News - Kay Jowers

Thanks to pilot funding from the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) and the Kenan Institute, Kay Jowers will lead a project examining how structural racism affects health disparities in and around Durham. Jowers is director of Just Environments, a joint endeavor of the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability and the Kenan Institute, where she is a faculty member.

Forty-five Duke University scholars will pursue new research on sustainable, equitable solutions to address climate change and its effects, supported by grants from the Duke Climate Research Innovation Seed Program (CRISP).

Twelve teams have collectively been awarded nearly $700,000 to investigate topics such as equitable disaster recovery, community insurance, financing climate-smart agriculture, water quality challenges posed by sea level rise, forest-based carbon offsets and more.

World leaders—along with government officials, nongovernmental organizations, researchers and activists—gathered in Dubai for the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference to discuss ways to advance climate action. Experts from the Nicholas Institute attended the conference, released publications or announced initiatives tied to it and/or followed the proceedings closely.

In a virtual Duke Forever Learning Institute session, an expert panel discussed the qualities of foundational to high-impact volunteering and considered how unintended consequences can stand in the way of making a difference. The panel included Kay Jowers, director of Just Environments, a joint project of the Nicholas Institute and the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

A photo exhibit at Duke's Kenan-Keohane Gallery spotlights the ongoing influence in the environmental justice movement of protesters who stopped a toxic waste landfill in Warren County more than four decades ago. “It’s important for the Duke community to understand the story of Warren County and other grassroots movements so that we can incorporate environmental justice into all of our sustainability efforts," Kay Jowers, director of the Just Environments program, told NC Health News.

Titled “We Birthed a Movement: The Warren County PCB Landfill Protests, 1978-1982," an exhibit in the Keohane-Kenan Gallery in the West Duke Building explores a community’s historical response to the planned construction of a landfill for cancer-causing PCBs. “This exhibit depicts a key moment in environmental justice history. It also underscores the power of community-led advocacy,” said Kay Jowers, director of the Just Environments program.

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the largest single investment in climate solutions and clean energy in U.S. history. Nicholas Institute experts Jackson Ewing and Kay Jowers offered comments and are available for interviews with journalists.

The upcoming midterm elections could have a massive impact on this country’s ability to make progress on climate change, Duke scholars Kay Jowers and Geoffrey Henderson said Wednesday.

Kay Jowers was part of an expert panel that discussed research-based solutions to the climate crisis during Duke’s annual Research Week.

In addition to keeping people safe and warm in their homes, bans on evictions and utility shutoffs might also limit the spread of COVID-19, new research from Duke University suggests. Kay Jowers told HealthDay that people forced to leave their homes may have to move to places with less social distancing, making them more vulnerable.