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Environmental Justice & Climate Protection Conference 2024

June 13 & 14, 2024
Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus, Savannah, GA and Zoom

Environmental Justice & Climate Protection Conference

Pollution anywhere is pollution everywhere.” — Dr. Treva Gear

Our third annual Environmental Justice and Climate Protection Conference brings together community leaders, concerned citizens, elected officials, academics, and industry experts. Together we will break information silos through information sharing focused on identifying solutions to heal and improve the environmental health of all Georgians.

Attendees to this two-day conference receive solutions-oriented information on the dimensions of environmental health that impact Georgia residents. With sessions on environmental justice impacts, translating knowledge into action, and community coalition building, we will discuss, and more importantly, actively brainstorm, what community work can be done right now to move the needle on improving environmental health.


Science for Georgia
Dogwood Alliance
Center for Black Women's Wellness

Conference Charge: What can be done RIGHT NOW to work with communities to move the needle on addressing environmental impacts on health? How can we measure success so that these immediate actions are sustained?

Preliminary Agenda

8:15 – 9:00 – Check-in and Breakfast (main ballroom)

9:00 – 9:15 Opening Session (main ballroom)

9:15 – 10:30 Environmental Justice Activation (main ballroom)
Andrea Jones, Georgia WAND
FreAsia Young, Brown & Associates Environmental Group
Treva Gear, Dogwood Alliance


10:45 – 12:00 – Concurrent Sessions:

10:45 – 12:00 Coastal Healthy Neighborhoods – Overcoming a Legacy of Contamination (main ballroom)
Lericia Harris of One Hundred Miles will moderate a panel of four speakers.
– Alice Keyes, One Hundred Miles
– Noah Scovronick, Emory University
– Josiah (Jazz) Watts, Coastal Community Health
– Rev. Zach Lyde, Community Leader

10:45 – 12:00 Environmental Justice & Climate Protection in Data (theater)
Dominique Mack, Partnership for Southern Equity
Femi Adesanyaon, E212
Amy Sharma, Science for Georgia

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch and Keynote
with Dr. Mildred McClain from Harambee House (main ballroom)

1:10 – 2:25 Concurrent Sessions:

1:10 – 2:25 Resources & Grantmaking (main ballroom)
Brittany Shaar and Aradhana Chandra, Southern Environmental Law Center
Melanie Pearson, Emory CHART
Garry Harris, Sustainability Solutions Group and Institute

1:10 – 2:25 Outreach/Connecting with Communities (I) (theater)
Haley Hatfield, Emory CHARTER
Tasha Messer, EcoRise
Morgan Barnes, Center for Black Women’s Wellness


2:40 – 3:55 Concurrent Sessions:

2:40 – 3:55 Gardening (main ballroom)
Ginger LaRue, Building Upward LLC
Nia Harper, Center for Black Women’s Wellness
Jami Nakan, The University of North Georgia

2:40 – 3:55 Research Interactions with Community (theater)
Leslie Rubin of Break the Cycle will host a panel of researchers:

  • Devon Nenon, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 
  • Timothy Leung, North Carolina State University 
  • Gwendolyn M. Hoff Anderson, California Correctional Health Care Services 
  • Lexi Nutkiewicz, Natural Resources Defense Council


4:00-5:30 Happy Hour, Unposter Session, Climate Fresk Workshop (main ballroom)


