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This event will present the 2020 NYC Environmental Justice Alliance’s Climate Justice Agenda as a sequel to our Earth Day program, followed by a response from climate scientists, designers, and urban planning experts. Discussions will focus on key challenges and opportunities to protect vulnerable communities against the upcoming 2020 hurricane and heat wave season, as New York deals with successive waves of the Coronavirus. This is a call for scientific research, environmental justice advocacy, and community organizing to work together in order to accelerate public health, equity, and climate action.

“The 2020 outbreak of COVID-19 has massively disrupted our city, state, and the world at large. In many ways, this crisis foreshadows future risks exacerbated by climate change, where low-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized groups are hit first and worst by the impacts. Decades of environmental racism have led to disproportionately high rates of respiratory and heart disease in these frontline communities, increasing their vulnerability to the impacts of viruses like COVID-19.2 Our economic system relies on extractive, precarious and low-wage work placing many low-income communities and communities of color in increasingly dire straits with minimal social safety nets. Projections show that the frequency and intensity of pandemics and climate-related disasters will only increase as the planet warms. As New York copes with a state of emergency, the experiences will reveal the extent of the challenges ahead and inform our future planning efforts for the escalating climate crisis.” – NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, Climate Justice Agenda, April, 2020.

Annel Hernandez
, Associate Director, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance
Christian Braneon, PhD, American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Committee for the Conference on Education, New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC)
Ron Shiffman, FAICP, NYS Hon. AIA, Professor Emeritus, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, Pratt Institute
Ana Isabel Baptista, PhD., Assistant Professor of Professional School, The New School

Jeffrey Raven, FAIA, LEED BD+C, Director, Graduate Program in Urban + Regional Design, Associate Professor, New York Institute of Technology; Co-Chair, AIANY Planning and Urban Design Committee

Annel Hernandez is the Associate Director of the NYC  Environmental Justice Alliance. Hernandez works on city and statewide climate policy issues, focusing on local advocacy and research that further equitable investments in coastal resiliency, green infrastructure, and renewable energy. She also works on coalition campaigns to push for a vision of integrated climate resiliency. Previously, Hernandez worked with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and the Urban Climate Change Research Network at the Earth Institute. Hernandez is a Rachel’s Network Catalyst Awardee and also serves on the board of BK ROT and Newtown Creek Alliance.

Christian Braneon, PhD, is a physical scientist and civil engineer with expertise in climate science, spatial modeling, and hydrology. He served as Co-Director of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) inaugural Environmental Justice Academy for community leaders during his tenure at USEPA. Braneon currently serves on the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Committee for the Conference on Education and the Leadership Team for the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) Fourth Assessment.

Ron Shiffman is a city planner with close to 60 years of experience providing architectural, planning, community economic development and sustainable development assistance to community-based groups in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. In 1964, Shiffman co-founded the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development (PICCED), which is today the oldest continuously operated university-based community design and development center in the United States. He is a tenured professor at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture, where he chaired the Department of City and Regional Planning from 1991 to 1999. He was appointed to the NYC Planning Commission by David Dinkins and served on the Planning Commission from 1990-1996. He retired as Director of PICCED in July 2003 and is now Professor Emeritus in the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment at the School of Architecture at Pratt Institute.

Ana Baptista, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management graduate program at The New School University. She also serves as the Associate Director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School. Prior to The New School she served as the Director of Environmental Justice and Community Development at the Ironbound Community Corporation, in her hometown of Newark, NJ. Ana’s professional practice is focused on advancing environmental justice through collaborative work with communities on issues ranging from cumulative impacts, air pollution, and waste systems. Her current research and practice includes studies on the evolution of the environmental justice movement, state-level and national climate justice policies, municipal zoning and planning measures for environmental justice, and zero waste policies. Ana serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ironbound Community Corporation, the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance (NJEJA), the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and the Victoria Foundation.  She was also recently appointed to the Fourth New York City Panel on Climate Change by Mayor De Blasio.


Organized by
AIA New York in partnership with NYC-EJA, UCCRN, NYIT, the New School, and Pratt Institute
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