The Biden-Harris Administration has made environmental justice a top priority in federal decision-making across initiatives from enforcement to procurement. As previewed in Baker Botts’ Environmental Justice Spotlight Webinar Series, a White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council (“WHEJAC”) will feature prominently in the Administration’s work. Members of the WHEJAC were announced on March 29, 2021, on the eve of the group’s first public meeting (see also Inside EPA’s article “Looming Deadlines Pose Early Test for Biden Environmental Justice”). The council will advise the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the White House Environmental Justice Interagency Council on how to address environmental injustices and provide recommendations for updating Executive Order 12898.
President Biden established the WHEJAC in his Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. WHEJAC members serve in a voluntary capacity and include prominent environmental justice movement leaders, community advocates, and university professors from across the United States.
The WHEJAC’s first public meeting will be held virtually on March 30, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Participants can register for the meeting here.
The full list of WHEJAC members and their affiliations is below:
- LaTricea Adams, Michigan – Founder, CEO, and President of Black Millennials for Flint.
- Susana Almanza, Texas – Director of People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources.
- Jade Begay, South Dakota – Climate Justice Campaign Director of NDN Collective.
- Maria Belen-Power, Massachusetts – Associate Executive Director of GreenRoots.
- Dr. Robert Bullard, Texas – Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University, Co-Founder of the HBCU Climate Change Consortium, Co-Chair of the Black Environmental Justice Network, and known as the “father of environmental justice” for his advocacy work.
- Tom Cormons, Virginia – Executive Director of Appalachian Voices, which works in Central and Southern Appalachia to shift the region away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
- Andrea Delgado, Washington, D.C. – Government Affairs Director of the UFW Foundation, an advocacy organization for farmworker rights.
- Catherine Flowers, Alabama – Founder of the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice and long-time environmental justice advocate in Lowndes County, Alabama.
- Jerome Foster, New York – Executive Director of OneMillionOfUs, an international youth voting and advocacy organization, and organizer of youth climate strikes.
- Kim Havey, Minnesota – Director of Sustainability for the City of Minneapolis and State Energy Office Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
- Angelo Logan, California – Campaign Director for the Moving Forward Network in Los Angeles, California, and Co-Founder of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice.
- Maria Lopez-Nunez, New Jersey – Deputy Director of Organizing and Advocacy for Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark, New Jersey.
- Harold Mitchell, South Carolina – Founder and Executive Director of Regenesis Community Development Corporation and former South Carolina House District 31 Representative.
- Richard Moore, New Mexico – Co-Founder and Co-Coordinator for Los Jardines Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and former Executive Director of the Southwest Network For Environmental and Economic Justice.
- Rachel Morello-Frosch, California – Environmental health scientist and professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and the School of Public Health at University of California, Berkeley.
- Juan Parras, Texas – Founder and Executive Director of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services and former environmental justice organizer for Citizens League for Environmental Action Now.
- Michele Roberts, Washington, D.C. – Co-Coordinator of Environmental Justice and Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform.
- Ruth Santiago, Puerto Rico – Earthjustice Board of Trustees Member and attorney in Salinas, Puerto Rico, where she has worked with community and environmental groups for over thirty years.
- Nicky Sheats, New Jersey – Director of the Center for Urban Environment at the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy and Co-Founder and President of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance.
- Peggy Shepard, New York – Co-Founder and Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice in New York City.
- Carletta Tilousi, Arizona – Council Member of the Havasupai Tribal Council and Council Member of the First Things First Coconino Regional Partnership Council, which focuses on providing early childhood services.
- Vi Waghiyi, Alaska – Environmental Health and Justice Program Director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics in Anchorage, Alaska and National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council Member.
- Kyle Whyte, Michigan – George Willis Pack Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition Management Committee Member, and Pesticide Action Network North America Board Member.
- Beverly Wright, Louisiana – Founder and Executive Director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, which addresses environmental and health inequities along the Louisiana Mississippi River Chemical Corridor and in the Gulf Coast Region.
- Hli Xyooj, Minnesota – Founder for Advancement of Hmong Americans and former Senior Staff Attorney at Farmers’ Legal Action Group in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Miya Yoshitani, California – Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network in California’s Bay Area.
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