2018 Taking Nature Black Agenda
On the Frontlines of Environmental Justice
It is an unfortunate and tragic fact that the individuals and families who live and work in the nation's most polluted environments are most commonly people of color, people with little or no political influence, and people with limited financial resources. It's no accident. These are the communities most often targeted for industrial and commercial development that poses environmental hazards.
Attendees learned ways to take immediate action to fight for environmental justice.
What Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Should Look Like
Some people mistakenly believe that "diversity" and "inclusion" are one and the same. Diversity and inclusion are actually two very different concepts, but their impacts in the workplace and the larger society are more profound when the two are implemented together. In fact, diversity is essentially meaningless without inclusion.
During this panel presentation, attendees heard from experts at the forefront of a dynamic and growing movement to ensure that diverse stakeholders play an active and inclusive role in the environmental movement.
Nature in Your Neighborhood & Peer-to-Peer Conversations
Many people think of "nature" as some distant place, largely undisturbed by human activity. In reality, nature is all around us, including in big cities. In fact, many outstanding and accomplished environmental professionals developed their love of and respect for nature through their early outdoor adventures in their own urban neighborhoods. Now, many of these same professionals are reaching out to urban communities to encourage youth and others to explore environmental careers by exposing them to new and exciting possibilities.
In this session, participants heard directly from leading professionals who turned their neighborhood experiences into successful and fulfilling green careers. Panelists shared creative ideas about how to engage communities to enjoy outdoor experiences right in their own neighborhoods.
Director of Conservation and Community Engagement
Maryland National-Capital Park and Planning Commission
Baltimore City, Department of Public Works
Roots and Resistance: Preserving the Rich Eco-Cultural Legacies of Black Communities
African American communities have a rich legacy of protecting their ecosystems from corporate pollution as well as challenging land monopolization through the creation of heir property, the most widespread form of property ownership within the African American community. Through the lens of two eco-activists, participants enjoyed an informative discussion that combined history along with present-day challenges. The goal is to elevate both grassroots and legal strategies to advance an alternative future rooted in racial equity, economic democracy, and planet sustainability.
Taking Control of Your Career in the Green Industry
"Green Jobs" help the environment as well as the local, regional and national economy. Experts on jobs, diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurship, HR, and the environmental movement shared details about the kinds of career opportunities exist today and talked about what opportunities might exist into the future.
Attendees also learned great tips on effective networking and job search techniques during this engaging, interactive discussion.
Senior Fellow, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Environmental Leadership Program
Co-owner and Principal
National Program Manager,
Urban and Community Forestry
U.S. Forest Service
What You Need to Know to Engage Elected Officials
Laws and policies can have long-ranging and long-lasting impacts on both the physical and economic health of communities. That's why it's critical that individuals and communities understand the best ways to voice their concerns to government agencies and officials.
Experienced veterans on community engagement and environmental policy shared effective methods and best practices for interacting with government agencies and elected officials on the local, state and national levels in order to achieve positive change.
Joseph J. James
Founder and President
Agri-Tech Producers, LLC
President and CEO
The Leggett Group USA
Advocate, Urban Solutions Program
Natural Resources Defense Council
Maryland Department of Natural Resources