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Second Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference Kicks Off in New Orleans

April 17, 2014

Dillard University of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS – The Second Annual HBCU Climate Change Student Conference: Building Safe and Resilient Communities for All begins today and runs through Saturday April 19 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference is hosted by Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice and Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs. All sessions are held on the Dillard campus except for the community tour the kicks off on Thursday afternoon.  Conference participants will focus on the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable, low-wealth and marginalized populations and action strategies needed to build healthy, sustainable and resilient communities in the face of climate change.  Plenary and breakout sessions will address a range of topics, including environmental and climate justice, social vulnerability, mitigation, adaptation, public health, disaster response, community resilience, and other major topics in the wake of climate related disasters.

The conference will serve as a call-to-action for students and faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in partnership with host communities where these schools are located to become engaged in the conversation around climate and justice. The conference builds on the multi-state HBCU Climate Education Community University Partnership (CECUP) launched at Texas Southern University in 2013.  The CECUP is a  consortium of public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and vulnerable communities located on the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic Region of the United States (TX, LA, MS, AL, FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, DC, MD, VI).  The consortium and conference are supported by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The three-day conference includes undergraduate and graduate student poster session and student panels, a community tour, and climate change sessions for local middle and high school students. The conference is an exciting venture to fully engage students at HBCUs through education and training, research, policy and community engagement on a range of issues related to climate change and its adverse impacts on African Americans and other people of color. It is the expectation that this conference will catalyze students and faculty at HBCUs around issues related to equity and social justice concerns related to natural and human-made disasters, urban sustainability, health and community resiliency as we prepared the next generation of leaders to bring solutions to the major challenges from the growing threat of climate change. The conference is webcast via UStream.

Conference Location: Dillard University Professional Schools Building, Room 131-135, 2601 Gentilly Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70122 — Contact:  Mary I. Williams at  mwilliams@dillard.edu or 504-816-4028

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