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On the inaugural Green Amendment Day, join a presentation and panel of leading environmental justice voices from across the nation, united in ending environmental racism and restoring environmental justice through constitutional empowerment.
Our panelists represent different areas where environmental justice intersects: a grassroots leader, a community organizer & advocate, a legislator, a national Green Amendment expert, a Tribal Liaison, and a scientific expert. Hear first hand how they are pursuing true environmental justice with the power of a Green Amendment. Constitutional recognition and protection can elevate the inalienable rights of all people to a clean & healthy environment, and transform our system of laws and government to ensure environmental justice is mandatory, equitable and enforceable.
Tuesday, July 13th at 7:00pm EDT on Zoom, please register in advance here.
Panelists and Speakers include:
Kim Gaddy, Founder and Director of the South Ward Environmental Alliance
Kim Gaddy is the Founder and Director of the South Ward Environmental Alliance, a grassroots Environmental Justice organization of residents and community based organizations whose mission is to create healthy and vibrant neighborhoods by ensuring residents’ voices are heard and are active participants in decision making regarding policies that impact their neighborhood. The SWEA were a part of a growing movement for health equity in front-line communities and understood the importance that everyone regardless of race, neighborhood or financial status deserves access to a healthy community to live in.
In addition, Kim Gaddy is the New Jersey Environmental Justice Director for Clean Water Action. She has been advocating for communities impacted by industrial pollution and the goods movement system in Newark and across the country for 20 years. Kim develops and implements Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund’s grassroots environmental justice campaigns and coalition building efforts in New Jersey. She is a former Newark School Board Member, New York/New Jersey Regional Representative for the Moving Forward Network, Appointed by Governor Phil Murphy to serve as Vice-Chair of the NJDEP’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council and member of the New Jersey Green Jobs Council, former Chair of both the Newark Environmental Commission and the Essex County Environmental Commission, a founding member of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and the South Ward Environmental Alliance her local community Environmental Justice organization.
Kim was recognized as the 2021 Russ Berrie Making a Difference Honoree for New Jersey, 2021 Weequahic High School Hall of Distinction, 2020 UUFaith in Action Environmental Justice Award, 2020 New Jersey Governor’s Richard J. Sullivan Environmental Excellence Award, 2018 Newark Women from Suffragettes to the Statehouse, 2017 selected as 100 People of Newark and a 2007 recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Environmental Community award.
Kerri Evelyn Harris, Community Organizer and Advocate
In 2018, Kerri Evelyn Harris transformed and invigorated the race for the United States Senate in the State of Delaware. As a citizen, an advocate, a worker, a mother, a veteran, and a queer woman of color, Kerri stands for the people of Delaware and across America. Harris has a vision, but as an organizer, she encourages us to see and imagine not what was, but move toward what could and should be. Kerri continues her work within the state of Delaware and nationwide as she feels it is her duty to fight to improve the lives of her fellow Americans; building coalitions and promoting people-centered policies is her personal mission in life. In her own word, Harris declared, “We need to see past what the original vision was and instead see what the future looks like when you change it” This is not a passive statement, Kerri invites us to imagine, then create communities that are fair, healthy, and thriving; to build a Delaware and an America that has never existed, to build the Delaware and America we deserve. Harris changed the political landscape in Delaware and, by extension, all of America.
Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, serving New Mexico’s 16th District and lead sponsor of the NM Green Amendment
Senator Sedillo Lopez has served New Mexico’s 16th District since 2019 and was previously a Professor of Law/Associate Dean at the University of New Mexico for 27 years. She formerly served as executive director of Enlace Comunitario, an anti-domestic violence nonprofit conducting outreach to Latino immigrant communities. She has also served on the boards of the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Bernalillo County/City of Albuquerque Air Quality Control Board, the Southwest Women’s Law Center, and the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association.
Maya van Rossum, Founder, Green Amendments For The Generations
van Rossum is the Founder of Green Amendments For the Generations, a grassroots non-profit organization inspiring a nationwide movement to secure constitutional recognition and protection of environmental rights in every state and ultimately at the federal level. van Rossum is also the Delaware Riverkeeper, leading the watershed based advocacy organization, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, for 26 years in its efforts to protect the health of the Delaware River and its tributaries. Maya was a lead petitioner in the 2013 landmark Robinson Township, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, et. al. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania case that breathed new life into Pennsylvania’s long ignored environmental rights amendment. She is author of, The Green Amendment, Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment which was selected as the 2018 Living Now Evergreen Awards GOLD Winner in the Nature Conservation category. Since launching Green Amendments For The Generations, constitutional amendments have been proposed in 13 states.
Terry Sloan, Director, Southwest Native Cultures
Sloan is a Navajo and Hopi Native American from Tuba City, Arizona and is the Director of his NGO Southwest Native Cultures, where he is an accredited member of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, as an Indigenous Peoples Organization since May 2011. He also serves as the City of Albuquerque’s Intergovernmental Tribal Liaison. Terry has actively participated in UN sessions and meetings since May 2013 and continues to consult the UN on “Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. He has participated in teleconferences with President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden, has consulted the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the U.S. Department of State regarding Indigenous/Native American issues where he attended ongoing consultations with U.S. Federally recognized tribes and Indigenous Peoples Organizations on enhanced participation in the United Nations mechanism, climate change and other Indigenous Peoples issues.
Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Associate Professor, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health
Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an Associate Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health. Dr. Wilson has 15 years of experience as an environmental health scientist in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, community-engaged research including crowd science and community-based participatory research (CBPR), water quality analysis, air pollution studies, built environment, industrial animal production, climate change, community resiliency and sustainability. He works primarily in partnership with community-based organizations to study and address environmental justice and health issues and translate research to action.
The Panel will be moderated by Maria Payan.
Maria Payan, Senior Regional Representative, Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP), Sussex Health & Environmental Network (SHEN)
Maria has worked for years to educate and advocate for socially responsible agriculture throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed states through forums, films, community events, and even after-school programs for children. Maria has been instrumental in working with communities to fight the expansion of industrial animal facilities throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. She is committed to keeping independent farmers viable, while striving to preserve our natural resources and rural heritage for future generations. Through her organizing work, Maria has formed strong coalitions to empower rural communities, especially vulnerable underserved communities with little political power. Maria is also co-founder of Sussex Health & Environmental Network, a regional grassroots coalition in Sussex County Delaware, which focuses on ensuring a clean healthy environment for future generations.