It will focus on environmental justice and mark the 20th anniversary of an executive order mandating that federal programs provide environmental protections equally and regardless of race or income.
Anyone from residents to nonprofits to businesses can suggest topics and speakers, as well as provide input on the conference's location and date.
The department participated in a similar conference last year in Biloxi, which was organized by the Environmental Protection Agency. Among the topics were public access, health, transportation and community sustainability.
According to DEQ Executive Director Trudy Fisher:
"We work to make sure that all communities, regardless of your ethnicity or your socioeconomic status, that you are able to participate with the programs of the Department of Environmental Quality. It's just an opportunity for communities to come together with businesses and industry and other leaders to talk about how to better our communities. Our mission at DEQ is to protect human health and the environment."She said the conference will be a way for organizations and people to learn from each other.
Send comments to Melissa Collier, director of Office of Community Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 2261, Jackson MS 39225. (Sun Herald, 1/11/2014)