In the U.S. and around the world, the covid-19 pandemic has laid bare inequities that are literally a matter of life and death. For instance, burdened with coal-fired power plants and other polluting facilities, low-income communities of color have much higher rates of asthma and other “underlying conditions” that predict poor outcomes with covid-19. And this and many other issues won’t end when the pandemic does: these communities are also more vulnerable to the heat waves, floods and fires of a changing climate. What steps can be taken now to protect those on the front lines of covid-19 and climate change, and to ensure a fairer, more resilient world for all?
Join Island Press and Columbia University's Earth Institute on April 8 at 11:00 am EDT for a conversation on these issues. We’ll have a roundtable discussion, then open the conversation up for questions from journalists. And at the end we’ll have a list of story ideas you can work on right away.
Mustafa Santiago Ali serves as the Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation. Before joining the National Wildlife Federation, Ali was the senior vice president for the Hip Hop Caucus, a national non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the hip-hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change. Prior to joining the Hip Hop Caucus, Ali worked for 24 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Dr. Cheryl Holder is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians. Dr. Holder is dedicated to serving underserved populations. As faculty at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Dr. Holder’s work assesses the impact of social determinants of overall health on health outcomes. She is President of the Florida State Medical Association in addition to serving as Co-Chair of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action, where she works to increase climate literacy and enhance awareness of the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations.
Mary Heglar is Climate Justice Essayist and Writer in residence at The Earth Institute of Columbia University. Heglar is director of publications for the NRDC, but she has gathered a large following through the personal essays she writes in her spare time. Her writings underline how climate change disproportionately affects people of color, and she pushes for a more inclusive response to climate change.
Moderator: Dale Willman uns the Resilience Media Project at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. He is an award-winning journalist, having spent decades working for such outlets as NPR, CBS and CNN. He was also the founder of the Resilience Science Journalism Fellowship at CUNY, and has trained journalists around the world.