Training Programs

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    TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE WORKSHOPS AND TRAINING PROGRAMS

    DAY 2–THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2020

    NoMa Room

    1:30 a.m.—2:45 p.m.

    EPA Tools: A Vital Resource to Address Environmental Justice Concerns

    During this workshop, presenters will provide an overview of two EPA tools and their related data sets. EPA would like to enhance college and university knowledge of these tools and related data sets so that they can work with communities to increase use of the tools in addressing environmental justice concerns. The demonstrations will enable the audience to understand and envision real life uses of the tools and available data. The demonstration will make the audience better equipped to share this knowledge and apply it locally by partnering with communities to advance community-oriented solutions to environmental justice concerns. EJSCREEN and EnviroAtlas are two tools that will be highlighted during the presentation.

    EPA developed EJSCREEN to aid users, both inside and outside the Agency, in understanding the environmental and demographic characteristics of locations throughout the United States. Additionally, EJSCREEN was developed to ensure that EPA considers environmental justice as we develop our programs, policies, and resources. EJSCREEN is a mapping application that combines environmental and demographic data to highlight areas with potential environmental justice concerns. EJSCREEN can be useful to communities and others in identifying areas with higher environmental burdens in order to target outreach to these areas for participation in decision-making processes that impact their health and environment. EJSCREEN can also be used to support educational programs, grant writing, community awareness efforts, and other purposes.

    EnviroAtlas is a web-based application that combines maps, analysis tools, data and interpretive information on ecosystem services across the contiguous United States. EnviroAtlas integrates over 450 mapped data layers and helps users understand the implications (including equity) of planning and policy decisions on the benefits and disbenefits humans derive from their environment. EnviroAtlas helps users understand the role nature can play in making cities more resilient and more livable.

    Danielle Ridley
    Environmental Justice Coordinator, Office of Research and Development
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Tai Lung
    EJSCREEN Lead, Office of Environmental Justice
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Annie Neale
    EnviroAtlas Project Lead, Office of Research and Development
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    McPherson Room

    1:30 p.m.—2:45 p.m.

    Democratizing Geospatial Technology for Environmental Justice Communities

    This project, funded by the EthicalGEO Fellowship program, is built upon the idea that environmental justice stakeholders themselves are best equipped to produce spatial data visualizations of their communities. The primary goal is the development of a community-based participatory mapping tutorial model, that can be replicated for use by grassroots organizations employing geospatial data visualizations to support their efforts to attain and sustain environmental justice. The final deliverable will be a portable and user-friendly GIS tool intended to empower community-based organizations in their work. A draft model is being pilot tested in five Gulf Coast communities via the HBCU Community Based Organization (CBO) Gulf Coast Equity Consortium. After participating in asset mapping workshops, the training received has been effective enough for some CBOs to have already changed undesirable decisions for real estate development and other land uses in their communities in developing countries. Given the inherent “no-to-low tech” approach, it is assumed that the model will have utility in like-situated communities. Interested collaborators and potential partners are encouraged to provide suggestions on how the model might be customized for environmental justice communities outside of the United States. The broader vision is to unite and empower community mappers in spirit, vision and practice, through GIS technology. A collective inter-regional effort can enable stakeholders to acquire, and own, pertinent geospatial data sets, and not be forced to rely upon information from outside sources stored on remote servers. Such imbalance in GIS data ownership can potentially result in inequitable and exploitative relationships. The EthicalGEO project is designed to eliminate barriers to spatial data collection and control for grassroots activists and scholars. Attendees are encouraged to bring laptop PCs and mobile devices, but it is not required to do so.

    Dr. David A. Padgett
    Associate Professor of Geography
    Director of the Geographic Information Sciences Laboratory
    Tennessee State University

    Ms. Olivia Harbison
    Graduate Research Assistant, College of Agriculture
    Tennessee State University

    McPherson Room

    4:30 p.m.—5:30 p.m.

