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2023 Fireside Chat Series

Over the summer Science for GeorgiaDogwood AllianceCenter for Black Women’s Wellness (CBWW), and Emory’s Center for Children’s Health Assessment, Research Translation, and Combating Environmental Racism (CHARTER) hosted the Environmental Justice & Climate Protection Conference.

Multiple organizations spoke about successful example community coalitions that are working to address environmental health and injustices. But there was not enough time for questions, comments, and discussion.

This fireside chat series is to enable a deeper discussion. We aim to foster a conversation that raises awareness, inspires actions, and creates a path towards a healthier and more sustainable future for all. 

Sept 12, 11am – Center for Black Women’s Wellness

Featured Speakers: April Reid and Morgan Barnes

In this segment, we will drive into the interconnectedness of health, the environment, and equity. We’ll explore how environmental factors impact the wellness of Black women and why addressing disparities is essential for a thriving community.

Oct 10, 2023 – Concerned Citizens of Cook County & Dogwood Alliance

Featured Speaker: Treva Gear, EdD

Dr. Treva Gear is the founder and chair of the Concerned Citizens of Cook County, a grassroots community organization in Adel, GA. She’s an army veteran, educator, and community organizer. She has a doctorate in Adult & Career Education from Valdosta State University.

Dr. Gear presented on the importance of intersectionality when advocating for environmental justice – low-income communities and majority-people of color (POC) communities are disproportionately impacted by deforestation and pollution, and the health of these communities are also disproportionately affected by their proximity to pollution from heavy industry. Dogwood Alliance aims to incorporate racial justice into its environmental activism and support environmental justice (EJ) communities in Georgia. 

During the discussion, Dr. Gear mentioned ongoing efforts in south Georgia communities including Adel and Valdosta, and rezoning plans in Atlanta that could prevent polluting industries from being developed near vulnerable communities. She also emphasized the necessity of understanding the economic and political factors that drive climate change as well as reaching out to the larger public to ensure that they are informed about policies that will impact their neighborhoods.

writeup by: Jessie Zhao

Oct 13, 2023 – GA WAND

Featured speaker: Andrea Jones

Andrea Young Jones currently holds the position of Government Relations and Public Policy Director for Georgia WAND (Women’s Actions for New Directions). Founded in 1984, Georgia WAND is a women-led organization that historically has sought to educate and advance policy and legislation that brings about lasting and systemic change in frontline communities.

Andrea Jones represented Georgia WAND’s work in environmental justice as well as other social justice issues such as education, labor and home ownership. Georgia WAND’s environmental work centers on racial justice as well as the economic devaluation of communities near sources of pollution. Jones’ presentation also highlighted the correlation between the construction of polluting industrial sites in Georgia and negative health outcomes like cancer and respiratory disease, which disproportionately impact Black communities.

Jones further discussed the importance of economics in overcoming tribalism. For example, reframing social justice could be considered as a way to advocate for one’s personal financial freedoms, as well as a strategy that could economically benefit the entire community. 

writeup by: Jessie Zhao

Featured Speaker: Kavin Manickaraj, Chief Data Scientist, Greenlink Analytics

The next installment of our Fireside Chat series featuring speakers from our EJ&CP Conference. Kavin Manickaraj from Greenlink Analytics will discuss working with the community to create data driven solutions.

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