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Jun 24, 2021

Perspectives on the Future of Climate and Environmental Justice on the US Gulf Coast

Webinar hosted by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine  Marginalized communities along the Gulf coast are burdened by chronic stressors such as systemic or institutional racism, poverty, environmental degradation, and health disparities. Climate change threatens to exacerbate the severity of these impacts as disadvantaged and underserved communities fall further behind in their ability to prepare for, respond to, or recover from disasters. The Gulf Research Program invites you to Perspectives on the Future of Climate and Environmental Justice on the U.S. Gulf Coast on June 24, 2021 from 10-11am ET. Members of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council will discuss critical steps that are being taken or that need to occur to advance climate and environmental justice for all those who call the Gulf of Mexico region home. The conversation will feature Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Dr. Beverly L. Wright and Ms. Catherine Coleman Flowers and will be moderated by New Orleans Times-Picayune/ New Orleans Advocate journalist, Halle Parker. Read more Register for the webinar   ...

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May 27, 2021

Congratulations to the ECWTP Class of 2021!

We are very proud of and happy for this year's Environmental Career Worker Training Program (ECWTP) Graduating class. This is our 26th annual class, and one of our finest in recent memory. The difficult and shifting conditions the COVID19 Pandemic did not weaken their determination and focus. Our New-Orleans based program took place from January 11th through April 14th (Graduation Day). Twenty (20) highly motivated male and female trainees participated this year learning through a virtual six week basic skills curriculum using a work-based model. The ECWTP also features six weeks of technical skills training which blends hands-on / interactive learning and classroom instruction. Graduates earned certificates in forty (40) hours hazardous waste operations, thirty-two (32) hour Asbestos Abatement, sixteen (16) hours Mold Remediation, sixteen (16) hours Lead Abatement, ten (10) hours OSHA General Industry, forty (40) hours General Construction, and forty hours (40) hours Weatherization Installer. The DSCEJ was able to hold an in-person Graduation Ceremony for our trainees at City Park. This event allowed our instructors, counselors, program staff and administrators to recognize their hard work and achievements - from Best Student to Most Improved Student in each course. This year, Kenisha Daggs was chosen "Best All-Around Student."  The "Deborah Bates Survivor Award" went to Damian Crockem Sr. and Tia Kelly (Tribute to Deborah Bates Robinson). Our students found job opportunities waiting for them. As they fill these positions, we are confident that the good name and reputation the DSCEJ has earned will be reflected in them. Join us in wishing our ECWTP 2021 graduates all the best in life and their new careers. ...

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May 25, 2021

Expanding the Communities' Capacity to Heal Itself Training

May 25th from 6:00 - 7:30 pm CST This training is both a declarative and procedural learning experience, designed to provide vulnerable communities with the tools necessary to create culturally, responsive trauma-informed systems. The training module seeks to provide participants with the following Increased understanding of a public health pandemic (Coronavirus) and a racial pandemic as a mental health disaster Increased understanding of the impact of COVID19 on emotional well being Increased understanding of trauma-informed systems Increased understanding of ways to integrate trauma-informed practices across the systems with which community members interface  Increased understanding of activism and advocacy as a source of healing for vulnerable communities   Trauma-Informed Approaches in Youth-Serving Organizations is a web-based, trauma-informed practice workshop that is part of our larger Professional Development Series. The Series prepares youth development professionals and educators to be equity-focused, trauma-informed, healing justice practitioners. The session on trauma-informed practice covers Adverse Childhood Experiences and its impact on brain development in early childhood. We also address vicarious trauma and the importance of self- care for helping professionals. The session also covers the basic principles of trauma informed systems and the key assumptions of trauma informed practice, as well as strategies for implementing trauma-informed practices in our work.  Some of the strategies we cover in the training include social emotional learning activities along with identifying the ways in which writing, the arts, meditation and other practices can be implemented as healing modalities to support the well-being of young people and those who work with them.     Register here Presenters: Dr. Rashida Govan Executive Director, New Orleans Youth Alliance Dr. Danielle Wright Division Director, Navigate NOLA   ...

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May 21, 2021

Groups to Governor Edwards: The Power Is in Our Hands to Stop Projects that Harm Communities and Warm Our Planet

Today, the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and groups around the state called on Governor Edwards to set a moratorium on permitting oil, gas, and other industries that release toxic pollution and greenhouse gases in Louisiana. Our letter recognizes that this call has gone unanswered for decades as Black and Indigenous communities in Louisiana have been harmed and displaced by these industries. This week the International Energy Agency joined the call with a warning to governments and investors to stop new fossil fuel projects in order to avoid the worst of climate change. The time is now for us to center equity in the transition to renewable energy and electrification. “There can be no climate action without environmental justice. Whether it’s shutting down the Dakota Access Pipeline or making communities greener and healthier, our work with advocates around the world shows that the power for change is in our hands. As a leader in both climate and toxic pollution, there is much we have to do in Louisiana for the people and our future,” said Dr. Beverly Wright, DSCEJ Executive Director. Read the letter by DSCEJ and groups to Governor Edwards   ...

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May 21, 2021

New Orleans Gains Ground on Renewable Energy

New Orleans is now on the map as a city that requires renewable energy. The Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard, passed by the New Orleans City Council, mandates that all electricity Entergy supplies to New Orleans comes from renewable and carbon-free energy by 2040, with maximum allowance of 10 percent offsets. The law also requires Entergy to eliminate oil, gas and coal from electricity supplied to our city by 2050. Unfortunately, the law allows Entergy to continue supplying nuclear energy, which is not “renewable” or “clean,” and disproportionately harms Black and Indigenous communities. The progress achieved by the Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard moves our city forward on avoiding power plant pollution, cutting electric bills, and growing local jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency. This is the result of a more than two-year campaign by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and partners in Energy Future New Orleans – Alliance for Affordable Energy, Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance, 350 New Orleans, Audubon Louisiana, PosiGen, Sunrise Movement New Orleans, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, Vote Solar, and sheroes Ms. Dawn Hebert and Ms. Katherine Prevost. We thank residents across the city who participated in educational symposia, attended town hall meetings, signed petitions, joined virtual Energy & You conversations on Zoom, and made their voices heard this week at the meetings of the City Council and the Council Utility Committee. We appreciate the City Council for taking this step with us. ...

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May 19, 2021

How We Can Make Electricity Cost Less and Do More in New Orleans

We will soon have the opportunity to set a new direction for renewable energy in New Orleans that lowers electric bills, creates jobs, and avoids the pollution that harms our neighborhoods and warms our planet. On May, 19, 2021 at 10:00 am, City Councilmembers on the utility committee will hold a public meeting to hear residents’ input on the draft Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS. Read more on the Council’s draft RPS – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and what you can do to have your voice heard. Fill out the Public Comment Form and submit it between Tuesday, May 18th and before 10:00 am on Wednesday May 19, 2021.    ...

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May 4, 2021

Program Manager for (WTP) Position

PROGRAM MANAGER POSITION Worker Training Program (WTP)   Position Description – Program Manager The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice is seeking an experienced Program Manager. We are interested in hiring a highly motivated person who can perform day-to-day administrative duties including tracking data, writing reports, attending WTP meetings and trainings, tracking WTP graduates' progress, and processing contracts and invoices. About the Organization The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families harmed by pollution and vulnerable to climate change in the Gulf Coast Region through research, education, community and student engagement for policy change, as well as health and safety training for environmental careers. Currently, the DSCEJ employs 13 people. The DSCEJ directs projects involving universities and community-based organizations in seven states. The DSCEJ was founded by Dr. Beverly Wright in 1992 in collaboration with community environmental groups and universities in the Southern region to advance environmental justice. Since this time, the DSCEJ has become a powerful resource for environmental justice research, education, advocacy, as well as health and safety training for environmental careers. The DSCEJ provides opportunities for communities, scientific researchers, and decision makers to collaborate on projects that promote the rights of all people to be free from environmental harm as it impacts health, jobs, housing, education, and quality of life. A major goal of the Center continues to be the development of environmental justice leaders in African American and other communities of color along the Mississippi River Chemical Corridor and the broader Gulf Coast Region. Position Responsibilities ·      Incumbent must be experienced in and demonstrate strong oral and written communication skills. The position requires significant report writing, data collection, and communicating with community partners and employment agencies. ·      Incumbent will report to the Assistant Director for Training and Operations implementing day to day administration and program activities including tracking data, writing reports, attending WTP meetings and trainings, tracking WTP graduates' progress, and processing contracts and invoices. ·      Requires in-depth knowledge of WTP regulations and laws as well as knowledge of effective case management procedures. The ability to analyze data, problem solve and understand complex situations. The ability to communicate orally and in writing. The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employment agencies and other partner agencies. Perform other duties as assigned.  Required Skills and Qualifications ·       Bachelor’s degree in counseling, social work or related field. ·       Minimum of five years of experience. ·       Excellent time management skills and ability to meet deadlines. ·       High work ethic and integrity. ·        Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel programs, and Google platform. ·       A flexible, creative, entrepreneurial spirit and a shared for the mission, vision and values of the DSCEJ. ·       An approachable nature and ability to handle questions and requests timely. ·       Exceptional written and oral communication skills. ·       Ability to work independently and complete tasks. ·       Ability to contribute and collaborate with the team and across the organization. ·       Strong analytical and organizational skills. ·       Experience working with diverse constituents, teams and colleagues. ·       Ability to employ flexibility and creativity in the face of ambiguity and challenge. ·       Organizational and program management experience. Salary & Benefits Competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with qualifications and experience. Salary range: $55-65K. It is the policy of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or any other protected characteristic under applicable law. HOW TO APPLY: Please email a detailed cover letter highlighting your interest, your resume and three professional references in Microsoft Word to maryw@dscej.org. Please include the Program Manager Position in the subject line. t  ...

