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Event Update:

We are in the process of planning VEJS 2022. You can view links from 2021 at "Watch the Recording Here!" Button. Register for VEJS 2022 at the link below. Please email vaenvjustice@gmail.com with any questions. 

Virginia Environmental Justice Summit

Empowering students to tackle Virginia's most pressing environmental justice issues

March 26th 2022

9:00 am - 2:30 pm

Virtual Conference - 

Schedule Below!

 
A group of seven students sit around a table in the middle of a discussion related to environmental justice. There is a podium in the background with the George Mason University logo. Six of the students are listening to one of the students speak and are either smiling or deep in thought.

The Virginia Environmental Justice Summit is a conference to engage undergraduate and graduate students from around the country in multidisciplinary conversations around issues of environmental justice.

CONFERENCE GOALS

LEARN

about environmental justice issues impacting 

Virginia communities

BUILD

advocacy and activism skills for making the change you want to see

NETWORK

with environmental justice activists from other universities

Guiding Vision

To unify and empower student environmental justice advocates from throughout the state of Virginia

Three students hold a black, inflated tube with the words "No fracking pipeline" on it in white tape. All three students are wearing shirts which say, "Virginia is not for pipelines." They are all smiling and looking at the camera. Behind them, there are trees with yellow foilage.

Planned for students, by students.

This conference is a student-run initiative started by the Mason Environmental Justice Alliance at George Mason University. 

Our planning committee is made up exclusively of undergraduate students with support from graduate students, faculty, and staff.

We would love to have representatives from other student organizations, departments, and universities on the committee. Interested in helping plan the summit? We want people from every discipline and background! Please email the project team, at vaenvjustice@gmail.com

 

Agenda

March 26, 2022

This conference will focus on environmental justice issues in Virginia. The conference consists of three sections, morning speaker breakout sessions, a panel discussion, and afternoon workshop breakout sessions.

9:00 - 9:20 am

9:20 - 9:30 am  

 

 

9:30 - 10:45 am 

 

10:45 - 11:45 am 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11:45 - 12:45 pm

 

 

 

12:45 - 2:00 pm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2:00 - 2:30 pm 

Event Login

go.gmu.edu/VEJS22

Event Introduction

 

 

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell

For All of Us: The Indigenous Struggle for Life and Land in Amazonia

 

 

Speakers (Breakout Sessions) 

Dr. Dominic Boyer

Renewable Energy and Environmental Justice

go.gmu.edu/Boyer

Dr. Travis Williams

Environmental racism and the anti-racist roots of environmental justice

go.gmu.edu/VEJS221

Dr. Sacoby Wilson

Environmental Justice: The Fight Continues! 

go.gmu.edu/Wilson

Lunch break & virtual social hour

Optional video by Dr. Celeste Murphy-Greene: COVID 19 & Health Equity in Virginia

go.gmu.edu/VEJS22

Workshops (Breakout Sessions)

 

Elizabeth Schierbeek with the Native American and Indigenous Alliance

Community Position Statement Writing: Fighting for Indigenous Rights

and EJ at GMU

go.gmu.edu/VEJS221

Sofia Gilani, Green Muslims

Diverse Background in Environmental Justice

go.gmu.edu/VEJS3

 

Closing Event

go.gmu.edu/VEJS22

Planned for students, by students.

This conference is a student-run initiative started by the Mason Environmental Justice Alliance at George Mason University. 

Our planning committee is made up exclusively of undergraduate students with support from graduate students, faculty, and staff.

We would love to have representatives from other student organizations, departments, and universities on the committee. Interested in helping plan the summit? We want people from every discipline and background! Please email the project team, at vaenvjustice@gmail.com

 

The Speakers 2022 

Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell, a cultural anthropologist.

Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell

Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell is a cultural anthropologist with over two decades of research experience collaborating with Indigenous and other communities in the Brazilian Amazon. He specializes in documenting traditional ecological knowledge and has participated in numerous efforts to demarcate Indigenous territories. An award-winning author, Campbell is also President of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America and Assistant Director of Strategic Engagement at George Mason University’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth.

