BETHESDA, Md., March 29, 2021 – EarthShare, a trusted partner for environmental engagement for more than 30 years, is announcing the launch of Building Equity for All, a special interview style webinar opportunity for April and May 2021. The three-part series will help employees explore the past, present, and future of environmental, climate, and energy justice and expand understanding of connections to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs.
Developed with EarthShare partners Groundswell and WE ACT for Environmental Justice, this virtual learning opportunity addresses the key challenges and opportunities at the root of some our most serious societal and environmental inequities. The discussions will offer actionable steps for participants to promote solutions in their daily lives and communities.
“Building Equity offers critical history, thought leadership and actionable approaches at a time when concern about the outsized impact of environmental issues on our communities has crested in public consciousness,” said Mary MacDonald, SVP Corporate Engagement. “This Earth Day 2021 we’re providing virtual solutions to help our partners enrich employees’ understanding and awareness, and to support just, equitable solutions.”
The Building Equity series features a who’s who of environmental justice leaders committed to the work to create sustainable and equitable opportunities and solutions for underserved and black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities.
Jarami Bond, 2017 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 young professional and Chief Storyteller, Bond Studio.
Mr. Bond will moderate the webinar series conversations, to include a robust Q&A. Bond Studio is a visual storytelling company focused on helping companies, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs build their brands, engage their audiences, and unlock the power of their stories. Jarami also serves as a speaker, writer and Senior Advisor at GreenBiz.org, advocating for greater BIPOC representation and a deeper focus on social and environmental justice within the sustainability movement.
Dr. Mildred McClain, Executive Director of the Harambee House / Citizens for Environmental Justice. Dr. McClain joined the Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s and became one of the early pioneers of the environmental justice movement. A Harvard-trained Ph.D. educator whose early career was focused on teaching, Dr. McClain has fought for decades to protect communities in and around Savannah and across the American South from nuclear and industrial waste that made them “sacrifice zones.” Also known as the “NEPA Ninja,” Dr. McClain’s work has been institutionalized in how the U.S. EPA partners with community advisory councils to enforce environmental justice.
Lenwood Coleman, Chief Program Officer, Groundswell.
Mr. Coleman has a central role in Groundswell operational activities, bringing more than twenty years’ experience in project delivery, capital budgeting, quality control, and community outreach to programs and initiatives that serve a national audience. Strongly committed to building wealth and hope through education, training, jobs, and entrepreneurship opportunities, Mr. Coleman has dedicated more than fifteen years to community service in faith-based organizations within the D.C. area and supports programs geared toward advocacy, personal and workforce development, housing, and community.
Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
Ms. Jessel is responsible for advancing WE ACT’s policy agenda at the local, state, and national levels, in addition to leading their NYC policy initiatives and the Northern Manhattan Climate Action (NMCA) Plan. Prior to joining WE ACT, she conducted research in energy insecurity, housing, and public health at Columbia University, and coordinated clinical trials at Weill Cornell Medicine. Her interest is focused on the intersection of environmental and social justice, health, and policy.
Taylor Morton, Director of Environmental Health and Education, WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
Taylor (They/Them) has worked with WE ACT since 2016, formerly as an intern, environmental health fellow, educational consultant, and environmental health and education manager. Taylor leads education programs including the Environmental Health & Justice Leadership Training, WE ACT’s Climate Education Policy initiatives, and the organization’s NYCHA Healthy Homes program, which seeks to improve the health and future of public housing residents. Taylor believes in the importance of exposing BIPOC and low-income youth to natural elements, and actively supports this mission.
EarthShare’s one-hour webinars are open to participants from multiple companies. Sessions will be recorded for employees unable to attend.
Webinar 1: Environmental Justice
Environmental justice has its roots in the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke to the fact that justice demands healthier living and working environments, and universal access to clean water, air, and soil. In this session participants will be familiarized with environmental justice terminology and connected with opportunities to learn about impacted communities and the leaders addressing environmental injustices. Dr. Mildred McClain, a mother of the Environmental Justice movement, will explore environmental justice history through present times, and will share examples of the work in progress.
Webinar 2: Climate Justice
There is growing concern and recognition about how our changing climate will continue to impact humankind and the planet. BIPOC and low-income communities will be among the hardest hit. In this session, participants will receive an overview about how climate injustices have impacted these communities and learn how they can aid in the fight by demanding resiliency in our communities. Participants will lead us through the journey of demanding resiliency for environmental justice communities, with examples of that work in practice to be provided by WE ACT for Environmental Justice.
Webinar 3: Energy Justice
Building clean energy futures can be a source of restorative justice. This session will focus on the disproportionate energy burden borne by communities of color and low-income households in the U.S., and address the impacts on community wealth, health, and well-being. Discussion will explore the most equitable ways to address these impacts, including the role of energy efficiency measures for disadvantaged communities where households spend far too large a share of their income on energy bills. Participants will discover how building clean energy futures can be restorative, with examples shared by Groundswell.
To reserve space and for more information about EarthShare’s virtual Earth Month opportunities, please visit: Earth Month 2021 | EarthShare
EarthShare is your nonprofit partner with a 500-member strong network of America’s most respected environmental and conservation organizations, developing and delivering tailored, strategic programs to help you meet — and exceed — your employee and customer engagement, community impact and environmental sustainability goals. For 30 years, EarthShare has worked across industries and issues to protect the health of our planet by engaging workplaces and people as active participants in that mission. With the power to convene the environmental community, galvanize employees and consumers, and build community collaboration, we help our partners achieve their corporate citizenship and sustainability impact vision. https://earthshare.org
Groundswell builds community power through equitable community solar projects, clean energy programs that reduce energy burdens, and pioneering research initiatives that help light the way to clean energy futures for all. Groundswell has clean energy programs and projects in place in six states, including the District of Columbia, and serves more than 3,500 income-qualified customers with more than $1.5 million per year in clean energy savings. Groundswell’s core values include equity, respect, integrity, excellence, taking care of each other, driving transformative change, and serving people and communities with joy. https://groundswell.org/
About WE ACT for Environmental Justice
WE ACT for Environmental Justice is a Northern Manhattan membership-based organization whose mission is to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low-income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. WE ACT has offices in New York City and Washington, D.C. https://www.weact.org/
VP, Communications & Marketing
SVP, Corporate Engagement
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