Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Environmental Justice: Past, Present, & Future

Date and Time
Thursday, September 15, 2022 - 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Duke University Chapel & Livestream
Environmental Justice: Past, Present, & Future


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Join the conversation at Duke University on Sept. 15 for an important public event commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Warren County protests in North Carolina. The nonviolent protests in 1982 surrounded the state’s disposal of soil laced with PCBs in the predominately Black community. The protests were considered among the earliest for environmental justice in the United States.

The Robert R. Wilson Distinguished Lecture will feature the Rev. Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., who is credited for coining the term “environmental racism,” which he declared from his prison cell after being arrested during the protests. Chavis will discuss the past, present and future of environmental justice with Catherine Coleman Flowers, activist, recent McArthur Genius Grant awardee, and member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council.

​The two will discuss the present moment surrounding environmental justice as well as the future outlook of the movement with growing concerns around climate change and sustainable growth.

Event partners include the Sanford School of Public Policy, the Nicholas School of the Environment, and the John Hope Franklin Center.

Registration and More information


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  • Cameron Oglesby (Moderator)
  • Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis
  • Catherine Coleman Flowers