Dr. Murphy-Greene smiles with her arms crossed.

Dr. Celeste Murphy-Greene

Dr. Murphy-Greene the Founding Faculty member and Program Coordinator of the online Graduate Certificate in Public Administration at the University of Virginia’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies. She is also the Program Coordinator of the online Graduate Certificate in Leadership at UVA. Before joining UVA, Dr. Murphy-Greene taught at Old Dominion University, San Diego State University, and Florida Gulf Coast University. Dr.Murphy-Greene has taught courses in Environmental Justice for over 25 years and is the lead author and editor of the forthcoming book Environmental Justice and Resiliency in an Age of Uncertainty, published by Routledge, coming out in June 2022. The book explores topics such as climate and energy justice, health equity, smart cities, public works, and emergency management using an environmental justice lens. In December 2021, Dr. Murphy-Greene was appointed to serve on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Advisory Board to advise on environmental justice and intergovernmental and stakeholder engagement.

Before her career in academia, Dr. Murphy-Greene worked on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Aide for former Congressman Leon Panetta and as an Environmental Protection Specialist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Murphy-Greene received her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), her Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University, and her Ph.D. in Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Greene’s dissertation and subsequent research focused on the issue of environmental justice from an occupational perspective, examining the impacts of pesticides on migrant workers in Florida and the lack of protection this occupation group receives. Dr. Murphy-Greene’s research has also examined environmental justice from a global perspective. Her work has appeared in such journals as Public Administration Review, International Journal of Public Administration, Public Administration Quarterly, Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, Review of Policy Research and Journal of Business and Public Affairs. To learn more about Dr. Murphy-Greene’s work, visit www.celestemurphygreene.com .
 

Monochrome headshot of Dr. Dominic Boyer.

Dr. Dominic Boyer

Dominic Boyer is a writer, media maker and anthropologist. He has held teaching positions at the University of Chicago, Cornell University and Rice University and been the recipient of grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Fulbright, SSRC, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. His work focuses on the energy and environmental challenges of our era, particularly the need to decarbonize society in an environmentally just and responsible way, which involves breaking the ecocidal and genocidal trajectory of global capitalism. He has recently led research projects on the contentious politics of wind power development in Mexico and on the emotional impact of catastrophic flooding in Houston. He is increasingly interested in electric futures across the world and on amphibious urbanism in coastal cities experiencing sea level rise. In the past decade, he has curated environmental art exhibitions, produced podcasts, made a documentary film, and installed the world’s first memorial to a glacier fallen to climate change. Current creative projects include a television series about petroculture, a non-academic book about the Iceland’s disappearing glaciers and a game about sentient petroleum. During 2021 he held an artist residency at The Factory in Djúpavík, Iceland, and he will be a Berggruen Institute Fellow in Los Angeles during 2021-22.

SacobyWilsonheadshot2.png

Dr. Sacoby Wilson, MS, PhD

Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an Associate Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland-College Park.  Dr. Wilson has over 20 years of experience as environmental health scientist in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, community-based participatory research, 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.

 

Dr. Wilson is Director of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) initiative.  CEEJH is focused on providing technical assistance to communities fighting against environmental injustice and environmental health disparities in the DMV region and across the nation. Through CEEJH, Dr. Wilson is engaging communities in the Washington, DC region on environmental health issues including exposure and health risks for individuals who fish and recreate on the Anacostia River; use of best management practices to reduce stormwater inputs in the Chesapeake Bay; air pollution and health impacts due to industrial and commuter traffic in Bladensburg, MD; built environment, environmental injustice, and vectors in West Baltimore; cumulative impacts of environmental hazards on air quality in Brandywine, MD; goods movement, industrial pollution, and environmental injustice in South Baltimore, MD; environmental justice and health issues in Buzzard Point area of Washington, DC; industrial chicken farming on Maryland’s Eastern Shore; health impact of assessment in the Sheriff Road community; and other topics.  In addition, he is working with schools in the region on pipeline development efforts in the STEM+H disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Health).