    How to Make Data Driven Decisions Using U.S. Department of Energy’s Tools

    Representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will share resources and tools that can help state, local, tribal governments and non-profits build or expand low-income energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Participants are encouraged (not required) to bring their laptops to this workshop to interactively learn about DOE’s Low-Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool and resources from DOE’s Clean Energy for Low-income Communities Accelerator (CELICA) Online Toolkit. Launched in 2019 the LEAD Tool is an online, interactive platform that allows users to build their own national, state, county, city, or census tract profiles and view maps of low-income household energy data based on income, energy expenditures, energy burden, fuel type, and housing type. The LEAD Tool was designed to help stakeholders make data-driven decisions by improving their understanding of low to moderate income households’ energy characteristics in the areas they serve. The CELICA Toolkit provides an overview of resources and models for developing low-income energy efficiency and renewable energy programs based on two-year partnership with over 30 stakeholders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

    By the end of this workshop, participants will have identified a connection between their low-income energy goals and the DOE resources available. In addition, participants will understand the data available to assess their community’s low-income energy needs and opportunities.

    Krystal Laymon
    Policy Advisor
    U.S. Department of Energy

    Ookie Ma
    Physical Scientist
    U.S. Department of Energy

    Shelby DuPont
    Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy

    Potomac Room

    10:15 a.m.—11:45 a.m.

    Learners to Leaders: Environmental Justice Literacy Curriculum for Youth and Adults

    Groundwork USA is a network of local organizations—called Trusts—devoted to transforming the natural and built environment in underserved and environmental justice communities; a national enterprise with local roots, working at the intersection of the environment, equity, and civic engagement. As a network of grassroots organizations, Groundwork USA and its Trusts are deeply involved in environmental justice, both at the community and national levels. As an environmental organization that centers people and the places where they live, work, and play, Groundwork USA is continuing to develop educational tools and resources to aid other organizations in advancing their environmental justice work. The Learners to Leaders: Environmental Justice Literacy curriculum was developed by Groundwork USA using feedback and materials provided by instructors, high-school aged students and youth leaders participating in Groundwork programs throughout the country. The latest edition also incorporates feedback from adult workshop participants at the 2018 National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program and River Rally.

    In this workshop, Groundwork USA staff will provide an overview of the project, then demonstrate an activity from the curriculum. A Groundwork instructor will then lead workshop participants through the activity, connect historic environmental injustices with health disparities shared by many communities, and identify strategies for improving health outcomes.

    Maria Brodine
    Water Program Specialist
    Groundwork USA

    Potomac Room

    1:30 p.m.—2:45 p.m.

    Ensuring environmentally friendly neighborhood through effective soil testing and precise soil fertilization

    The problem of over or improper application of fertilization has been a major issue on farmlands and lawns in residential areas all over the world. This is largely due to lack of effective soil testing to ensure precise application of the right kind of fertilizer. In addition, a given area can be over fertilized due to lack of knowledge of the actual amount of fertilizer needed for that area. Whenever a given area is over fertilized, there will be buildup of salts in the soil. Consequent to this are often; a drying effect of farmland or residential lawns with crops and grass, respectively, turning yellow or brown. This process is called ‘fertilizer burn”. From literature, fertilizer burn is not always fatal, but it is hard to predict whether or not the farmland or lawn will recover. Survey conducted amongst neighbors in a sub-division in Richland County, Columbia, South Carolina revealed largely, wrong fertilizer application on the lawn due to lack of prior soil testing. This training will discuss how over fertilization can occur, which ultimately leads to diminished crops’ ability to uptake water and drought stress even when water is available. Additionally, appropriate soil testing techniques, which often permit right application of needed amount of fertilizer will be discussed.

    Oluwole Ariyo, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor and Principal Investigator, Environmental Justice Institute (EJI)
    Allen University

    Trevaris Brown
    Esther Oluwadiya
    Kierra Wellington and
    T’Lexus Gantts

    EJI Student Interns at Allen University

    Potomac Room

    3:00 p.m.—5:30 p.m.

    Strengthening Community Leaders from Within
    (Session 1)

    Since 2016, over 49 people have graduated from the EJ Academy representing academia, nonprofit organizations, local elected officials, and community-based organizations. The EJ Academy has cultivated skills that community leaders have successfully used to support their communities to address their environmental challenges and accomplish environmental improvement goals. Topics have included environmental laws and regulations, community capacity-building, strategic partnerships and replication of best practices. Participants have also learned professional program and project management, program evaluation, community-participatory techniques and resource management skills.