  • Frankie Green: Unforgettable Art: An Agent of Movement
  • Carol M. Towbin Greenberg: Creating Sacred Space through Plarn
  • David Kyler: We must transform our values
  • Jamaica Williams: Distribution of Litter on Savannah State Campus
  • Rena Ann Peck: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge – Carbon Sink
  • Charles Jackson, Maria, Kyarah Barton, Daryl Williams: The Work of Midnight Riot
  • Linda Jackson: Climate Change Makers Gallery – Youth, Climate, Mental Health, and Art Activism
  • Jennifer Jones, Dionne Hoskins-Brown, Tara Cox, and Carol Pride: Climate Change Impacts on Gullah Geechee Resources
  • Ryan Jinks and Carol Pride: Assessing Potential PAH Exposure to Fishers at Public Boat Ramps and Piers
  • Sophia Elliott and Carol Pride: Examining Water Quality Parameters of Abercorn Creek near the Municipal Water Intake Site
  • Tanisha Felton and Sue Ebanks: Microplastic Particle Abundance in Penaeid Shrimp Coupled with Local Ecological Knowledge of Shrimp and Microplastics near Savannah, Georgia
  • Finn Gillette, Wisdom Akanmisikum, and Marcus Morris: Community Based Research on Tift Site Contamination in East Point, Georgia
  • Olamiposi Fagunloye: Clearing the Air: A 20-Year Review of PM2.5’s Impact on Georgia’s Environmental Health
  • Sharon Rachel: Climate Change & Intersectional Inequalities in the Southern United States
  • Karen Rawls: Environmental Justice in Health Equity: A Black Hair Toxicity Perspective
  • Chriscilia Cox: Gullah Geechee Foundation

**all Friday events are in the main ballroom

8:15-9:00 – Check-in and Breakfast

9:00- 9:15 Opening remarks

9:15-10:30 Outreach/Connecting with Communities (II)
Yomi Noibi, EcoAction
Opeyemi Aransiola, EcoAction
Tonya Bonitatibus, Savannah Riverkeeper


10:45 – 12:15 Listening session and report out with lawmakers and representatives

12:15 – 1:00: Closing remarks and take-home lunches


Sponsors enable us to provide travel stipends, produce high-quality videos, and keep the momentum going.

Environmental Justice Heroes

Emory University | Office of Research Funding Support

Climate Champions

Southern Environmental Law Center
Savannah State University
GCV Education Fund
Georgia Bio

Change Agents

Friends of Environmental Justice

Citizens for a Healthy and Safe Environment (CHASE), Erin Adams, Doug & Ann Congdon, Jennifer Hilburn, Tristan Odekirk, Vicki Weeks, and Oya Money-Worthy

Register Now!

Linktree and References

For your reference, below you will find links to things mentioned during the conference.

Location and Lodging

Online – Zoom In Person – Savannah Ballroom, Student Union, Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus, 11935 Library Dr, Savannah, GA 31419

Directions | Armstrong Campus

Northbound: Travel north on interstate 95 (I-95N). Take exit 94, GA-204, toward Savannah/Pembroke. Turn right onto GA-204 E for 7.3 miles. The Armstrong Campus is on your right and has two entrances onto campus. The second entrance (Arts Drive) is the main entrance to the university. See campus map for specific building locations. Southbound: Travel south on interstate 95 (I-95S). Take exit 94, GA-204, toward Savannah/Pembroke. Turn left onto GA-204 E for 7.5 miles. The Armstrong Campus is on your right and has two entrances onto campus. The second entrance (Arts Drive) is the main entrance to the university. See campus map for specific building locations. Eastbound: Travel east on interstate I-16 (I-16E). Take exit 157A onto interstate 95 (I-95S) toward Brunswick/Jacksonville for 5.1 miles. Turn onto GA-204 E for 7.5 miles. The Armstrong Campus is on your right and has two entrances onto campus. The second entrance (Arts Drive) is the main entrance to the university. See campus map for specific building locations.

Parking and Finding the Student Union

Parking permits are not required in the Sports Center Parking, directly across from the Student Union. Please follow the green lines to the indicated lot (Red Arrow) on the map below. The Peachtree Ballroom can be found on the second floor of the Student Union, located directly across from the Sports Center Parking, indicated by the black arrow on the map below.

Armstrong Campus


We have secured a block of rooms for $159/room at the Hilton Garden Inn Savannah Airport. 80 Clyde E Martin Drive, Savannah, GA 31408 You can call the hotel front desk directly at 912-964-5550 opt. 0 and book reservations over the phone. Please note that in addition to the room and tax, at check in the card on file will be authorized for an additional $50 for incidental hold. If the guest does not charge anything to the room from the market or the restaurant and bar, that money will be credited back to them after checkout.

Traveling by Air?

The Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport connects with 29 daily non-stop flights to 10 major cities. Scheduled airlines include American Eagle, Delta, Delta Connection, United Express, US Airways and US Airways Express. For more information, visit the Savannah International Airport website at

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