TravisLWilliams.jpeg

Dr. Travis Williams

Dr. Travis Leonard Williams (he/him) is an environmental sociologist working at the intersections of race, culture, and ecology.  He received his PhD in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Dr. Williams teaches classes on race and racism, environmental sociology, and social movements.  He has published articles in both peer-reviewed journals and the popular press.  His latest piece is an essay entitled "Resisting Technocratic Erasure: Environmental Racism, Racial Capitalism, and the Fight Against the Union Hill Compressor Station," published in Science for the People Magazine

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Elizabeth Schierbeek

Elizabeth Schierbeek is a Ph.D. student and graduate teaching assistant in George Mason University’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy. She holds an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an individualized concentration in Global Environmental Justice and a B.A. in Integrative Studies with a concentration in Social Justice and Human Rights, both from George Mason University.


Her environmental justice scholarship and activism are centered around community-based biocultural conservation with the Maijuna Indigenous group of the Peruvian Amazon. For Elizabeth's master’s research, she collaborated with the Maijuna and neighboring Kichwa people to create a joint multilingual community position statement speaking out against a government-planned road development project that would cut through the heart of their ancestral lands. Her dissertation research will further investigate the potential sociocultural and ecological impacts of road development within Maijuna lands via community-based participatory research and remote sensing. She is passionate about biocultural conservation, Indigenous rights, and creating opportunities to weave together research and community activism.

NAIA logo.png

Native American and Indigenous Alliance (NAIA)

At George Mason University, NAIA is dedicated to assisting Native American and Indigenous students' transition to college, promoting Indigenous culture, raising awareness of Native issues and providing a safe environment for Native and non-Native students. NAIA will be co-hosting a workshop titled, “Community Position Statement Writing: Fighting for Indigenous Rights and EJ at GMU,” with Elizabeth Schierbeek, a Ph.D. student and graduate teaching assistant in George Mason University’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy.

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Sofia Gilani

Sofia Gilani is a Climate Action Advocate for Green Muslims, which serves as a source in the Muslim community for spiritually-inspired environmental education, action, and reflection. Born and raised in Virginia, Sofia grew up experiencing all the nature the state has to offer. She also had the opportunity to experience and explore nature in her parents’ motherlands of Pakistan and Nicaragua. This set the path for an appreciation of the outdoors and awareness of the global world around us. Sofia joined Green Muslims in the summer of 2019 as an intern and now holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science. Sofia uses her outreach and education skills, plus her passion for climate change advocacy, to work with Green Muslims. She will be leading a workshop about “Diverse Background in Environmental Justice.”

 

Interested in Sponsoring the Event?

We'd love to have you on board and have several options for your participation!

Email vaenvjustice@gmail.com to get started or request more information.

Organizational Sponsorship Levels

Tidewater Level  | $300
  • Logo on website

  • Name listed in Summit program

Piedmont Level  |  $500
  • Logo on website

  • Name listed in Summit program

  • Shout out on Summit social media accounts

Blue Ridge Level  |  $750
  • Logo on website

  • Full-page advertisement in Summit program

  • Shout out on Summit social media accounts

  • Name in Summit press release and advertisements

  • Reserved table at Summit

Individual Donations

This conference will not be possible without support from passionate leaders and supporters like you.
 
We would be greatly appreciative for all donations you are able to make, at any level. In recognition, we'll include your name in the list of supporters at the Summit. At this time, we can only accept donations in the form of checks.
To donate or receive more information, please email vaenvjustice@gmail.com
 

Special thanks to our previous Piedmont Level Sponsor:

Southern Environmental Law Center's logo with green and white flowers to the left of the text.
 

Contact Us

To learn more, please subscribe. If you have additional questions, please email the project team at vaenvjustice@gmail.com

Follow us on social media and use the hashtag #VEJS2022