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Environmental Justice:
Examining the Distributions of Environmental Burdens

Wednesday, September 6, 2006
URI Graduate School of Oceanography
Narragansett, Rhode Island

Agenda | News Release

The second portion of the Orientation Program for the Diversity Fellowships in Environmental Reporting will take place in the morning and through lunch on Wednesday, September 6.

2-3:15 p.m. Public Lecture, Coastal Institute Auditorium

Environmental Justice: Integrating Science, People, and Policy
PHIL BROWN, Brown University
Environmental justice has evolved over the last 20 years from a set of scattered protests to an established movement that resonates with an increasingly diverse American culture. While this movement has influenced some equity-based policy, debate continues over whether environmental discrimination actually exists. Brown will discuss some of today’s major societal issues from an environmental justice perspective, ranging from urban development and public health to the aftermath of Katrina.

3:30-5 p.m. Panel Discussion, Coastal Institute Large Conference Room

Rebuilding Providence: Balancing Environment, Economics, and Opportunity
SUNSHINE MENEZES, Metcalf Institute, moderator; PHIL BROWN, Brown University; THOM DELLER, Providence Department of Planning and Development; ROBERT DOOR, Community Activist; CYNTHIA LANGLYKKE, Greater Elmwood Neighborhood Services; JENNIFER MCCANN, Rhode Island Sea Grant/URI Coastal Resources Center; MARK VAN NOPPEN, Armory Revival Company
Like many coastal cities, Providence is experiencing a major redevelopment boom. This panel discussion will focus on the multiple factors that must be balanced in local urban redevelopment projects, including public health, community planning, municipal and state regulations, and equitable growth. Panelists will consider this balancing act in the context of environmental justice and examine the challenges of rebuilding the city in a way that maintains historically diverse communities.

5-6:30 p.m. Reception, Mosby Center


Environmental Justice:
Examining the Distributions of Environmental Burdens
Day Two

Thursday, September 7, 2006
Providence, Rhode Island

8:30 a.m. Meet at GSO, travel to Providence

9:30-11:30 Walking Tour, Providence Waterfront

Urban Waters: The Dirty Business of Revitalization
JENNY PEREIRA, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council; RICK GREENWOOD, RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission
Fellows will take a field trip along the Woonasquatucket River to see the nature of redevelopment within the heart of Providence and the communities that are being impacted by these changes. The walking tour will include a historical perspective on the urban development of Providence and the resultant creation of urban brownfields, as well as the recent improvements in water quality along the river.

12:00-12:30 Lunch, Save the Bay Center

12:45-2:15 Lecture and Tour, Save the Bay Center

Redeveloping Brownfields: A Case Study
TERRY GRAY, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management; OMAY ELPHICK, Save the Bay
The redevelopment of brownfields is a complicated process that includes scientific inquiry, site remediation, and many levels of regulation. Fellows will receive an introduction to the science underlying brownfield remediation and the federal and state policy governing reuse of brownfields. This conversation will take place at the offices of Save The Bay, built on a remediated landfill. Save the Bay staff will provide a tour of the facility.

3:00-4:00 Roundtable Discussion, The Providence Journal Features Conference Room
The Devil Is in the Details: Can Science, Regulation, and Underreported Voices Make a Story?
JOEL RAWSON; JEAN PLUNKETT; PETER LORD; KAREN DAVIS, The Providence Journal
Fellows will tour the newsroom of The Providence Journal and then join Journal editors and reporters to discuss the difficulties of making environmental justice stories interesting to a news audience. How can reporters connect readers with complex environmental justice issues? How can the dry language of scientists and regulators be communicated in a way that balances the passionate language of community activists? How should a story address the economic realities that underlie many environmental stories?

4:30 Workshop concludes; Fellows return to GS/O.


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September 1, 2006