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Intersections: Conversations on race, climate, and community-centered justice

A virtual event series
You're invited! Intersections: Conversations on race, climate, and community-centered justice.

Join Earthjustice for a four-part conversational series delving into community-centered lawyering, intersectional environmentalism, and the pursuit of justice. This will be a town hall–style event series moderated by Philip McAdoo, vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Earthjustice.

Each event will include a live Q&A where you can submit questions for our speakers. The event platform will offer closed captioning and the option to dial in by phone for audio-only access.

Please register for the series below to receive information about how to join each event. Can’t join live? Register to receive a recording after the event.

Events
Intersections
April 29, 2021
View Recording
Intersectional Justice
May 27, 2021, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. PT / 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET
Register
Community-centered Lawyering
June 24, 2021, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. PT / 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET
Register
Environmental Justice
July 29, 2021, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. PT / 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET
Register

Questions? Contact events@earthjustice.org.

Join Earthjustice for a four-part conversational series delving into community-centered lawyering, intersectional environmentalism, and the pursuit of justice. This will be a town hall–style event series moderated by Philip McAdoo, vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Earthjustice.

Each event will include a live Q&A where you can submit questions for our speakers. The event platform will offer closed captioning and the option to dial in by phone for audio-only access.

Please register for the series below to receive information about how to join each event. Can’t join live? Register to receive a recording after the event.

Questions? Contact events@earthjustice.org.

Intersections

Thursday, April 29, 2021

How do you define “the environment”? How do you think of yourself in relationship with the environment? What do you see? Who do you see? Join Earthjustice president Abigail Dillen for a conversation with Dr. Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces. Together we’ll explore the complicated relationship between race, land, and belonging in the United States.

Speakers:

  • Abigail Dillen, President, Earthjustice
  • Dr. Carolyn Finney, Storyteller, traveler, cultural interrogator, accidental environmentalist, and author of Black Faces, White Spaces

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Abigail Dillen is the President of Earthjustice, leading the organization's staff, board and supporters to advance our mission of using the courts to protect our environment and people’s health. Before stepping into her current role, Abigail served as the Vice President of Litigation for Climate & Energy, heading the organization's litigation and legal advocacy to achieve the essential shift from fossil fuels to 100% clean energy. Prior to that, Abbie was managing attorney of Earthjustice’s Coal Program, which has played a central role in forcing the overdue retirement of coal-fired power plants around the country.

Abbie has litigated many precedent-setting cases that have held polluters accountable and cleared the way for clean energy nationally. These wins include: requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promulgate first-ever standards to govern disposal of coal ash and limit the wastewater discharge of toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants; blocking a $2 billion transmission project to transport dirty coal energy from the Ohio Valley to East Coast cities; blocking permits for new coal-fired power plants; and cutting off federal funding of new coal plants.

Carolyn Finney, PhD, storyteller, author, and cultural geographer

Carolyn Finney, PhD is a storyteller, author, and a cultural geographer who is deeply interested in issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience. The aim of her work is to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations and institutions, challenge media outlets on their representation of difference, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action. Carolyn is grounded in both artistic and intellectual ways of knowing — she pursed an acting career for 11 years, but five years of backpacking trips through Africa and Asia, and living in Nepal changed the course of her life. Motivated by these experiences, Carolyn returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. (both of these degrees focused on gender and environmental issues in Kenya and Nepal, respectively) and Ph.D. (which focused on African Americans and environmental issues in the U.S.) She has been a Fulbright Scholar, a Canon National Parks Science Scholar, and received a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Studies. Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors was released in 2014 (UNC Press). She is currently working on a performance piece about John Muir (The N Word: Nature Revisited) as part of a Mellon residency at the New York Botanical Gardens and is an artist-in-residence in the Franklin Environmental Center at Middlebury College.

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Intersectional Justice

Thursday, May 27, 2021, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. PT / 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

What’s possible when we advocate both for people and the planet? Join Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., Leah Thomas, and Diandra Marizet for a conversation about challenging the status quo, connecting the injustices disproportionately affecting frontline communities with environmental harms, and building an inclusive version of environmentalism.

Speakers:

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Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President & Founder of Hip Hop Caucus

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. is the President & Founder of Hip Hop Caucus, a minister, community activist, U.S. Air Force veteran, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life.

As a national leader and pacemaker within the Green Movement, Rev Yearwood has been successfully bridging the gap between communities of color and environmental issue advocacy. With a diverse set of celebrity allies, he has raised awareness and action in communities that are often overlooked by traditional environmental campaigns and elected officials. His innovative stance has garnered the Hip Hop Caucus support from several environmental leaders including the Sunrise Movement, League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, and Zero Hour.

He is a leader in campaigns calling for divestment from fossil fuels, increasing diversity in the climate movement, ensuring everyone has clean water and air, and international efforts to address climate change. He has also fought on the frontlines for vulnerable communities, including at the international climate negotiations in Paris and efforts to fight new oil pipeline developments in Maryland and at Standing Rock. He has received numerous awards for his work, including being dubbed as a New Green Hero by Rolling Stone and recognized by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change.

Leah Thomas, eco-communicator

Leah Thomas is an eco-communicator, aka an environmentalist with a love for writing + creativity, based in Ventura, CA. She’s passionate about advocating for and exploring the relationship between social justice and environmentalism. You could say she’s tryna make the world a little more equal for everyone and a little nicer to our home planet.

She is the founder of eco-lifestyle blog @greengirlleah, @thegreensgirlco, and The Intersectional Environmentalist Platform, which is a resource + media hub that aims to advocate for environmental justice + inclusivity within environmental education + movements.

Her articles on this topic have appeared in Vogue, Elle, The Good Trade, and Youth to the People and she has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, Domino, GOOP, and numerous podcasts. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Chapman University and worked for the National Park Service and Patagonia headquarters before pursuing environmentalism full time.

Diandra Marizet, Co-Founder, Intersectional Environmentalist

Diandra Marizet is a conscious curator, community builder, and founding member of Intersectional Environmentalist. She previously worked on Kate Spade’s apparel buying team and then shifted towards centering her work around elevating intersectional sustainability through the lens of fashion, social impact, and culture.

Diandra has used her work to build educational resources + experiences to help people explore how sustainability issues impact people and the planet.

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Community-centered Lawyering

Thursday, June 24, 2021, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. PT / 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

How can the law be a method of innovative advocacy, creative problem-solving and true partnership? Join Angela Johnson-Meszaros, Byron Chan, mark! Lopez, and Tracy Lloyd McCurty, Esq. for a discussion about building transformative change through the power of the law and community partnership.

Speakers:

  • Angela Johnson Meszaros, Managing Attorney, Community Partnerships Program
  • Byron Chan, Senior Associate Attorney, Community Partnerships Program
  • mark! Lopez, Co-Director, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice 
  • Tracy Lloyd McCurty, Esq., Executive Director of Black Belt Justice Center and Co-Organizer of the Black Farmers' Appeal: Cancel Pigford Debt Campaign

Environmental Justice

Thursday, July 29, 2021, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. PT / 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

What’s possible when we put economic, racial, and social justice at the core of what we advocate for? Earthjustice Senior Vice President of Programs, Sam Sankar and Vice President of Litigation for Climate and Energy, Jill Tauber will be joined by environmental justice leader Michele Roberts to discuss and share a vision of intersectional justice and our role in the movement.

Speakers:

  • Sam Sankar, Senior Vice President of Programs, Earthjustice
  • Jill Tauber, Vice President of Litigation of Climate and Energy, Earthjustice
  • Michele Roberts, National Co-Coordinator, Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform