National Women Leaders In Public Health, Emergency Management & Environmental/Climate Justice

March 24, 2022

Meeting Attendees´╗┐


Miriam Burnett, MD

"I am the Medical Director of the African Methodist Episcopal Church International Health Commission, which is a worldwide position representing 40 countries scattered around the globe which makes this environmental and climate change and justice milieu just huge. We talk about one thing here in the US...and I get a completely different take when I looked at things on the continent of Africa and in Central America and the Caribbean."

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Goulda A. Downer, PhD

"We have a workforce development program in the Caribbean...and today was the last lecture for the entire year. The focus was on HIV and emergency disaster preparedness. One out of four disasters over the past 20 years was actually in the Caribbean. Cyclonic and volcanic activities are huge in this region...I think this is a good space for us to discuss that."

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Nicolette A. Louissaint, PhD

"I have a passion for understanding the risks that infectious diseases may play, whether we are talking about infectious diseases like HIV and other sexually transmissible infections, or thinking about the epidemics and the pandemic that we are living under today. Emergency management, [and] equity and climate are rapidly growing issue areas under my portfolio."

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Dr. S. Atyia Martin, CEM

"We have a nonprofit called Next Leadership Development and we focus on building resilience in Black communities. We do everything from a CERT program to food deliveries for families in Boston, particularly our seniors who are homebound. We have a community communication center that we use for day-to-day needs and emergencies...It is an enhanced call center - people call, text, email, and web chat. We also were priming people to use that call center for emergencies."

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Jacqui Patterson

"I actually started off as a special education teacher and ended up going into the Peace Corps in Jamaica. That was my first experience with environmental injustice when I was working in a community that had their water supply contaminated by Shell Oil. That was my first experience with this whole David and Goliath relationship between communities and big corporations....As I deepened my work around gender justice, then pretty quickly, it became clear to me the connection between climate, climate injustice and gender justice around the world....Last year, I founded The Chisholm Legacy Project, named after Sister Shirley Chisholm, [which] is a resource for black frontline climate justice leadership."

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Annelle B. Primm, MD

"I think this is the first of its kind meeting and really a wonderful way to mark Women's History Month. I would say when it comes to disasters, environmental racism and climate change, our communities really bear the brunt. And women are always at the forefront. We drive collective community resilience. We make health care decisions for our families, and we protect our families in disasters....If we look around the world, and just think about climate change, and its disproportionate impact on affects our livelihoods and economic security."

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Prof. Monica Sanders

"I recently founded my own organization called The Undivide Project. We look at the confluence of digital divestment and environmental and climate justice, because there is a clear link between people's ability to get online and receive benefits and services, particularly in the disaster context. Many FEMA applications are online now because people like me championed for them to be online so they can be easy to access. But if you don't have the internet, you can't fill out those forms. You can't protest, you cannot post about your environmental justice issues, and you can't post about what's going on in your community."

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Nicole C. Wood, MPH

"I serve as the Partnership and Communication Lead within the DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships under the leadership of Director Marcus Coleman....First, I do want to share that I am here, not just to listen and learn, but to see you all as collaborating partners. Second, I want you also to be accountability partners to make us accountable for what we say we will do."

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The following leaders were invited and unavailable to attend the meeting:


Danielle Deane-Ryan

Danielle Deane-Ryan has devoted her career to her passion for forging equitable climate crisis solutions. Currently, she serves as the director of equitable climate solutions at the Bezos Earth Fund.

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Nnenia Campbell, PhD

Nnenia Campbell is a research associate at the Natural Hazards Center, Deputy Director of the Bill Anderson Fund, and co-founder of the Collaborative for the Social Dimensions of Disasters. She holds BA and MA degrees in sociology from the University of Central Florida and a PhD in sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Katherine T. Egland

Katherine T. "Kathy" Egland was elected to the National Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1998 and has served as chair of the Board's Environmental and Climate Justice (ECJ) Committee since the ECJ Program was established in 2010.

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Ashley K. Shelton

Ashley K. Shelton is the Executive Director of the Power Coalition, a statewide 501c3 table in Louisiana. The Power Coalition uses a broad-based strategy that combines community organizing, issue advocacy, and civic action all while increasing the capacity of community organizations throughout the state to sustain and hold the work.

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Chauncia Willis

Chauncia Willis is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM). Ms. Willis is certified as an Emergency Manager, Professional Coach, and Cultural Diversity Professional with over 20 years of experience.

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