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Apr 6, 2021

This is Environmental Racism

Dr. Beverly Wright is featured in The Washington Post Environmental Racism Article. They came from Prince William Sound, Alaska, where the Exxon Valdez oil spill had ruined Native American fisheries; from Albuquerque, where open uranium mines were emitting high levels of radiation; from Chicago, where power plant pollution had dirtied neighborhoods. They came from Houston, where garbage dumps were located next to Black communities. Some of their homes had terrible names, such as the strand of tiny towns between New Orleans and Baton Rouge known as Cancer Alley. On opening day, only organizations with people of color in executive positions were allowed to participate. Over the four-day summit, activists prayed into microphones in English and Sioux, Korean and Spanish, long prayers seeking deliverance from suffering.  Read more    ...

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Mar 30, 2021

Dr. Beverly Wright appointed to White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council

Yesterday President Biden announced members of a new White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council to support his whole-of-government approach to addressing the climate crisis. The WHEJAC was established by President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad to fulfill his and Vice President Harris’s commitment to confronting long standing environmental injustices and to ensuring that historically marginalized and overburdened communities have greater input on federal policies and decisions. Dr. Beverly Wright, founder and executive director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, is one of several renowned environmental justice leaders appointed to the WHEJAC. Below is her statement of response: "I am deeply honored to have been selected as a member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. The elevation of this body to the Office of the President demonstrates the importance of environmental justice to this Administration. I pledge to do all that is within my power to raise issues of concern to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Region and to work tirelessly through WHEJAC to improve the health and wellness, including economic conditions, in communities disproportionately exposed to toxic pollution and climate-induced disasters." Today WHEJAC will host a public meeting at 2:00 pm Eastern that you're invited to attend, along with Dr. Wright, and to provide a comment. To RSVP, click here:  WHEJAC Virtual Public Meeting. ...

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Mar 25, 2021

Dr. Beverly Wright to speak on panel at Public Forum on Federal Oil and Gas Program

Click here to read Dr. Beverly Wright's Statement to the Department of the Interior Public Forum on the Federal Oil & Gas Program WASHINGTON – The Interior Department today released additional information about the upcoming virtual forum regarding the federal oil and gas program, including the public’s viewing options and ability to submit written input to inform Interior’s review. The public forum is part of Interior’s comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas program as called for in Executive Order 14008 and will feature several panels to highlight perspectives from invited participants including industry representatives, labor and environmental justice organizations, natural resource advocates, Indigenous organizations, and other experts.     DATE: Thursday, March 25, 2021 TIME: 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm ET/ 12:00 noon - 3:30 pm Central Time  REGISTRATION: The forum will take place via Zoom Webinar. Anyone interested in viewing the forum may register here. A livestream of the event will also be available at doi.gov/events. The forum will be recorded and have live captions.  The information gathered at the forum will help inform an interim report from the Department that will be completed in early summer. The report will include initial findings on the state of the federal conventional energy programs, as well as outline next steps and recommendations for the Department and Congress to improve stewardship of public lands and waters, create jobs, and build a just and equitable energy future.  Read more ...

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