Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009 Conference Opening is a Spectacular Success

The opening of the State of Environmental Justice in America 2009 Conference was a complete success. Not only was the Moot Court at the Howard University School of Law packed, but Washington, D.C. power couple Avis and Eugene Robinson made quite a splash. Avis wowed the crowd from the dais and Eugene gets his Pulitzer tomorrow. Dr. Benjamin Chavis also participated in the opening forum. Clearly, this conference is off to an awesome start. Buckle your seat belts because John Rosenthall and the massive planning committee have organized an amazing environmental justice get together.

Presider: John Rosenthall, President, EJ Conference, Inc.Moderators: Timothy Fields, Jr., Former Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste andEmergency Response, United States Environmental Protection Agency and SeniorVice President, MDB, Inc.Lessie Price, Manager, Public Affairs Division, URS, Washington Division. Opening Presentation: How the Obama Administration Will Handle Environmental Justice, Energy and Climate Change. Presenter: Craig E. Hooks, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office ofAdministration and Resource Management, United States Environmental. Panel Discussion: Environmental Justice, Climate Change and Clean Coal-Panelists:Gina Wood, Director of Policy and Planning, Joint Center for Politics andEconomic StudiesShankar Prasad, Executive Fellow, Coalition for Clean Air, Beverly Hogan, President, Tougaloo College Doug Wyatt, Program Director, New Energy & Environmental Sciences, Lead, Integrated Carbon Solutions, URS Washington Division John Atcheson, Energy Technology Program Specialist, U.S. Department of Energy, Leslie Baskerville, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Avis Robinson, Former Deputy Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs (EPA) and President, Washington Metropolitan Scholars Closing Remarks: Okianer Christian Dark, Associate Dean, Howard University School of Law.

Dr. Mildred McLain was given an award and she addressed the crowd. If you know Dr. McLain, you have to know that it was not just a 'regular' acceptance speech. She serenaded the crowd and dedicated the award to one of her mentors. She also recognized DOE's Melinda Downing as a mentor (Melinda reciprocated).

There was a great reception at 7:00 p.m. in the Dining Hall and the Mistress of Ceremonies was Geraldine Herring, USDA. In addition to the great food, there was a Special Presentation by Michael Bullock Sr., Washington Bio-EnergyGroup and Selma al-Dairi, Mosaic Group, LLC.

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