Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Climate Justice & Indigenous Knowledge

Date and Time
Thursday, April 6, 2023 - 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Duke Law School Room 4047
Climate Justice & Indigenous Knowledge


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What does climate innovation look like? This panel discussion attempts to reconcile our current understanding of the climate crisis and sustainability work with the knowledge, practices, and nature-based solutions of Indigenous folks across the country. How can we combine traditional views of conservation and climate mitigation, with ancestral ways of knowing and acting in connection with the Earth? 

Panelists to include: 

  • Beth Roach – Beth is the co-founder of the Alliance for Native Seedkeepers, the Tribal Council Vice Chairman for the Nottoway Tribe of Virginia, and a Public Fellow with the Coastal Futures Conservatory at UVA. She is also the Clean Water Program Director for the Sierra Club and the former chairperson for the Virginia Environmental Justice Council. She has extensive experience in conservation, organizing, and storytelling with a passion for rural and agricultural resilience building, particularly for Indigenous cultural preservation and food security.
  • Roderico Yol Diaz – Based between Guatemala and the U.S., Roderico is an Indigenous Maya Kaqchikel independent photojournalist and documentary videographer. He has with than 15 years of experience working as an independent photojournalist documenting the struggle of survivors to overcome the aftermath of war and genocide in Guatemala and communities affected by on-going extractive development projects.
  • Donna Chavis – Donna is a Lumbee elder with over 40 years of service in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors on the local, state, and national level and currently serves as Climate & Energy Justice Program Manager with Friends of the Earth U.S. She is a recognized leader in social and environmental justice change and practice. Donna was a member of the Planning Committee of the First National People of Color Leadership Summit in 1991 which developed the Principles of Environmental Justice. 
  • (Moderator) Lydia Jennings – Lydia is a presidential post-doctoral fellow in the school of sustainability at Arizona State University and the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment. 

Food will be provided!


Contact Gabriela Nagle Alverio at and Cameron Oglesby at with questions.


Sponsored by Duke University Native American/Indigenous Student Alliance and Duke University School of Law

Co-sponsored by the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability.

Part of Duke Earth Month 2023