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Ensuring Social Equity in Preparing for Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions
February 12, 2015 • National Adaptation Forum Webinar Series
Climate change is impacting communities of color disproportionately. To respond to these challenges the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Environmental and Climate Justice Program, is working to educate communities on adapting to... [show full overview]
Climate change is impacting communities of color disproportionately. To respond to these challenges the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Environmental and Climate Justice Program, is working to educate communities on adapting to climate change. Join Jacqui Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, to learn about her work on equity indicators and applications. Also hear from Branden Johnson, President of the NAACP Longview Chapter, Vik Verma, Chair of the Safe Inviting Green Neighborhoods (SIGNS) Initiative, and Katherine Egland, NAACP Board Environmental and Climate Justice Committee Chair, on how these innovative indicators are being applied in the planning of newly formed Eco-Districts in Longview, TX and Gulfport, MS. 

This is the sixth installment of the National Adaptation Webinar Series and is sponsored by EcoAdapt and hosted by CAKE. For other NAF webinar recordings, visit

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Agenda & Speakers
Webinar Recording

Ensuring Social Equity in Preparing for Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions from CAKE on Vimeo.

Panel Members:
  • Jacqueline Patterson, Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Social equity indicators and opportunities for leadership in a new green economy. Since 2007 Patterson has served as coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United. Jacqui Patterson has worked as a researcher, program manager, coordinator, advocate and activist working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV & AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice. Patterson served as a Senior Women’s Rights Policy Analyst for ActionAid where she integrated a women’s rights lens for the issues of food rights, macroeconomics, and climate change as well as the intersection of violence against women and HIV & AIDS.  Previously, she served as Assistant Vice-President of HIV/AIDS Programs for IMA World Health providing management and technical assistance to medical facilities and programs in 23 countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Patterson served as the Outreach Project Associate for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Research Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, West Indies. 

    Patterson’s publications/articles include: ”Jobs vs Health: An Unnecessary Dilemma”, “Climate Change is a Civil Rights Issue”, “Gulf Oil Drilling Disaster: Gendered Layers of Impact”, “Disasters, Climate Change Uproot Women of Color”; “Coal Blooded; Putting Profits Before People”;  “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution, Creating Jobs”: “And the People Shall Lead: Centralizing Frontline Community Leadership in the Movement Towards a Sustainable Planet”;   and book chapter, “Equity in Disasters: Civil and Human Rights Challenges in the Context of Emergency Events” in the book Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster.
    Patterson holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. She currently serves on the International Committee of the US Social Forum, the Advisory Committee for The Grandmothers’ Project and the Gulf Guardian Fellowship Program, and the Steering Committees of Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change and the Green Group Board Members of Color, as well as on the Board of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story Based Strategy and the US Climate Action Network.
  • Vik Verma and Branden Johnson, Longview Eco-District Coalition. Longview, TX Eco-District. Branden Johnson is President of the NAACP Longview, Texas Chapter. Both professionally and personally, Branden has a strong background in service and community organizing. Vik Verma is the chair of the SIGNS Initiative (Safe Inviting Green Neighborhoods). The SIGNS Initiative is a joint partnership of NAACP Longview Unit # 6197, Working Effectively for Clean Air Now (We CAN), and Organizing for Action – East Texas. He also serves as the Regional Lead for Organizing for America – East Texas and is a member of the Executive Committee of the NAACP Longview Unit. 
    Vik is employed as an engineer with Blast Control Systems in Kilgore, Texas. He received his bachelors’ degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis in 1994, his masters’ degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University in 1997 and his masters in business administration from The University of Texas at Tyler in 2009.
    He has also previously served as the President of the Northeast Texas Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and Vice-President – Professional for the ASCE Texas Section.  As Vice-President – Professional for the ASCE Texas Section, Vik focused on infrastructure issues at both state and national levels. He continues to pursue this focus today and has an additional interest in sustainability as it relates to infrastructure.
  • Katherine Egland, NAACP Board Environmental and Climate Justice Committee Chair. Gulfport, MS Eco-District. Kathy chairs the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee for the National Board of Directors of the NAACP. She is a retired educator and business executive. She is the founder of Special Programs for Advancing Children’s Education (SPACE) Learning Academy, an early childhood educational excellence and summer camp program.
    Egland has a lifetime of advocacy involvement in civil and human rights. As a resident of Gulfport, Mississippi, she is a survivor of one of the worst climate disasters in American history, Hurricane Katrina. She was instrumental in the Gulf restoration effort after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as well as the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill in 2010, which contaminated the Mississippi Gulf Coast waters located less than one-quarter mile of her home.
    Kathy was a member of the NAACP’s Gulf Oil Spill Task Force which met with members of the bipartisan presidential National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling in small focal groups in New Orleans. She has also been an advocate against a failing coal plant located less than four miles from her home and an outspoken proponent of renewable energy.

    Kathy has participated in White House sponsored EPA Women’s Events; testified at the Mercury Air Toxic Rule hearing in Chicago, IL; commented during the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council’s public comment period in Denver, CO; and participated in the Forward On Climate Rally and the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Prayer Rally in Washington, D.C. She also attended UNFCCC COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland in 2013 and planned to travel to Lima, Peru to attend UNFCCC COP 20 in December 2014. She recently attended an Energy and Environmental Conference in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in July 2014. She organized an eight member Gulf Coast Youth Delegation’s attendance to testify at an EPA Listening Session in Dallas, Texas, in 2013. She has organized local ECJ Town Hall meetings and joined a delegation of NAACP Branch participants in EPA Training sessions in New Orleans, Louisiana, an EPA/MDEQ facilitated training in Jackson County, Mississippi and the 2014 Our Power National Convening in Richmond, CA.

    In addition to organizing and participating in the historical 2014 Peoples Climate Mobilization in New York City, Kathy was a speaker/presenter at the Peoples Climate Justice Summit’s Peoples Tribunal at the United Nations Church Center, and attended the Rising Seas Summit.

Reading & Resources
On January 23, 2015, the NAACP released Equity in Resilience Building for Climate Change Adaptation Planninga document that catalogues indicators for integrating and measuring resilience building for climate adaption planning. 

Read the entire report HERE.