UDC-DOEE Earth Day Virtual Event
Date: April 22, 2020
- 10:00am – 10:05am Welcome Notes and Symbolic Tree Planting Video
- 10:05am – 10:15am UDC Student Poster Presentation/UDC Urban Food Hub Video
- 10:15am – 11:30am Expert Panel Talk (Equity Imperative and Environmental Justice)
- 11:30am – 11:35am Closing Remarks and Notes
Equity Imperative and Environmental Justice
This year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a day when we demonstrate support for environmental protection. On Earth Day, many people are looking to environmental organizations and universities to help them understand how they can reduce their consumption, recycle more, support biodiversity, minimize climate change, and other efforts to improve the health of our Earth. These are important issues to tackle, but it is even more exciting to discover cities and organizations that are making additional steps to address environmental and social justice at the same time.
Earth Day is the ideal time to renew our commitment to ensure everyone has equal access to clean air and water, fresh and healthy food, and a safe environment, regardless of which zip code they live in. It is also a time to remember that our history is intertwined with our environment, where we live, grow, thrive, and learn to feed and fuel future generations to care for our Earth.
While this is a time to celebrate our planet, we are also reminded of the great environmental risks facing our communities and their resilience. We need to address environmental justice in the cities where we live, and recognize all residents’ valuable contributions toward a sustainable, resilient, and equitable city. This should be part of the policy discussion going forward.
Moderated by Dr. Kaman Zendehdel from UDC, with panelists as follows:
- Dwane Jones (Acting Dean, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, UDC)
- Antawan Holmes (Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7C Chair, Ward 7)
- Mickey Fearn (Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism NC State University)
- Kelly Crawford (Associate Director, District Department of Energy and Environment)
- Brenda Perez (UDC Student, Professional Science Master Program)
Dwane Jones is the Acting Dean of College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) and Director of Land-Grant Programs in the University of the District of Columbia. He is a leader with over nearly 20 years of combined experience in leadership, green infrastructure programs, research, urban design, environmental planning and program management with government, academia, nonprofit and community-based agencies and international governments and universities. Dwane uses design thinking to problem solve, innovate, prototype, execute, and research human-centered challenges while using sustainability as a lens to address these problems.
Antawan Holmes, first elected in 2013, has focused on education, community and economic development, housing and improved Agency services in the Deanwood community. Mr. Holmes partnered with DCPS to implement the highly sought-after Spanish/English Dual Language program at Houston Elementary, creating the 1st Dual Language Immersion Program taught East of the Anacostia River. He also partnered with DCPS to reopen Ron Brown into a High School for Young Men of Color. He continues to partner with the DC Language Immersion Project to enhance and expand Dual Language programming throughout the District and partner with Digital Equity in DC Education to implement 21st century technology in our schools.
To improve the public assets in his Single Member District, Mr. Holmes worked with DC Council and DCPS to move Houston Elementary’s modernization schedule early and request more funds to increase the scope of the project. In addition, he worked with the Modernization Team to incorporate a Greenhouse and Green Roof into the final design. He also worked with DCPS and DGS to create employment opportunities for Deanwood residents and long-term contracts with Deanwood CBEs for the Ron Brown High School renovation. Furthermore, he worked with DCPS, DPR, and DGS to reactivate 28 raised garden beds to promote urban gardening. He continues to work with the DC Council, DPR, DCPL and Deanwood Citizens Association to improve the programming and amenities at the Deanwood Recreation Center and Deanwood Library and create economic and educational development opportunities to include a Grocery Store at the Deanwood Metro Station parking lot.
Mickey Fearn has been a public servant, parks, recreation, and conservation professional for over 50 years. He has served as a Professor of Practice in the North Carolina State University’s School of Natural Resources since 2013. From 2009 to 2013 he served as the National Park Service’s Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance from 2008 until 2013. His responsibilities included Community Engagement and Outreach, Communications, Public Affairs, Strategic Planning, Youth Programs, International Affairs, Partnerships, Legislative and Congressional Affairs, Policy, State and Local Assistance Programs.
Before his tenure at the National Park Service, Mickey worked in Seattle where he held positions as: Director of Innovation for which he managed the creative energy of Seattle’s 10,000 employee workforce. He created and facilitated a city-wide idea management system, and created and led Seattle Facilitative Leadership Institute, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Leadership Program for which he established a citizen’s university to improve public process and relationships between Seattle residents and their elected officials. In addition, he led Seattle’s transformation to inclusionary public engagement.
Kelley Crawford serves as Associate Director of DC Department of Energy & Environment, Air Quality Division and Chair of DOEE’s Equity Working Group. Ms. Crawford is a DC native with over 10 years of experience as environmental engineer and emergency management professional, including air quality compliance, enforcement, asbestos permitting, management of environmental systems, integrated contingency planning, and remediation of environmental health hazards. Ms. Crawford previously served as Chief for DOEE Air Quality Division’s Compliance and Enforcement Branch and continues to serve as the Acting Branch Chief. She leads a team of scientists and engineers ensuring compliance with air quality regulations for in the District of Columbia. Prior to her tenure at DOEE, Mrs. Crawford served as contract environmental engineer and program manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center supporting the Environmental Management System, Oil Control Program and Air Quality Programs. Mrs. Crawford is a Certified Public Manager (CPM) and holds a M.S. in Management with a focus in Emergency Management from University of Maryland, and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Rochester Institute of Technology. She is also an LEED Accredited Professional by the US Green Building Council.
Brenda V Perez Amador is a Mexican immigrant and has been living in DC since she was 10 years old. In 2018, she obtained a B.S in Civil Engineering at the University of the District of Columbia, and came back in January 2020 to pursue a Professional Science Masters in Water Resources Management. She is also an activist and politically active in national conversations around immigration rights, language access, and black and brown unity. In DC she has trained immigrant youth to become community organizers and has supported black and brown youth to develop youth-led cooperatives. She is currently a Green Fellow at the Department of Energy and Environment with the Sustainable and Equity team.