The North Carolina Environmental Justice (NC EJ) Summit is a forum for collaboration and promotion of partnerships between members of communities impacted by environmental injustice, government officials, lawyers, students, and environmental health researchers. The Summit also seeks to build awareness of and excitement about environmental justice and environmental health. The 2014 NC EJ Summit will be held October 17-18 at the Franklinton Center in Whitakers, NC. The Franklinton Center is located on the site of a former cotton plantation that was converted, in the late 1800s, into a school for the descendants of enslaved Africans who had worked on plantations in the area. The history of the site and its location in the Black Belt of NC provides an appropriate context fo addressing problems of environmental injustice in a location that is proximal to African-American, Hispanic, and low-income white populations that continue to be impacted by pollutants from industry and agriculture, poor housing, lack of access to basic amenities such as public water and sewer, and an excess burden of disposal of wastes predominantly created by urban populations. The 2014 Summit will feature: oral and poster scientific papers sessions, a community speak-out and government listening panel, awards ceremony, panels on environmental health and justice in agriculture, energy, waste disposal and occupational health, and a Youth Summit. The NC EJ Summit is unique because, although environmental scientists and government officials attend and participate, it is driven by the concerns of communities that are impacted by environmental injustice. This conference will promote the capacity of low income communities of color, scientists, policy makers, students and youth to collaborate in environmental health research, educate policy makers and the public on issues of environmental health and justice, and promote environmental sustainability and justice.
The North Carolina Environmental Justice 2014 Summit will facilitate partnerships between members of communities impacted by environmental injustice, government officials, legal advocates, and environmental health scientists. The Summit will help make scientific research more responsive to the needs of communities impacted by pollution, and will help translate research into policies to protect public health. The Summit will help educate university students, and the Youth Summit will introduce children from low income communities of color to basic concepts in environmental health and environmental justice.