Plenary Panel: Through the Lens of Justice
9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Eastern, September 27
Please join us for the 2021 I2SL Opening Plenary for an exploration of equity and justice. From design to building to occupancy, the I2SL community has an incredible opportunity to introduce equity into sustainability. A discussion with four distinguished speakers will reveal how we can better incorporate equity and justice within the laboratory community.
- Chandra Farley, Partnership for Southern Equity
- Dr. Mildred McClain, Harambee House/Citizens for Environmental Justice
- Dr. Eri Saikawa, Emory University
- Dr. Marshall Shepherd, University of Georgia
Chandra Farley (she/her/hers)
Chandra Farley is an activist with a passion for elevating the connection between environmental stewardship, strong communities, and our daily lives. Chandra continues to build upon a career foundation in the design and construction industry that informs her perspective on built and natural environments. Chandra currently serves as the CEO of ReSolve Consulting practice, with a mission to increase the impact of climate justice initiatives by creating equity-centered delivery infrastructure. Chandra also founded the “Good Energy Project,” with a vision to connect the transformational power of Black women to the movement for just and equitable clean energy. With a career history at Southface Energy Institute and Partnership for Southern Equity, Chandra is well-known in energy, utility, and climate justice circles. She has formed national partnerships to improve the environmental and financial sustainability of nonprofit facilities and developed equity-centered strategies to advance energy and climate justice at community, regional, and national scales.
Dr. Mildred McClain (she/her/hers)
Harambee House/Citizens for Environmental Justice
Dr. Mildred McClain co-founded and currently serves as the Executive Director of the Harambee House/Citizens For Environmental Justice, a community based organization whose mission is to build the capacity of communities to solve their problems and to engage in positive growth and development. The organization was created in 1990, is located in Savannah, GA and serves communities at the local, state, regional, national and international levels. Dr. McClain has been a human rights activist and teacher for over 40 years. She created major partnerships with the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and many community base organizations, with the goals of addressing public health and environmental justice issues and concerns. Dr. McClain served as an efficient delegate to the World Conference Against Racism and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, both held in South Africa. Under Dr. McClain’s leadership for the past 20 years, the Black Youth Leadership Development Institute has trained over 1500 young people to serve as leaders in their communities.
Dr. Eri Saikawa (she/her/hers)
Dr. Eri Saikawa is Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences in Emory College of Arts and Sciences and also in the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She is a Director of Graduate Studies in Department of Environmental Sciences and the Emory Climate Talks program, where she takes students to the UN Climate Change negotiations. Eri is also a Director of Science, Policy and Community-Engaged Research at Emory’s Resilience and Sustainability Collaboratory. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Environmental Management. She conducts interdisciplinary research on the environment, mostly focused on atmospheric chemistry, environmental health, biogeochemistry, climate science and environmental policy. Recently due to the finding of soil lead contamination in the Westside of Atlanta, she has been working on soil quality and lead exposure as well.
Star Scott (she/her/hers)
University of Georgia
Star Scott is the Green Labs Program Coordinator for the University of Georgia, with a background in conservation-driven research, wildlife biology, and ecology. She is the Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA) representative for the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC) and is a co-vice president and founding member of the Georgia Chapter of I2SL.
Dr. Marshall Shepherd (he/him/his)
University of Georgia
Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is a leading international expert in weather and climate and is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. He serves as Director of UGA’s Atmospheric Sciences Program and is Full Professor in the Department of Geography. Dr. Shepherd is also the host of the Weather Channel’s Award-Winning Sunday talk show Weather Geeks. He is a regular contributor to Forbes Magazine, and currently chairs the NASA Earth Sciences Advisory Committee. Dr. Shepherd has a long and storied career as a climate scientist and has contributed to many important efforts to understand and mitigate climate change, including serving on the 2007 Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) AR4 contributing author team. Dr. Shepherd has a long list of honors and awards including from NASA, the Captain Planet Foundation, and the Bush Administration’s Presidential Early Career Award for pioneering scientific research in weather and climate science. In 2021, he was elected to the National Academies of Science, National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Shepherd is frequently sought as an expert on weather, climate, and remote sensing. His TedX Atlanta Talk on “Slaying Climate Zombies” is one of the most viewed climate lectures on YouTube. He was the first African American to receive a PhD from the Florida State University Department of Meteorology, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected. He is also the second African American to preside over the American Meteorological Society. His most recent book, The Race Awakening of 2020: A 6-Step Guide to Move Forward, was published in 2020.
Kelly Weisinger (she/her/hers)
Kelly O’Day Weisinger is the Director of Sustainability for Emory University and Emory Healthcare, collaborating with leadership in fulfilling Emory’s enterprise-wide sustainability vision. Kelly leads strategies on waste minimization, energy and water use reduction, sustainable procurement, climate solutions, lab and office sustainability, and sustainability intersections with academics, research enterprise, social justice, built environment, biodiversity and green space, and human wellbeing. Kelly is the founding co-President for the Georgia Chapter of I2SL and the founding co-Chair for I2SL’s Laboratory Landfill Waste Diversion Working Group.
Thank you to our generous plenary sponsor!
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