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February 21, 2018

School of Public Health Associate Professor Sacoby Wilson (MIAEH) will be named a 2018 Environmental Champion by the Audubon Naturalist Society at their Taking Nature Black Conference on February 28.

He will also be a featured speaker at the Audubon event, in the panel discussion “On the Frontlines of Environmental Justice," in which participants will learn how to "take immediate action to fight for environmental justice, and become enlightened and inspired when you hear from crusaders on the forefront of a powerful movement working for a clean, safe and healthy environment for all."

DC-area African American environmental affairs professionals, activists, and business owners, representatives of regional environmental groups, governmental bodies, as well as regional college students and graduates will attend the all-day event.

Dr. Wilson leads the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) Initiative at the School of Public Health. CEEJH is focused on providing technical assistance to communities fighting against environmental injustice and environmental health disparities. Some of the projects include: 1) collaborating with the Port Towns CDC and Port Towns Environmental Action to assess exposure and health risks for populations exposed to industrial pollution and traffic-related emissions from industrial traffic and commuter traffic in the  Bladensburg area using citizen science; 2) working with the BTB Coalition on environmental justice and health issues in Brandywine, MD; 3) providing community outreach on environmental health issues that impact Latinx populations with Chispa including the Clean School Buses for Healthy Ninos Campaign and Centro De Apoyo Familiar; 4) assisting with air monitoring efforts related to natural gas infrastructure in Lusby, MD; 5) providing technical assistance to communities in the Eastern Shore of Maryland on the public health impacts of industrial chicken farming; and 6) working with the Charleston Community Research to Action Board (CCRAB) on goods movement and environmental justice and health issues in Charleston, South Carolina through community-based participatory research (CBPR) and the collaborative problem-solving model.   

Dr. Wilson is currently on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) which advises the US Environmental Protection Agency on environmental justice policy; is a board member for Community Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH), an international organization that supports the use of CBPR and community-university partnership to address social injustice and achieve health equity; and provides guidance and technical assistance as an advisory board member for the HBCU/CBO Gulf Coast Equity Consortium led by Dr. Robert Bullard (Texas Southern University) and Dr. Beverly Wright (Dillard University).  Dr. Wilson is also on the Board of the Patuxent Riverkeeper and contributes to the implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement as a member of the Diversity workgroup.

In 2016, Dr. Wilson received the 2016 Junior Faculty award from the university's Council on the Environment for his contributions to environmental issues, and in 2015 he won the APHA Damu Smith Environmental Achievement Award. This annual award, given by the APHA Environment Section, honors an individual who has been an exemplary leader in the areas of environmental and social justice. 

In May, CEEJH will host a Symposium on Environmental Justice and Environmental Health Disparities in Maryland and Washington, D.C., an event designed to raise the visibility of racial and ethnic environmental health disparities in the region. Several hundred participants are expected to attend, including community members, researchers, public health practitioners, policymakers, students, youth and environmental justice advocates.  

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