HBCU Climate Change Consortium

climitchange1In 2011, because of the urgent need to diversify leadership in the environmental arena, Dr. Beverly Wright, Executive Director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Inc. and Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Distinguished Professor at Texas Southern University (Houston) launched the Historically Black College and University Climate Change Consortium. 

The Consortium was conceived to help raise awareness about the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities to develop HBCU students leaders, scientists and advocates on issues related to environmental and climate justice policies, community resilience, adaptation and other major climate change topics—especially in vulnerable communities in the southern  United States where the vast majority of HBCUs are located and where more billion-dollar disasters occur than the rest of the country combined. 

HBCU Climate Change Conference

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This annual conference was developed to bring together HBCU faculty and students, researchers, climate professionals and environmental justice and coastal community residents impacted by toxic facilities and severe weather events related to climate change in order to bridge the gap between theory and the experiential realities of climate change. The conference addresses issues related to climate justice, adaptation, community resilience, global climate issues, and other major climate change topics (i.e. transportation, energy sources, carbon emissions, green jobs/green economy, just transition, and community economic development). The conference also engages local high school students in the conference activities. College-bound high school students are introduced to climate science within the context of how their daily life activities affect climate. The sessions are interactive, including computer-simulated games. To date, the Consortium has hosted eight conferences.

View the 2022 HBCU Climate Change Conference Program

​​​​​​​A Focus on Student Engagement

Since its inception, the Consortium has a total of 30 HBCUs participating in its activities and is growing its numbers to include more schools each year in an effort to train the next generation of climate and environmental justice leaders.  Since 2011, the Consortium has supported hundreds of HBCU faculty, students and leaders from climate-vulnerable communities participate in a number of important domestic and international gatherings including:
  • 2011 – United Nations COP17, Durban, South Africa, December, Twelve (12) HBCU Delegates representing three (3) HBCUs attended the conference. 
  • 2012 – Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro, a six-person delegation represented the HBCU Climate Change Initiative at this Summit.  
  • 2013 – First Annual HBCU Student Climate Change Conference, New Orleans, LA, Conference Participants 102, One (1) Student Panel, Nine (9) Student Poster Presentations.
  • 2014 – Second Annual HBCU Student Climate Change Conference, New Orleans, LA, Conference Participants 110, Three (3) Student Panels, Thirteen (13) Student Poster Presentations.
  • 2014 – People’s Climate March, Teach-In and Youth Convergence – New York, NY September, HBCU Climate Change Initiative participants (105) representing ten (10) HBCUs, Gulf Coast Teach-In, Student Convergence Panel and Climate March. climitchange2
  • 2015 – More than a dozen HBCU Climate Change Initiative schools participated in the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of Jubilee Bridge Crossing and the “Change Is Gonna Come: Advancing an Environmental and Climate Justice Agenda in the South” Workshop, March.
  • 2015 – Third Annual HBCU Student Climate Change Conference, New Orleans, LA, Conference Participants 165, Five (5) Student Panels, Fourteen (14) Student Poster Presentations. 
  • 2015 – Gulf Coast Rising – Katrina 10 Week of Action and COP21 HBCU Delegate Training Climate Justice Convergence, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Katrina March & Second Line. 
  • 2015 – COP21 Climate Change Conference, Paris, France November 30 – December 13, 2015
  • 2016 – Fourth Annual HBCU Student Climate Change Conference, New Orleans, LA, Conference Participants 300, Seven (7) Student Panels, Fourteen (14) Student Poster Presentations. 
  • 2017 - Fifth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference, New Orleans, LA, Conference Participants 325, Eight (8) Student Panels, Twenty-eight (28) Student Poster Presentations.
  • 2018 - 6th Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference, New Orleans, LA Conference Participants 310, Eight (8) Student Panels, Twenty-eight  (28) Student Poster Presentations.
  • 2019 - 7th Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference, New Orleans, LA , Conference Participants 330, Eight (8) Student Panels, Fifty-one (51) Student Poster Presentations.
  • 2022 - 8th Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference, New Orleans, LA
  • 2022 - COP27 - First-Ever Climate Justice Pavilion in the Blue Zone

HBCU Climate Change Consortium Partners:

  • Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Alcorn State University, Arkansas Baptist College,
  • Bethune-Cookman College, Claflin University, Coppin State University, Clark-Atlanta University, Dillard University
  • Fisk University, Florida A & M University, Grambling State University
  • Hampton University, Howard University, Huston- Tillotson University,
  • Jackson State University, Lincoln University, Mississippi Valley State University,
  • Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina A &T University
  • Savannah State University, South Carolina State University,
  • Southern A&M University Baton Rouge, Spelman College
  • Tennessee State University, Texas Southern University
  • Tuskegee University, Virginia State University, Xavier University of Louisiana
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