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Persons who need special accommodations to fully participate in the conference, workshops, or training programs, and persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the Conference Coordinator at 202-827-2224.

    Because of chemical sensitivity of many people, we are requesting that attendees wear unscented toiletry items. Images from this conference may be captured, published and distributed.

    Images of NEJC participants may be captured by conference photographers and published or distributed.


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