For the past 25 years, Vernice Miller-Travis has worked to help build the field of environmental justice, and grow and shape
For the past 25 years, Vernice Miller-Travis has worked to help build the field of environmental justice, and grow and shape the environmental justice movement across the U.S. Read a few of her reflections on Earth Day at 50 in the ANS Spring 2020 Naturalist Quarterly (p 4).
Donate now to watch the recording of her VIRTUAL evening of stories of the EJ movement and of this history of Earth Day in the context of today’s coronavirus crisis. A compelling speaker with decades of national expertise, she guides us through an energetic, impassioned, and challenging discussion centered on our interconnectedness, ability to take collective action, and treat each other with decency and empathy.
She discussed the following questions and took more questions from the audience:
- There have always been many different Earth Days for different people. Why did the 150,000 residents of central Harlem, where Vernice grew up, hear nothing about the first Earth Day, when 100,000 people thronged Central Park to Union Square in New York City? How is that changing today?
- The coronavirus crisis is laying bare for all to see the intersections in our society that hurt the most vulnerable people and environments. We can see it with air pollution and emissions going way down while economies are frozen, and on the other end with the EPA suspending enforcement of industrial pollution that disproportionately impacts low-income communities and communities of color. Let us push back on the intersections of these crises to forge a new and better tomorrow for us and our planet. How can we?
- “My survival is connected to yours.” What does that mean? How do we rise to this challenge?
Vernice Miller-Travis, Cesar Chavez, and Peggy Shepard. Speakers at Earth Day 1990. Photo: Vernice Miller-Travis
Vernice is one of the nation’s leading experts, pioneers and most respected thought leaders on environmental justice, a deeply skilled practitioner in multicultural engagement and organizational development with significant expertise in clean air and water, regulatory systems and environmental and urban planning.
Vernice consults for federal and state agencies, foundations and nonprofits. Prior to becoming a consultant, she established the environmental justice program for NRDC and initiated the environmental justice grantmaking portfolio for the Ford Foundation. Vernice has extensive experience working with communities that have undergone economic disinvestment and environmental degradation by facilitating community-based planning and implementing community revitalization and sustainable redevelopment initiatives and projects. She has the proven ability to bring unlikely partners and diverse stakeholders from all sectors together and to help find shared goals and solutions. She is trained in environmental conflict mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and how to navigate longstanding racial, cultural and economic conflicts.
Vernice is currently the Executive Vice-President for Environment & Sustainability at Metropolitan Group. Vernice is the co-founder of WeACT for Environmental Justice and serves on its board, as well as on the boards of Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Land Loss Prevention Project, Natural Resources Defense Council’s Action Fund, Patuxent Riverkeeper, and on the advisory boards of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, Green Leadership Trust, Imani Energy, and the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum.
April 15 (Wednesday) - May 15 (Friday)
Woodend Nature Sanctuary
8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, USA