TSU to Host Climate Justice Roundtable on December 13, 2013

A recent World Bank study predicts by 2050, Houston will have the seventh-largest percentage increase in average annual economic losses from sea-level rise in the world. A 2013 Center for American Progress report, Storm-Ready Cities, lists Houston as one of five cities in the U.S. that is “taking climate preparation seriously,” including factoring climate change risks into infrastructure, building designs, public health planning for adapting to more extreme heat, floods, and droughts, and taking the lead to build resilience that supports economic growth and other pressing challenges.   

The roundtable will also highlight the climate gapinequitysocial vulnerability, and environmental challenges that burden low-income and people of color communities and place them at special risk.  Using a social equity lens, the Climate Justice Roundtable seeks to shed light on a number of questions: What steps are being taken in Houston to deal with the impacts of climate change? What actions have been taken to identify and address climate change and environmental justice challenges in the city’s most vulnerable communities? What policy strategies are needed to eliminate the climate gap and vulnerability? What is the state of environmental justice and climate change programs, policies, and nongovernmental organization (NGO) infrastructure in the Houston area? What are some of the major challenges and opportunities to climate change progress and building a racially and ethnically diverse Houston Environmental Justice Climate Action Network?    

ROUNDTABLE PANELISTS

Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Dean, Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University and co-author ofEnvironmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States: Building Environmentally Just, Sustainable and Livable Communities (APHA Press 2011) and The Wrong Complexion for Protection: How the Government Response to Disasters Endanger African American Communities(NYU Press 2012).

Ms. Nadia J. Siddiqui, Senior Policy Analyst, Texas Health Institute and lead author of Climate ChangeEnvironmental Challenges and Vulnerable Communities: Assessing Legacies of the Past, Building Opportunities of the Future (Texas Health Institute 2012), a report completed for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Commission to Engage African American on Climate Change. 

Ms. Jennifer Ronk, Program Director, Environmental Science and Energy Efficiency, Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), lead researcher on Houston plan for climate-change impacts on municipal operations. 

Dr. Beverly Wright, Director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University of New Orleans and co-author of Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina:  Struggles to Rebuild, Reclaim and Revitalize New Orleans and the Gulf Coast(Westview Press 2009) and The Wrong Complexion for Protection: How the Government Response to Disasters Endanger African American Communities (NYU Press 2012). 

COMMUNITY RESPONDENTS

In addition to the expert panel, the roundtable will also assemble a half-dozen or so community leadrs who will serve as "respondents" and who will help lead the discussion. 

Mr. Adrian Shelley, Executive Director, Air Alliance Houston, Houston, Texas

Mr. Juan Parras, Executive Director, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS) , Houston, Texas

Dr. Jacqueline Smith, Chair, Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, Houston National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Houston, Texas 

Mr. Cruz Hinojosa, Vice President, Environmental Community Advocates of Galena Park (ECAGP) and Healthy Texas Ports, Galena Park, Texas

Ms. Bridgette Murray, President, Pleasantville Super Neighborhood Association, Houston, Texas

Rev. James Caldwell, Founder and Director, Coalitions of Community Organizations (COCO), Houston, Texas

The event is free and open to the public. Click Here to Register for the Roundtable.

For more information, contact: Dr. Denae King, kingdw@tsu.edu.