    This session is designed to give organizations interested in hosting the EJ Academy for their constituents and community members a two-session train-the-trainer course, which will provide a comprehensive overview of the course curriculum (Facilitator’s Guide and Participants’ Manuals), teaching techniques, and an explanation of all assignments, activities and exercises. Upon completion of the train-the-trainer course, participants will be certified to host the EJ Academy and will have access to all EJ Academy materials and resources.

    Garry Harris
    Managing Director
    Center for Sustainable Communities

    Ann Heard
    Executive in Residence Atlanta Metropolitan State College
    Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 Administrator

    Sheryl Good
    Senior Scientist
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4

    Daphne Wilson
    Senior Scientist
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4

    NoMa Room

    9:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m.

    New Economic Models to Support Engineering and Science for Environmental, Climate, and Energy Justice

    A growing awareness of the importance of doing engineering and science in service of underserved communities has propelled new and emerging programs––like American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange––to support engineering and science to promote environmental, climate, and energy justice (E/C/EJ). However, the scale of these efforts pales in comparison to the scale of the engineering and science that causes these very same environmental, climate, and energy justice challenges. Current engineering and science efforts to support E/C/EJ are frequently done pro bono and through volunteer efforts, or are supported by short-term grants that do not generate self-sustaining long-term value for either the technical experts and/or the communities. But, what might it look like if there was an economic system that supported environmental justice-focused engineering and science, just like there is currently an economic system that supports engineering to extract fossil fuels? In order for engineers and scientists to be engaged in addressing E/C/EJ in larger and larger numbers, we must imagine what economic models might sustain such an effort.
    This workshop will bring together key stakeholders to create an action roadmap to lay the foundations of new economic models that can expand the support for engineering and science to address E/C/EJ challenges. We will leverage research conducted by Dr. Karwat’s lab on barriers and incentives to conduct community-based work and on the similarities between the needs that E/C/EJ communities have. We will invite stakeholders from government, community groups, engineers and scientists, economists, foundations and the private sector, to seek out ideas with roots in social entrepreneurship, crowdfunding, and open innovation, among other means of economic support. We will write a report based on the workshop, which will be used to strategize future efforts and foster collaborations that will experiment with these models. The key questions addressed in the workshop and report will be:

    • What economic models currently support E/C/EJ-focused engineering and science?
    • What value does E/C/EJ focused engineering and science provide to each of the stakeholders involved in such work?
    • What new economic models can provide stronger support for the collaborative work done by engineers, scientists, and E/C/EJ groups and lead to stronger returns on investment than current models?
    • What do key stakeholders in this effort need to do to experiment with new models?


    Dr. Darshan Karwat 
    Assistant Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society
    and The Polytechnic School
    Arizona State University

    Dr. Elena Krieger Dr. Darshan Karwat 
    Assistant Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society
    and The Polytechnic School
    Arizona State University

    Director of Research
    PSE Healthy Energy

    Dr. Jean Boucher
    Postdoctoral Fellow, School for the Future of Innovation in Society
    Arizona State University

    NoMa Room

    1:30 p.m.—3:00 p.m.

    Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Training

    Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities of Federal fund recipients. 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

    NoMa Room

    3:15 p.m.—5:45 p.m.

    Community Engagement Workshops

    Operationalizing Community Engagement

    This workshop will explore how one agency developed organizational infrastructure to support environmental justice (EJ) and community engagement work; examine an example of how to identify environmental justice communities; and share community engagement activities that build partnerships and capacity in environmental justice communities.

    The first part of the workshop will provide examples of how the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has operationalized environmental justice and community engagement into its business. The facilitators will share how developing community engagement teams that are cross-functional and multi-disciplinary allows for each team member to apply their understanding, perspective, and recommendations to foster meaningful connections with community partners. The second part of the workshop will look at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s Community Air Tool—an environmental justice mapping tool—as a way to identify EJ communities and prioritize government resources for each community. The third part of the workshop will explore a variety of community engagement activities that can help create awareness, access, empowerment, action, and improvement in EJ communities. Examples include: community science approaches to air quality through the use of portable air sensors, teaching youth how to build their own filter fans as a way to protect themselves from poor air quality, and the use of micro-mobility as a clean air option to transportation. Session leaders will convey how these activities are tools that can help students and community members connect the dots between climate change, air quality, and environmental justice— while also encouraging community members to be change agents for a more equitable and healthy future.

