Open today: 10AM - 3PM

Environmental Justice: Exploring the Intersection of Waste, Race, and Health (Virtual)

Date(s) - Wednesday, November 3rd
7:00 pm CDT - 8:00 pm CDT


dsc0801-version-2Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. 

Join Tia Nelsoninternationally recognized environmental steward and daughter of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, as she highlights the history of environmental policy in Wisconsin and explores the challenges and opportunities to create equitable environmental policy. 

Explore issues around access to clean water and ways in which leaders like  Gary Besaw (Menominee, Bear Clan), Director of the Menominee Tribal Department of Agriculture and Food Systems and the Menominee Tribal Food Distribution Department, and Brenda Coley, Co-Executive Director of Milwaukee Water Commons, take on industry, apathy, and entrenched inequality to ensure access to clean water in their communities.

Register to get access to the Zoom session.
This program is free and open to the public.
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In partnership with Milwaukee Public Library. Funded in part by a grant from  Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In connection with  Scrap Yard: Innovators of Recycling, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, October 8, 2021 – January 30, 2022.

About the Presenters

Gary Besaw (Menominee, Bear Clan) currently serves as Director of the Menominee Tribal Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, and Director of the Menominee Tribal Food Distribution Department. Gary has served 15 years on the Menominee Tribal Legislature, serving 2 terms as Tribal Chairman. Gary had represented the Menominee Nation on various environmental, social, and cultural topics during that time, and today reflects and speaks on the wisdom of those same core indigenous perspectives.

Brenda Coley is the Co-Executive Director of Milwaukee Water Commons. Over the years she has served in various positions in the non-profit and academic sectors and brings a long-standing commitment to social justice and community organizing. Before joining Milwaukee Water Commons, Coley was sole proprietor of Brenda Coley & Associates, helping local and national organizations build the cultural competence to approach marginalized populations around health, leadership development and social justice issues.

Tia Nelson is internationally recognized as a tireless champion for environmental stewardship and climate change education. She spent 17 years with The Nature Conservancy, including as the first director of the Global Climate Change Initiative. In 2004, Nelson served as Executive Secretary to the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, which included a gubernatorial appointment as co‐chair of Wisconsin’s Task Force on Global Warming.

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