Great Hearing on Environmental Justice

Bill Quigley
Date Published: 
October 12, 2006


From: bill quigley
Subject: [europeandissent] Great Hearing on Environmental Justice

Date: October 12, 2006 7:55:42 AM PDT


WHAT: The National Commission on Environmental Justice on the Gulf Coast is a panel of prominent academics, local community leaders and civil rights practitioners. This panel is charged with creating a comprehensive report detailing the history of environmental justice issues unique to the Gulf and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and 'will include recommendations for redevelopment. The Commission will hold a series of data-gathering hearings throughout the Gulf. At these hearings, local community members, officials, policy and lawmakers, and historians will be invited to testify about local environmental justice issues existing prior to and exacerbated by Hurricane Katrina. The Commission's second hearing will be held on October 21 st in New Orleans, LA from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHO: The Commissioners are respected academics, organizers and practitioners in the field of civil rights and environmental justice. They include:
•    Jaribu Hill, Mississippi Workers' Center for Human Rights
•    Bishop James Black, Center for Environmental and Economic Justice
•    Rev. Daniel Buford, People's Institute West
•    Reilly Morse, Mississippi Center for Justice
•    Martina Cartwright, Thurgood Marshall School of Law

The National Commission on Environmental Justice is supported by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The hearing in New Orleans, LA is part of the symposium, Race, Place and the Environment after Katrina:
Looking Back to Look Forward, sponsored by the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. A main objective of the symposium will be to examine the impacts of Hurricane Katrina through an environmental justice lens with an emphasis on race and geography of vulnerability.

WHY: Too often, politically and economically powerless residents bear the disproportionate burden of environmental hazards. The Commission hearings  
will enable local citizens and experts with particular knowledge of environmental justice in the region to provide statements regarding that history and the impact of Hurricane Katrina on their environment. From that testimony and other data¬-gathering, the Commission will draft a report which will include recommendations for local and state officials to fully incorporate environmental justice into the new Gulf community. Additionally, the hearings will bring national attention to environmental justice issues in the region.

WHERE: The first hearing will take place on:
October 21,2006 2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Marriott Hotel, New Orleans 555 Canal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130