    Tania Tam Park
    Equity & Community Engagement Manager
    Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

    Julio Sánchez:
    Equity & Community Engagement Associate
    Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

    Joanna Gangi
    Communications – Equity & Community Engagement
    Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

    The Data vs. the Lived Experience in an Environmental Justice Community

    This workshop will provide an introduction to air-impacted environmental justice (EJ) communities in the Puget Sound region; analyze the quantitative data on defining disproportionately impacted communities; and explore how data trends do not often correlate with the residents’ lived experience of environmental justice. The workshop consists of three parts: (1) an introduction to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency’s environmental justice and equity work and the key objectives that guide that work; (2) a discussion and analysis of air quality, health, and socioeconomic data and; (3) a storytelling opportunity to hear the lived experience from a community member and organizer. The workshop is designed to teach participants about EJ communities, provide resources on how government agencies can identify EJ communities; and gain an understanding of the common day-to-day challenges residents of environmentally unjust communities often confront.

    Tania Tam Park
    Equity & Community Engagement Manager
    Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

    Julio Sánchez:
    Equity & Community Engagement Associate
    Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

    Joanna Gangi
    Communications – Equity & Community Engagement
    Puget Sound Clean Air Agency

    DAY 3–FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2020

    NoMa Room

    8:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m.

    Grant Writing and Technical Assistance

    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

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

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

    Potomac Room

    8:30a.m.—11:30 a.m.

    Workshop on Environmental Justice and NEPA Methods

    The purpose of the workshop is to increase understanding of opportunities to advance consideration of environmental justice in the NEPA review process. The specific focus is the community’s understanding of the interconnection between Environmental Justice (EJ) and the National Environmental Policy Act by utilizing two tools of the NEPA Committee of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice (EJ IWG). These tools are “Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Reviews” (Promising Practices Report) and “Community Guide to Environmental Justice and NEPA Methods (Community Guide),” a companion document to the Promises Practices Report. Specifically, the workshop will consist of two parts: 1) panel presentation by federal Department NEPA practitioners that provides an overview on opportunities to address environmental justice and information on how to apply the principles of EJ during the NEPA process and 2) Interactive Exercise on how to apply this information to an infrastructure, energy, or disaster relief project. The workshop is designed to foster collaboration among the Federal family and the public. Ultimately, the workshop will give participants 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.

    Suzi Ruhl
    Co-chair, NEPA Committee of the IWG on EJ
    Senior Counsel
    Office of Environmental Justice
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Denise Freeman
    Co-chair, NEPA Committee of the IWG on EJ
    Communications Liaison
    Environmental Justice Program, Office of Legacy Management
    U.S. Department of Energy

    Stanley Buzzelle
    Co-chair, Goods Movement Committee of the IWG on EJ
    Attorney Advisor
    Office of Environmental Justice
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Michon Washington
    Member, NEPA Committee of the IWG on EJ
    Environmental Protection Specialist
    Office of Environment and Energy
    Policy and Operations
    Federal Aviation Administration

    Dennis Randolph
    Member, National Environmental Justice Advisory Council
    Public Works Director
    City of Grandview, Missouri

    Potomac Room

    2:30 p.m.—5:00 p.m.

    Strengthening Community Leaders from Within
    (Session 2)

    Since 2016, over 49 people have graduated from the EJ Academy representing academia, nonprofit organizations, local elected officials, and community-based organizations. The EJ Academy has cultivated skills that community leaders have successfully used to support their communities to address their environmental challenges and accomplish environmental improvement goals. Topics have included environmental laws and regulations, community capacity-building, strategic partnerships and replication of best practices. Participants have also learned professional program and project management, program evaluation, community-participatory techniques and resource management skills.

    This session is designed to give organizations interested in hosting the EJ Academy for their constituents and community members a two-session train-the-trainer course, which will provide a comprehensive overview of the course curriculum (Facilitator’s Guide and Participants’ Manuals), teaching techniques, and an explanation of all assignments, activities and exercises. Upon completion of the train-the-trainer course, participants will be certified to host the EJ Academy and will have access to all EJ Academy materials and resources.

    Garry Harris
    Managing Director
    Center for Sustainable Communities

    Ann Heard
    Executive in Residence Atlanta Metropolitan State College
    Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 Administrator

    Sheryl Good
    Senior Scientist
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4

    Daphne Wilson
    Senior Scientist
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4

     

    NOTICE:

    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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