August 2018

Environmental Justice and Health Equity in Prince George’s County, Maryland: Tools for Engagement, Capacity Building, and Action

There is a wealth of research on the differential burden of environmental hazards and locally unwanted land uses (LULUs) on communities of color and low-income populations.  Studies have shown that heavily trafficked roadways, incinerators, chemical plants, factories, landfills, and other pollution-emitting facilities tend to have disproportionate impacts across race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.  Communities with a high number of LULUs tend to also have more exposure to psychosocial stressors and lower access to health, promoting infrastructure including supermarkets, grocery stores, and ecologic amenities including parks, tree canopy, and healthy rivers and streams. Inequities in planning, zoning, and community development can drive or exacerbate environmental injustice and related health issues.

Community-engaged research including citizen science has emerged to increase public participation in scientific research and decision-making processes. Many communities impacted by environmental justice issues do not have adequate access to monitoring infrastructure.  The use of real-time sensors and mapping tools can help citizen scientists become more aware of built environment problems in their communities and come up with solutions including planning and zoning solutions to address these issues. The speaker will highlight the use of these tools by communities impacted by concrete plants and traffic, goods movement, and power plants.  The authors will also highlight how these tools can be used to help inform the development of community-based environmental justice initiatives that focus on zoning, planning, public health, and community sustainability. 
Date  Time Location CM
Wednesday, August 1*
*Please note date 
10:30 a.m. - 12 noon County Administration Building
4th Floor Boardroom
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Speaker(s) / Instructor(s) Biography
Dr. Sacoby Wilson – Director, Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health (CEEJH), School of Public Health, University of Maryland-College Park

Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an Associate Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland-College Park.  Dr. Wilson has over 15 years of experience as an environmental health scientist in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, community-based participatory research, water quality analysis, air pollution studies, built environment, industrial animal production, climate change, community resiliency, and sustainability.  As Director of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) Initiative, he works in the Washington Metropolitan area, North Carolina, and South Carolina, primarily in partnership with community-based organizations using citizen science to study and address environmental justice and health issues and translate research to action. He has engaged with communities on environmental health issues including stormwater impacts on neighborhoods; environmental justice and green infrastructure; cumulative impacts of hazards in Brandywine, MD; air pollution issues in the Buzzard Point area of Washington, DC; industrial chicken farming on Maryland's Eastern Shore; and other topics, including working with schools in the region on pipeline development efforts in the STEM+H disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Health).  

He is Founder of 17 for Peace and Justice and a Co-Founder of the DC/Maryland/Virginia (DMV) Environmental Justice Coalition. He is also a member of the USEPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a past Chair of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Environment Section, and serves on a  number of boards and is a former Chair of the Alpha Goes Green Initiative, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  He is also a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program. He has received numerous awards including the 2018 Audubon Naturalists Society Taking Nature Black Environmental Champion Award, the 2015 APHA Environment Section Damu Smith Environmental Justice Award, and the 2014-2015 George F. Kramer Practitioner of the Year Award from the University of Maryland. Dr. Wilson received his BS degree in Biology/Ecotoxicology with a minor in Environmental Science from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1998. He received training in environmental health in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Wilson received his MS degree in 2000 from UNC-Chapel Hill and his Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005.

Couldn't attend this session. Watch video below: