Orlando, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law will host its Fourth Annual Environmental Law and Justice (ELJ) Symposium on Thursday and Friday, November 7-8, 2013 at 201 Beggs Avenue in Orlando. The event will feature an overview of the latest international, national, regional, state and local developments in environmental justice.
With the theme "Empowering Environmental Justice Communities Locally and Globally,” the symposium will bring approximately 30 current and future leaders to Orlando, with expertise in environmental law, environmental justice, human rights law, public policy, political science, international finance and development, Native American law and policy, environmental science, and community organizing. On-site registration for the two-day event begins Thursday, November 7, at 3 p.m.
The College of Law hosted the inaugural ELJ symposium in 2010. The event returns to Orlando this year after a successful session last fall in Tallahassee at FAMU's main campus. Co-Chairs Randall Abate, professor of law, director of the Center of International Law and Justice, and project director of the Environment, Development and Justice Program; and Dr. Richard Gragg, III, associate professor of Environmental Science and Policy in the School of the Environment; have committed to host the event on the main campus every third year.
This year's event will again feature a cadre of renowned presenters on environmental issues. The impressive assembly of experts includes Mustafa Ali, associate director for Communication and Stakeholder Involvement, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Environmental Justice. Ali has delivered more than 1,000 presentations as a national speaker, trainer, facilitator and commentator on social justice issues for 20 years. He has delivered guest lectures at universities and colleges across the country including Yale University, George Washington University, Georgetown University and Howard University School of Law. He will serve as the symposium's opening keynote speaker on Thursday.
Friday's agenda will include a breakfast keynote delivered by Thomas Brennan, deputy director, Science Advisory Board, EPA Headquarters. Brennan has 23 years of professional experience working in the field of risk policy, risk assessment, and environmental science. He has worked for the EPA for the past 16 years.
University of Oregon School of Law Professor Mary Christina Wood will serve as the symposium's distinguished lecturer. Her book, Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, defines the frontiers of public trust law and maps out a full paradigm shift for the way in which government agencies manage public resources. She originated an approach called Atmospheric Trust Litigation (ATL), which is designed to hold governments worldwide accountable for controlling carbon pollution within their jurisdiction.
Professor Wood's presentation will be followed by an encore performance by Climbing PoeTree, who appeared at the second ELJ symposium in 2012. Climbing PoeTree, comprised of Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman, interweave spoken word, hip hop, and award winning multimedia theater to "expose injustice, channel hope into vision, and make a better future visible, immediate, and irresistible." Over the past 10 years, Climbing PoeTree has performed in more than 70 cities across the U.S., and abroad from the UK to South Africa, and Mexico to Cuba.
The symposium will also include a roundtable discussion on whether Title VI is a viable tool to protect environmental justice communities; a book signing session featuring recently published books by some of the speakers and moderators; and a roundtable discussion featuring FAMU College of Law students who have had their papers on domestic and international topics published or recognized. Additionally, the "Sustainable U" Poster Competition will provide a showcase of research and community activities for environmental law and justice, public policy, and sustainability stakeholders. The winners of the poster competition will be announced on Friday at the closing reception at 6 p.m.
Registration is required, but admission is free of charge for the general public. The cost with meals is $40 for the general public; $90 registration cost for general attendees seeking CLE credits (10.0 General Florida Bar Approved; Certification Credits - 10.0 International Law, 5.0 State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice); FAMU College of Law Alumni and members of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section (ELULS) of the Florida Bar may attend and receive CLE credits at a discounted rate of $75. Non-FAMU students may attend for $20.
The ELJ Symposium is co-sponsored by FAMU's Environment, Development and Justice Program in the Center for International Law and Justice at the College of Law, and the Center for Environmental Equity and Justice at the School of the Environment. The Supporting and Sustaining sponsors are ELULS of the Florida Bar and the University of Central Florida Political Science Department, respectively. GrayRobinson, P.A. and Broad and Cassell Attorneys at Law are in-kind sponsors. For a complete listing of the speakers, moderators, session topics, and the more than 25 sponsors and in-kind contributors, please visit the FAMU College of Law Symposium website at http://law.famu.edu/go.cfm/do/Page.View/pid/239/t/2013-Environmental-Law-and-Justice-Symposium.html