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Environmental Justice in Tennessee: Challenges, Opportunities and Planned Actions

Wednesday, November 01, 2017,

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  • Location: Vanderbilt Law School • 131 21st Ave South • Nashville, TN 37203
  • Room: Hyatt Room

"Environmental Justice in Tennessee: Challenges, Opportunities and Planned Actions," a discussion with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation representatives, Christina Guidry and Kendra Abkowitz.

This discussion will include an overview of the concept of environmental justice, efforts to address environmental justice at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) and in Tennessee. TDEC will also note the challenges and opportunities to addressing environmental justice in Tennessee, particularly in minority populations, and planned actions they are taking within the agency to address environmental justice concerns. The presentation will conclude with a discussion regarding hypothetical or actual TDEC regulatory actions, which have prompted environmental justice concerns and suggestions from participants for addressing those concerns. 

Kendra Abkowitz, the Director of Policy and Sustainable Practices for TDEC, leads the department’s efforts to conduct short and long term environmental policy analysis and planning and develop and implement decision-support tools for TDEC’s air-, land-, and water-based programs. She oversees the department’s strategic and Customer Focused Government planning processes and heads up TDEC’s Title VI and Environmental Justice and Sustainability programs. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and her M.A. from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining TDEC, Kendra worked as a sustainability processional for Vanderbilt’s Sustainability and Environmental Management Office. 

Christina Ashie Guidry, the Title VI/Environmental Justice Coordinator and Policy Analyst for TDEC, received her B.A. and M.A. from Texas A&M University and earned her J.D. at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining TDEC, Christina worked as a prosecutor for the City of Charlottesville and as a County Attorney and civil litigator.     

This event is co-sponsored by Energy and Environmental Law Society, Black Law Students Association, and La Alianza. Lunch will be served.

Visitors should park in the Terrace Place Garage, spaces 41-92, at the corner of 21st Ave. South and Terrace Place, or the Wesley Place Garage, spaces 52-170, at the corner of 21st Ave. South and Scarritt Place.  Parking costs range from $4.00 to $12.00 at these garages.  Both are within walking distance of the law school.