On April 11 – 13, 2012, the Board of Directors of the National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc. (“NEJC”) held the 2012 National Environment Justice Conference and Training Program in Washington, D. C.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / PRURGENT
WASHINGTON, DC - On April 11 – 13, 2012, the Board of Directors of the National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc. (“NEJC”) held the 2012 National Environment Justice Conference and Training Program in Washington, D. C.
Sponsors included the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), the U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the U. S. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S. Department of Energy, Sodexo, Waste Management, URS, MDB, Inc., Restoration Services, Inc., Beveridge & Diamond, P. C., and
Pepco. Total attendance for the conference and training programs was between 275 and 300 persons per day.
Attendees included Federal government employees, state and local government officials, and tribal officials. There were also representatives of small and large businesses, grass roots organizations, public interest groups, students and members of the academic community. Participants were ethnically diverse and included many African-American, Latino, Native Alaskan and Asian community
members and activists.
This year’s conference was different from the five previous national environmental justice conferences that had been organized by the Board of Directors of NEJC. Notably, NEJC retained a new conference coordinator. The conference name was also changed to reflect the addition of a training program which for the first time allowed Federal employees, corporate professionals and others attending the conference to earn professional-level education credit.
There were a number of reasons for these changes. First, the Board of Directors decided to move in a different direction with respect to conference content and focus. Second, there was a desire to enhance and increase the partnership between the Board and their federal agency sponsors. NEJC was successful in this effort and the 2012 Conference and Training Program was co-sponsored by EPA; with EPA providing much greater support than it had for previous conferences. In addition to the increased financial support, EPA also provided media support, blogs and taped interviews.
Third, there was a desire to increase the participation of community-based groups, federal agency employees, youth and all stakeholders seeking to advance the understanding of environmental
justice. Progress was made for the 2012 Conference and Training Program as the Board placed a greater emphasis this year on including more grassroots, community-based, and youth participants in the conference planning process. Additional work remains to be done in this regard as the Board moves forward. Fourth, there was also a goal to increase corporate sponsorship for the conference.
As a result of this increased support and sponsorship from EPA, other federal agencies, and our corporate sponsors, NEJC was able to make registration free to all attendees with the exception
of those from the private sector.
In order to make clear the new direction of the conference, the Board chose not to use the name which had been used for the five previous conferences. The Board of Directors of NEJC will continue to promote and conduct an annual environmental justice conference and training program in Washington, D. C. and is pleased with the success of the 2012 Conference and Training Program, as well as the highly professional implementation of the Board’s goals and directives by its
new conference coordinator. The Board looks forward to working with the new conference coordinator in its future conferences and training programs with a goal of continuing to promote environmental justice for all.
If any additional information is needed, you may contact Benjamin F. Wilson, Esq., Chairman, Board of Directors, National Environmental Justice Conference, Inc. at bwilsonbdlaw.com.